Report by Hunter Towery
Josh Genrich shows off a beautiful Bluegill caught on 5 wt with a black floating beetle.
Surface Temp: 78f
Clarity: Slightly Tannic 27-inches
The warmer days have helped keep the local fishing pretty good. The lakes have been noticeably busier even on weekdays. Tenoroc WMA is one of two open (as of this report) fishing management areas still open in the state. Modified admission rules are in place but the lakes are still open during normal hours. Public ramps are still open with some park closures throughout the state. So far a good number of anglers and boaters have been on the water on the more popular lakes. The topwater bite is still good with white or olive being the top color picks. Larger bass have been schooling on shad in open water. Keep your eyes out for nervous water or exploding fish. Anglers are catching some nice bass on crayfish flies, olive or black patterns have worked best. These flies should be fished pretty low to the bottom with a slow crawl retrieve. Bass that are locked and focused on the beds will be more interested in defending than feeding. Some fry guarders have been spotted by the shoreline. The panfish will be found in shallow water, hanging around lily pads and cattails. Small foam spiders and dragonfly dries have worked well as a surface presentation. Try to make these flies smack on the surface, then slowly retrieve the fly. Small weighted black Wooly Buggers are still a good choice when the bluegill quit hitting topwater flies and move to slightly deeper water. A slow crawl works best giving the fly a chance to sit still. Bluegill are still munching on grass shrimp near the cattails. Their loud slurps can be heard and are a good indicator that fish are close by. Small scud patterns mimic these shrimp the best. Some anglers prefer using a strike indicator several feet above the fly to keep them above the submerged grass. A deep indicator rig with your fly several feet under your indicator has helped with keeping specs and big bluegill on the line.
Craig Jameson has a beautiful Bluegill. He is teaching his 7 yr old daughter the fine art of the 3wt.
The topwater bite will continue to excel with the calmer days and warmer weather. Stick with white or olive poppers as these have worked well lately, especially in the shade. The streamer fishing has been pretty straightforward with small "electric chicken" streamers being the top choices. Stick with scuds and dragonfly nymphs for bluegill fishing subsurface. Small foam spiders and dragonfly dries work well to tempt the bluegill on the surface. Searching for areas close to deeper water will allow you to locate the fish easier. Rivers provide an excellent shelter on those windy or crowded days. At the time of this report: the Peace River is below average and slowly falling (80.0 CFS). Econ River is below average and slowly falling (37.7 CFS). Myakka River is below average and falling (5.99 CFS). Hillsborough is below average and slowly falling (57.3 CFS). Withlacoochee is above average and slowly falling (5.78 CFS). Kissimmee River near Frostproof is below average and stable (19.4 CFS).
Casting School Director, Chris O'Byrne had a stellar day at Teneroc Management Area.
Boating a nice Tilapia, Several Bass and Bluegill
Best techniques for the week include Technique 1) Small pink and chartreuse clousers fished tight to shore and slowly retrieved. Pink and white has also worked well as of late. Technique 2) White or olive poppers fished slowly during low light conditions, and even during the day under shady over hang and around docks. Technique 3) Black or olive crayfish flies fished low and slow close to the shoreline. Crawl the fly over prospective areas, frequent pauses can coax a bite. Add a small split shot 18 in. above the fly if the winds pick up. This will help maintain proper depth.
Hunter Towery and his new Swamp Chicken-Available at Andy Thornal Company->Click Here. While targeting large mouth bass on 8wt, this fly will be equally effective on Peacock Bass, and Big Tarpon, due to the heavy 2/0 stainless steel hook. There are a couple of cool tricks to this monster. Join us at the tying table in the middle of the fly shop. There is always some tying on the vise.