Week of 12/26/18
Surface Temp: 67f
Clarity: Slightly Tannic 18-24-inches
Jane O'Byrne caught this nice Spec (Crappie) on a white clouser
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Tip of the Week:
With warming temperatures and less wind look for some good fishing to wrap up 2018. Continue to focus on submerged timber and docks. The fly selection has been pretty typical with weighted olive Wooly Buggers and smaller white streamers also weighted being the top producers as of late. Keep the retrieve rates low and slow still, but expect more action as the conditions continue to improve.
Trevor Brown caught some Big Bluegill and small Bass this week!
Stick to subsurface flies and break out the sinking line if you've got it. The smaller size flies are working, with number 6 brush flies in a shad color keeping the line tight. The water is also clearing up in places like Saddle Creek and Teneroc making it even more conducive to fly fishing. Try doubling down on your streamers and throw a Wooly Bugger and a Clouser to change the action of the rig. Topwater is still working when fished in heavier cover such as lily pads or at the base of trees. With a slow retrieve back to the boat. The top colors have been yellow, olive, and white. Look for the nervous activity caused by the shad, as this is a sure sign that the bass are near. They are typically schooling on the windblown side of the lake still. Don't stalk too close and keep your trolling motors on a low setting, the fish are being skittish around too much boat noise. When the bass aren't schooling look for docks or submerged timber, these are common holding areas for bass when it starts to get cold. When fishing these areas an intermediate sinking line is helpful in getting your flies towards the bottom of the water column. Slowing down your presentations have been helpful when the bite slows down. The most productive colors of the worm or craw flies have been olive, black and purple. Which come as no surprise as these are always good color choices. Bluegill still are hanging around docks and near the mouths of canals. The best way to catch them has been a heavier tungsten nymph drug on the bottom or a worm fly with a squirmito tail on a jig head. When presenting these flies try crawling them by pulling the fly line to your wrist for a slow gradual retrieve rate. This has been key as they prefer to eat them deeper when they are right above the bottom. When fishing near heavy cover for panfish bumping up to 4x tippet will allow you to still be stealthy but have some extra strength around the wood. Specs(Crappie) are still being caught along grass lines. Use baitfish patterns in white, black and/or brown/olive in sizes 6, 8, or 10. Classic popper fishing is recommended at sunrise when the weather is either a little warmer or foggy. Colors is important as the fish are selective. Start with white as this mimics a struggling baitfish then start trying brighter colors such as yellow or orange. Casting these at the base of trees have yielded some spectacular blowups. Popper dropper rigs are a very good way to fish. Use classic trout flies such as a Pheasant Tail or a Hare's Ear Nymph is sizes 10-14.
The weather will keep warming and bring in less wind making it a little easier to fly fish. Lake levels are continuing to drop slowly and clearing in clarity. The Peace, Econ, Hillsborough, Myakka, and Withlacoochee Rivers are all at above average levels. And levels on the Kissimmee River at below average level for the time of year.
FLY TYING CLASSES ARE ON FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAYS at 6:00PM-7:30PM. No reservations needed. We supply materials and tools (or bring yours.) $10 min purchase requested. Because New Year's Day is on the first Tuesday of the month, our next tying class is Jan. 15th. Contact us at 863 299-999 for more info.