Surface Temp: 76f
Clarity: Slightly Tannic 18-24-inches
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Our next free quick-start fly casting school is Saturday, April 27th 9am-11am! Call for registration. Seats are still available! We offer this FREE program during the summer. Click here for more info.
Topwater in the morning. The fish are shallow early in the day. As the day progresses they head to deeper,cooler water. Sinking lines are very important as the bass continue to feed on baitfish in deeper water. Game Changerflies fished on a sinking line will put you in the same deep part of the water colum as a conventional crank bait, but you can work the fly much slower, even suspended. Take advantage of this unique opportunity.
The bluegill bite is still going strong with topwater flies still working early. Blue Sprogs and white spiders are favorites. Small streamers like the Myakka Minnow and the Sloppy Jose have done a great job of picking up fish during the warmer parts of the day. These flies should be fished parallel to the shoreline with a steady retrieve near the weedlines. Just outside of Lily pads is a favorite spot for tilapia right now, and they will readily take a small streamer this time of year. Adding a small split shot will help these streamers sink more quickly and stay deep during the retrieve. Topwater poppers fished near docks and cattails have produced some explosive bites. With electric blue and olive being the top color choices. Have you seen all of the dragonflies? It is a good indicator to throw blue poppers. Hexagenia mayflies are hatching in our lakes. This is a great time of year to throw some big bushy dry flies like a stimulator pattern to match the hatch. This is a great oportunity to fish with a dropper, as stimulators are the ticket to fish a weighted nymph, underneath. Keep your flies a little deeper than usual and focus on submerged grass lines when throwing streamers. Also try to cast the streamers parallel to the shoreline. Bluegill pattern streamers have still been the ticket for the bass. Try using a faster retrieve rate this allows you to cover more water. They have started schooling up pretty regularly on the windblown side of the lake. Specs(Crappie) have pushed up shallow as well and are hanging out in the pads or in thicker grasslines. Use baitfish patterns in white, or bright colors such as chartreuse in sizes 6, or 8. The crappie have been caught midday, suspended near shore on heavy, small clousers. When retrieving the fly long slow strips have been the best. This keeps the fly deeper in the water column and closer to the fish.
Expect bluegill to stay shallow and become aggressive on their beds. The topwater bite will continue. Take advantage of the calmer days and throw more topwater flies. Moon phase is last quarter waning with the New Moon on May 4th. Lake Levels have risen from recent hard rain. The Peace River is at average yearly levels. The Econ is low, perhaps the lowest level for the year. Myakka River is average. The Hillsborough and Withlacoochee Rivers are at above average levels. Kissimmee River gauge below the Hwy 60 dam is currently not reporting. This is a great time to be on the water, fishing will continue to be excellent.
Fifth Tuesday of the month, and the Fly Tying Club is at Beer Rev, 3234 Florida Ave S, Lakeland, FL 33803. We supply the materials, bring your own tools or borrow some of ours. It is Taco Tuesday so get some great food, great drink, and meet some new fly tyers!
Fly Tying is regularly at Andy Thornal Company on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, 6pm-7:30pm. We usually tie two patterns including Bass, Saltwater, and small flies, too! This club atmosphere is friendly for beginners and experts, ages 10-70. Bring your tying tools or borrow some of ours. The class is free, but we ask that everyone make a $10 purchase to offset costs. Next club meeting is May 7th.