|The Big Eye Baitfish Fly is indestructible and quite productive.|
Cold weather means cold water.
And cold water means we don't have a lot of variety in out fishing.
Until the water warms, spotted seatrout, redfish, ladyfish and flounder are pretty much what are available.
That will change when we get a few days of warm weather.
I look for pompano, bluefish and Spanish mackerel to show up in mid-February. And when they do, fishing over the deep grass in Sarasota Bay should be really hot. There were days last year when we took more than 50 fish per outing.
The blues averaged 3 pounds and we caught several around 6 pounds. Pompano went at least 2 pounds and several approached 5. Spanish mackerel ranged from 2 to a whopping 7 1/2 pounds!
This action is available on spin and fly tackle. Spin anglers should use medium-light rods, 10-pound braided line and 25-pound fluorocarbon leader. Top lures include the D.O.A. 1/8-ounce CAL Jig with gold paddle tail or D.O.A. Shrimp (glo or gold flake). I also like to use the Deadly Combination (D.O.A. Shrimp under a popping cork).
This is also prime time for fly anglers. I like a 6-weight rod, sinktip line and 6-foot, 20-pound fluorocarbon leader. My fly of choice is my Big Eye Baitfish, a nearly indestructible fly that is irresistible to many species.
I designed the fly with toothy critters in mind. It's made entirely of synthetics and will last all day, providing your leader isn't cut by a big blue or feisty mackerel.
The Big Eye is easy to tie.
Hook: No. 2 Mustad 34008
Thread: Fine mono
Wing: White Fish Hair topped with chartreuse Super Hair.
Eyes: Medium or heavy Orvis Crystal Dumbbell Eyes.
Coating: Devcon Two-Ton Epoxy.
Clouser Deep Minnows will work, but they usually are history after one blue or mackerel.
When the blues, pompano and mackerel are here, we often hit the water about an hour before daylight to get in a little snook action around lighted docks. These fish are suckers for small, white flies.
But it will be trout, redfish, ladyfish and a few flounder until we get a warming trend.