Wading Along The Halophytes

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

It was early October and I was lucky enough to steal five days of fishing in some of my favorite Tampa Bay haunts in advance of a few days business in Pittsburgh. The bay was cooling off, sea trout were abundant along eel grass flats and snook were moving inshore for the winter. Windy weather forced tough decisions about where to fish but there was enough sheltered water to make the trout fishing comfortable with the kayak. Although tides were favorable for good angling, timing wasn’t. Mornings, my normal time on the water, saw rapidly rising tides which limited my ability to do much wading around the most productive spots. On day three however, low tide occurred a bit later in the morning and the wind direction brought me to a shoreline that doesn’t get much pressure because it is isolated on two sides by a deep channel and on a third side by a dense Mangrove shoreline. As I paddled out into the flat opposite the Mangrove shoreline, I exited the tethered kayak and started targeting the edge of the flats and the deep channel. A large white gurgler stripped along the channel edge brought numerous trout exploding on the fly. For about three hours I was able to safely wade along a 1900-foot shoreline before the rising tide forced me back into the kayak.

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