An angler stands on the bow of a skiff and fights a fish with a fishing pole

Fly fishing and light tackle anglers fished for snook and redfish in shallow water with Quiet Waters Fishing over the last week. We also targeted snook on dock lights and fished over deep grass for seatrout, bluefish, and jacks. We fished as far north as lower Tampa Bay and as far south as Little Sarasota Bay. Water quality has been excellent in areas that we have fished, we did not seen any water impacted by red tide.

The weather seems to finally be turning towards something that more closely resembles a Florida winter. Cold fronts are on the horizon and it looks like we’ll be having cool temperatures for Christmas. Water temperatures are cooling and water clarity should continue to improve as we see more winter trends take hold.

An angler holds a snook up to the camera

After the most recent cold front, we let the water warm up before starting trips, waiting to get on the water until late in the morning on the most frigid days. Winds associated with the fronts limited the shallow water areas that we were able to fish over the last week, but we found plenty of good options when we were out.

Snook were present in shallow water preferring shallow points and dark bottom coves. Flies like EP baitfish patterns and smaller glass minnow patterns found the most success. Redfish were active around oyster bars, potholes, and sand bars. Soft landing seaducers and EP baitfish patterns have been the best flies for redfish.

an angler smiles to the camera as he holds a redfish that he caught

The diminutive 2” vudu shrimp has been one of our best light tackle lures for sight fishing. A slow steady retrieve has worked best with the smaller shrimp. When stepping up to larger artificial shrimp, a jigging retrieve has been most effective. The slim swim z continues to be highly effective on snook in shallow to medium depth water.

The snook bite on the dock lights has remained reliable. We’re finding increased numbers of fish farther back in canals where the water remains a little warmer. On dock lights, a 7 weight is probably the right size rod this time of year. An 8 weight will work fine, but we find that the more delicate presentation of a 7 weight is far less offensive to snook. Small flies have been the best approach. Small flies tied on size 4 and 6 hooks with marabou tails and chenille bodies will fool just about any fish you come across on the dock lights. Light tackle anglers will do best with small imitation shrimp lures and suspended lipped plugs.

an angler holds a snook that he caught while fly fishing at night

With the consistent cooler weather, look for redfish to be shallow often. Sandbars, troughs, and muddy coves should be good bets. With consistently strong winds associated with weather fronts, keep an eye out for areas where bait is piling up. These are key locations to find snook, seatrout, or jacks schooling and feeding. A lot of the bait we’re seeing is very small. The deep grass should provide good opportunities for those anglers looking for some easy action.

To book a trip with Captain Brian Boehm Call or text 941-400-6218 or email

Thanks for reading and Have a Merry Christmas,

Captain Brian Boehm
Quiet Waters Fishing
Sarasota, FL