Posted by: cworthy | March 17, 2011

Flies vs live bait contest while we wait for Leland Salmon.

I like fly fishing for almost everything so much I am willing to not catch as many fish using a fly as long as I catch some, but sometimes there are limits to my resolve and just yesterday I wondered just how effective one method might be over the other on trout here in Florida. I had the whole day to fish if I wanted, so I was up early and wading out into the Indian River Lagoon at first light. I started with my fly rod and worked slowly and methodically along a shore of turtle grass and sand patches. A keeper trout came first, and next a small red fish. Then a big red broke the leader at the knot where I had done a poor tying job. The fish were liking a fly of spun deer hair that stayed just below the surface twitched in a walk-the-dog manner. After an hour decent fishing it slowed down and as the morniing wore on nothing seemed interested even though I tried a little of everything:large, small,fast, slow retrieve, shrimp and fish patterns. The fishing died.

Finally I got my cast net and after a little effort I had 20,  5-inch pogies. Switching to a spinning rod I cast a pogie into the same areas where I had been fly fishing and within short order a big ladyfish slammed the bait. Then a couple of casts later a big trout, maybe 5 pounds, ate the bait; the action was steady. Trout, a bluefish cut the leader, jacks and even a catfish were interested in the franticly swimming pogies.

I ended up releasing almost all of the fish, keeping only three for a guy I know who said he would like some trout.

So, there you have it. In this contest the live bait wins, hands down. I know this isn’t about Leland Salmon, but we all have to pass the time of March some how.

Florida has a slot limit for spotted sea trout of 15-20" You can have one "trophy" over 20 inches and on this day I caught several like the big one. The smaller trout were mid-slot fish.



  1. Bill,
    It’s great to see you are getting a few in Florida this year. The family and I are heading down this Thursday for a week in Orange Beach, Al again this year. Can’t wait to catch a few reds, trout and blues (and whatever else shows up to eat).

    I’ll send you some pics when we get back!

    Take care,

  2. Welcome back Dad!

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