The variety of saltwater fish that can be taken in
shallow water with a fly and a floating line is
extensive. Some of the more common species
include the following:
Snook – found generally in or near the shelter of the
mangrove roots, but sometimes located in open
water or near rocky structure. This stealthy predator
provides challenging target casting opportunities,
occasionally to fish sighted on the edge of the
mangroves, but more often, you are spot casting to pockets in the roots.
Jacks – aggressive feeders that are found in both small and large schools. Jacks can attain large size; fish of 20 and 30 pounds are not unusual. Strong fighters with an assertive nature, they will attack almost any fly, even if the presentation is not perfect. The most common Atlantic and Caribbean species are the Jack Crevalle and the Horse-eye Jack. The Pacific members of the Jack family include the trevallys: golden, striped, giant and blue.
Snappers – over 10 varieties, including cubera, dog, grey, lane, mangrove, mutton, red, schoolmaster, silk and yellowtail. Tough, structure oriented fish, they are found near the mangroves, reefs and rocky edges.
Barracuda - because of his size, speed, aggressiveness, and aerial antics (fish over five feet long can be found on shallow flats), the ‘cuda is an electric “skinny water” fly rod fish.
Sharks – some varieties of sharks, such as the black tip and lemon, frequent the flats and will eat a fly. They are fun to watch approach a fly or popper as their eyesight is very poor; the fly almost has to be placed in their mouth.
Dorado, sierra mackerel, skip jack tuna and rooster fish can be sight-cast to along Pacific coastlines and bays.
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