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Life of a convict

Its getting cold here in Tampa Bay, kicking off the 4 month sentence where it seems every backwater mudflat has a large general population of convicts putting in time. Everywhere you look they seem to be staked out, eyeing for their next meal. These guys are tough, picky, on edge and will drive most any fly angler insane, but I’m already a bit insane so of course they fit right in as my favorite fish in the Tampa bay to target during these cold nasty mornings during the passing fronts. I’ve stalked them for years poling around in my 200 pound, leaking, beat up old canoe,



 Keeping up poling on the mudflats, tossing black and purple crab patterns seems to be the best bet IMG_67666645181455

These guys arent the big trophy ,get all the glory, show stopping, seeing your backing 4 times type catches, average fish runs between 12 and 15 inches, but they pack a punch, and occasionally you run into one of them bigger redfish or two on your journey to find themIMG_249517968401929

Redfish wont hesitate to hit the same fly, so you can go shot for shot with reds and convicts on the same flats. Convicts are a special fish, spooky, dopey, picky, funny, and sometimes you do actually get one with some serious size to it, that ends up putting you on the reel every bit as much as their larger, more sought after inshore game fish wouldIMG_369224938619840

The convict is an often overlooked fish, people don’t like the frustration that can come along with targeting them either that  or they just don’t feel it will give them the hero status that a big red or snook would bring to them.

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