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,
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 them
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 would
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.