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Tilapia question. #13911409 03/05/21 02:29 AM
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fish hard for fun Offline OP
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Has anyone caught or heard of Tilapia being taken on a fly? If so what pattern might be effective? Thanks.

Re: Tilapia question. [Re: fish hard for fun] #13911437 03/05/21 02:50 AM
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I have caught a lot of Tilapia on Night Crawlers. I do not use a flyrod. I do have a friend of mine who fly fishes a lot and he has caught Tilapia on the fly. He uses a "Wacky Worm", Brown in color. thumb


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Re: Tilapia question. [Re: fish hard for fun] #13911507 03/05/21 04:04 AM
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fish hard for fun Offline OP
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Thanks. I have heard that they will bite on Night Crawlers. I have some Berkley Power bait Crawler pieces in a jar and might give those a try under an indicator.

Re: Tilapia question. [Re: fish hard for fun] #13911668 03/05/21 12:26 PM
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I’ve caught a couple on Olive Woolly buggers and heard they will eat nymph patterns. Big die off for Tilapia just happened over much of the state, the lake I’m on no exception. Tilapia die in cold water, how cold it has to be is up for debate. Anything under 50 degrees water temperatures spells trouble for most tilapia, Mozambique type being the least cold hardy. Even this massive and prolonged cold spell didn’t kill them all where I am, they will be back.

Re: Tilapia question. [Re: fish hard for fun] #13911746 03/05/21 01:29 PM
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I've caught them on small streamers, but most have come on small, lightly weighted nymphs.

Re: Tilapia question. [Re: fish hard for fun] #13911833 03/05/21 02:34 PM
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fish hard for fun Offline OP
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Same here on Falcon for the massive Tilapia die off. This is the second time in ten years that I experienced this event and expect enough Tilapia will survive to recover in mass. Seeing all those big ones is what caused me to realize what an awsome time someone could have in normal times with a fly rod. An olive nymph or bead headed nymph will definitely be soaking under my indicator in the future.

Re: Tilapia question. [Re: fish hard for fun] #13911844 03/05/21 02:39 PM
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I agree with most comments above, I've had success with smaller sub surface flies, mainly streamers and nymphs.


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Re: Tilapia question. [Re: fish hard for fun] #13911860 03/05/21 02:43 PM
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i've caught a few on small mepps spinners...00 ,,, 01 sizes

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Re: Tilapia question. [Re: fish hard for fun] #13912816 03/06/21 04:09 AM
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I have caught several on a sinking muddler minnow pattern and a few on a bass popper.

Re: Tilapia question. [Re: fish hard for fun] #13912879 03/06/21 09:16 AM
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We have a River otter in the lake that’s been bringing the dead ones up on our shore. Most are good sized ones et least this big.

Re: Tilapia question. [Re: fish hard for fun] #13916956 03/10/21 01:00 AM
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Key there is small flies.

Re: Tilapia question. [Re: fish hard for fun] #13918557 03/11/21 07:06 AM
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Interesting how many fly-caught reports there are.

Are tilapia mostly a low-probability, by-catch species? Would you catch a hundred bluegill to one t-lap?

Re: Tilapia question. [Re: fish hard for fun] #13918578 03/11/21 09:14 AM
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Might depend on what’s in the particular body of water. As tilapia numbers rise, possibly at some point bluegill and other sunfish numbers fall. In my experience, the sunfish types are much more aggressive feeders than the tilapia I’ve come across. There might be water bodies that tilapia are the most numerous and then maybe easier to catch.

I tend to fish patterns at the large end of the what a bluegill or sunfish can eat, but even then I get some pretty small bluegill. I’ve never caught a small tilapia like that, The few times I fish small nymph flies I get all bluegill/sunfish, mostly smallish ones. The only tilapia, not very many, I’ve gotten have been over a pound and those have been on size 6-8 woolly buggers or crawfish types. But, tilapia numbers during the time I have fished on the lake have varied a ton. A large population of tilapia initially for a few months, then years of cold water decimated numbers, with a partial and gradual rebound in numbers, then now once again a cold water wipe out.

Probably not an ideal time to set out on catching tilapia since the whole state recently got crushed by extra cold, tilapia killing weather

Re: Tilapia question. [Re: fish hard for fun] #13918637 03/11/21 01:02 PM
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Many years ago I had a trip -- just one -- where I was slaying T-lops in the discharge canal at Gibbons Creek Reservoir. I was throwing some big Poe's deep divers and catching them up to several pounds. Only time I ever encountered them there, but the discharge canal was always a last resort for me on GCR. Now I encounter them in a few of the private waters I fish, but other than one pond that had some huge ones until the last freeze, they're mostly under a pound. Where I often find them, in our drainage district facility, the sunfish and Rio Grande cichlids are generally much more eager to feed than the T-lops. I often make numerous casts to the larger T-lops, which get ignored 98% of the time. The Rios and sunnies will race each other for the fly. Again, I get an occasional eat on a small streamer, but it's usually a small weighted nymph that brings home the bacon.

Re: Tilapia question. [Re: fish hard for fun] #13927433 03/18/21 03:02 PM
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One difference in comparisons, and correct me if I am wrong, tilapia are still a Texas catch-and-kill fish.

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