What's hot: Speckled trout action has become easy with many longer than 20 inches being caught. They are more cooperative and aggressive during cooler months.
Tackle and techniques: To improve casting distance, use medium to ultralight rods with light leader. Trout fall for 3-inch paddle tails or 5-inch jerkbaits on light jigheads when presented slowly and smoothly, the bait traveling just above the bottom. Use the rod tip to move the lure with a gentle lifting motion. In shallower water, topwater lures are a great option. It is a thrill to have monster trout slurping and pounding away at a plug. Stick to water no deeper than 2½ feet.
Tips: Early mornings and late afternoons are usually best, especially if matched with maximum water movement. But action can be good during the middle of the day with decent tidal flow. Trout frequent areas of mixed sea grass and sandy bottoms. For the biggest fish, concentrate on depths of 2 feet and shallower. Speckled trout have soft mouths. They feed by squeezing down on their prey with fang teeth. Lift the rod tip higher when the strike is felt, and they will hook themselves.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com and (727) 692-6345.