Redfish action has increased all over the region, while big wintertime trout is also a great option, if you know where to go. It is a prime time to catch both species on lures. Patterns have been somewhat inconsistent for redfish but exactly what you would expect for trout. Medium to medium-light rod and reel outfits with 20-pound fluorocarbon leader and your favorite soft plastic jig is all you need to target both species. Jighead choices can be weedless or standard, and most anglers will lean toward a lighter jighead. Plastic tail choices are 3-inch swimbaits in gold or white for redfish and 5-inch jerkbait tails in root beer, green, gold and white for trout. For redfish, the best advice is to search the shallows. Moving quietly across the areas closest to shorelines provides the best odds for intercepting this species. When you spot your target, stay back and make long casts to that location and bring the lure back slow and steady. The speckled trout are being caught in much different locations than they normally would be. While they may return to the shallower grassy areas, right now it is best to seek them deeper. It has been a tough winter overall, so many trout have moved to the bridges and canals. That same jig finessed down will locate large trout that are holding deeper right now.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com and (727) 692-6345.