What's hot: The water temperature keeps going up and down. This makes fish on the flats move every few days. Areas that had trout before a cold front were empty afterward.
Tactics: The best action was motor oil jigs dragged close to the bottom. Jigs with red sparkles got the most strikes. Start upwind of the area you want to fish and drift until you start catching fish. Then anchor the boat and fan cast the area until you stop catching fish.
Tackle: Rods rigged with 10-pound braided line will cast farther and draw more strikes. A 2-foot piece of 15-pound leader in front of the jig is mandatory. Make sure you can feel the weight of the jig when retrieving. This will help you feel the strike. Don't pull back to set the hook. With a quick snap of the rod tip, move the tip toward the fish then back. In the lower parts of Tampa Bay the hot colors are strawberry, motor oil and white. In Clearwater and farther north, any color that has green in it will work.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.