What's hot: After a two-month closed season, trout reopen to harvest in the south region on Saturday. Dismal weather and frigid water temperatures have yielded to much better conditions, creating a perfect scenario for large trout to feed.
Tackle: Three- to 5-inch plastic tails on one-eighth-ounce jigheads on medium or light spinning outfits work well. With the cold water, slow wins this game. Go during good tidal movement and try areas that are 3- to 8-feet deep. Sea grass bottom with sandy patches are great locations. On the lower tides, try the troughs that are surrounded by much shallower areas. Lures must be crept on or just above the bottom. A subtle "thump" is a trout eating the lure. Raise the rod tip and reel slowly to set the hook.
Tip: With the season open again, a fish that incurs extra stress can go on ice for dinner. But with bent-down barbs and leaving the fish in the water as much as possible, most will still go back into the ecosystem with just a new piercing in their lip. Trout must be between 15 and 20 inches, with a bag limit of four per angler. One of the four can be more than 20 inches in the south region.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com or (727) 692-6345.