What's hot: Artificial lures have been most productive for me this year. Cold fronts make the conditions difficult to target snook and reds, so I fish the deep grass flats and edges of shallow flats. These areas hold schools of trout, ladyfish, jacks, pompano and sharks. Jigs are my favorite artificial lure; they cover a lot of territory and catch a variety of fish.
Cold fronts: Higher winds produce ideal conditions for trout fishing. I use my bottom machine to locate grass flats in 3 to 5 feet of water. I motor to the edge of the flat upwind and deploy a sea anchor. The anchor slows my drift and allows for more effective coverage of the area. If I have a productive drift, I head back upwind and use my GPS track to arrange the next drift. The Fort De Soto area has a lot of sandbars, so I target the edges of these areas.
Tackle: Light tackle can make trout fishing more enjoyable. I use a 10-braided line (size of 2-pound diameter) with a 20-pound camouflage leader and quarter-ounce red jig head with a soft-plastic bait. I use a super glue to hold the tail on the jig. There are many plastic tails; it is just a matter of preference. Root beer and white are my favorite colors.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.