What's hot: Remarkable catches of large speckled trout are coming during low-light hours. Early morning or dusk outings will yield the best results. Many of the fish will likely be big, heavy, egg-filled females. These larger trout fight with a great deal more energy than the smaller fish, thrashing and pulling line after being hooked.
Tackle and techniques: Trout eat a variety of offerings, but all you need to trick these fish right now is a light jighead, 1/8 to 1/16 ounce, with a soft-plastic tail. Medium to ultralight spinning tackle with a light fluorocarbon leader is perfect.
Locating trout is usually a matter of drifting across vast grassy-bottom areas. Most trout schools will be at depths of 4 feet or more. Quietly get the anchor down once a school is found. Make long casts and ease the lure down near the bottom. If lures are kept running straight and smooth just above the bottom, the trout will strike when they see them. Bending down the barb makes the release of undersize, oversize or unwanted fish much easier.
A member of the drum family, the biggest trout are not as appealing to eat and are more likely to be full of eggs. The smaller "slot" fish in the 15- to 20-inch range are a much better food value.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at adventurekayakfishing.com or (727) 692-6345.