What's hot: A warming trend after a stretch of cold nights will lead to excellent fishing. Trout, sheepshead and redfish will be eager to do some feeding, but until water temperatures climb, adjustments must be made for successful outings.
Tackle and techniques: Finding the fish is critical. Canals, deeper rivers, creeks and docks are the best places to start. Medium spinning tackle is appropriate for all three species. For sheepshead, which will be on almost every craggy structure, use a No. 1 or 1/0 hook on 20-pound fluorocarbon leader with just enough weight added to take a shrimp or a fiddler crab down to the structure. Leave the bait in place until you feel the line moving, then set the hook. Redfish will possibly grab these baits before a sheepshead finds them. Other venues for redfish will be on the flats, but many of them might sit in deeper water than they would when conditions are warmer. Instead of the 1-foot depth, look for redfish in 2 to 3 feet. Speckled trout action will be excellent. With big morning low tides this week, large trout should be in good schools in the deepest troughs on otherwise waterless flats.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at adventurekayakfishing.com or (727) 692-6345.