What's hot: The past two cold fronts have dropped the water temperature and pushed the trout off the flats. The trout have moved into deep holes closest to the flats and residential canals that have little water movement. When you find a hole that's holding trout, you'll probably find a good number of them. The best holes will be 6 to 12 feet deep.
Tackle: Rods should be rigged with 6- to 10-pound line and a 20-pound leader. Use a jig that's heavy enough to reach the bottom. Drag the jig along the bottom slowly. The best colors have been strawberry and motor oil. When the water is clear, use the lightest line and leader. Braided line has the most sensitivity to feel the bite.
Tips: Drift the edges of the hole and don't anchor until you start catching trout. Most of the trout will be belly on the bottom. Make sure your jig is on the bottom by stopping every few cranks of the reel during the retrieve. The old saying is, "When you think you're reeling slow, slow it down some more." The best holes are next to the dropoff of the flats. The most productive canals have a mud bottom and a southern exposure. Also, look for canals that have little or no water movement. They will have the warmest water temperatures.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.