What's hot: Finally the temperatures are beginning to cooperate, yet the wind has not let up and will be strong throughout this week. Spring-like weather with cool mornings and a warming sun midday has turned on a shallow water gator-trout bite. Stealth and patience are needed to find these big trout sunning on the flats; they seem to rest until a bait is presented. An overlooked bait of choice is a small pinfish under a small cork. Present it softly past the sighted trout and slowly reel it within sight. This time of year it is best to sleep in and wait for warmth and a moving tide to attempt sight fishing for these huge female trout.
Techniques: Fish it slow, and do so even slower if you are using an artificial soft plastic. Cooler water temps keep fish from being frisky and chasing arties. The best bet this time of year is live shrimp or small pinfish presented softly into the water and brought back to the fish. Use light line and light leader.
Tips: Find moving, clean water with thick grass beds with sporadic sandy potholes. Watch not only for trout but tailing redfish; they are beginning to gather in larger groups and will eagerly take the same baits. Use stealth in your approach.
Jackie Otto can be reached at Betts Fishing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 518-7637.