What's hot: The gulf's water temperature has dropped significantly recently. One week, it was in the 80s, the next the lower 70s. That has caused speckled sea trout to become a reliable target. The great thing about trout fishing is there are other species that can be caught to provide fast action.
Tactics: Believe it or not, wind can be your friend when targeting sea trout. It allows you to set up a drift on a deep grass flat and target a large area. On sunny days, it is easy to locate deep grass. The darker patches are the grassy areas, lighter areas the sandy bottom. I stay away from the sandy bottom because it usually does not produce. On cloudy days, I will use my bottom machine. A sandy bottom is a flat line. Deep grass will have a thick, jagged line. All grass flats have "sand holes." I will work the edges and the middle of these holes. Trout always linger on the edges of the holes waiting to ambush prey.
Tackle: Light 10-pound braided line with a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader will provide long casts. I like to cast with the wind and cover as much water as possible. A red quarter-ounce jig head rigged with a root beer paddle tail grub is deadly for trout. Eel and minnow type plastic tails also will produce. Use super glue to attach the tail to the jig head. This will get a few more uses out of the soft plastic baits.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit www.captainrobgorta.com.