What's hot: Speckled trout are one of the most reliable targets this time of year. The flats are empty because of extremely low tides during the day. This causes higher concentrations of fish on the edges and the deeper grass flats that still have water over them. The nice thing is you don't need live bait, just a few select artificials.
Tackle: There are a number of lures out there that work well for sea trout. A red quarter-ounce jig head with eyes painted on it, rigged with a soft-plastic tail is my absolute favorite. My choices of colors for the tails are root beer, white and chartreuse. The tail can be a shrimp look-alike, an eel type, paddletail grub or a minnow type with a swimming tail. A trout shakes its head vigorously out of the water when it is hooked, so use strong-bonding glue to keep the tail in place. I like topwater plugs next. They provide an impressive strike on the surface, although there are a lot of misses. Lazy fish don't strike again if they miss.
What else: Flounder have been a surprise this fall while targeting trout. Sand holes that hold trout have been producing legal-size flounder. There is no special method for catching flounder, which hit the same lures for trout.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.