What's hot: Full moon tides and cooler water will get speckled trout bunched up at hard-shell bottom roll-offs along spoil islands and nearshore structures (jetties and small reefs) along the beaches.
Tactics: Get to the bait shop early enough to get quality-sized shrimp. Handpicked or select-sized shrimp free-lined with an upcurrent cast can fool larger trout. In rough conditions, a small split shot helps the bait get the proper depth during its drift.
Tips: Silver trout can be found along the beach as close in as the sea buoys and as far out as a couple of hundred yards. Tandem jigs in pink, white and chartreuse work great. But like speckled trout, silvers don't freeze well.
Sheepshead: Windy days are becoming the norm, making sheepshead a good option. Action has been good along bridge fenders, pilings and deep, residential docks near the passes. Shrimp, fiddler crabs and barnacles work well. Scraping barnacles off the pilings helps get the fish to feed, especially on cold days.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email [email protected]