What's hot: Trout fishing is heating up. Most will be over the grass flats in depths of 2-4 feet. They like to hang out where the grass meets the sand. Larger trout are smart and stay near shallow water so they can move when the dolphins show up. Smaller trout will be farther out from the shallows. Topwater plugs and jigs worked while drifting is the fastest way to locate a school. Once you have found them, switch to live shrimp.
Tackle: Lightweight spinning reels and 4- to 10-pound rods are best for feeling the strike of a trout. Braided lines don't stretch and will give a better feel than mono for the strike. Topwater plugs work best at sunup and during overcast days. Jigs should be worked slowly across the bottom. Most trout will have their bellies on the sand. If you work the jig too fast, they won't see it. Shrimp can be free-lined or fished under a cork. Rig the cork so the shrimp is near the bottom. Use a small splitshot close to the hook to keep the shrimp from jumping when a trout moves in. Use popping corks. They have a cupped top that will put out the most noise when popped. Pop the cork every minute to help the trout locate the shrimp.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.