What's hot: Nighttime fishing for redfish, trout and even a few snook has been excellent. Beat the heat and become nocturnal to find these inshore fish during their best feeding moods of the day. Large specimens of each species can often be caught in the same areas.
Tackle and techniques: Medium-heavy spinning tackle is necessary on these trips because there is a good chance of encountering large snook. Their numbers are significantly down after the frigid January temperatures, but some large snook have arrived in our region. Thirty-pound fluorocarbon leader will work for all three species. Fishing in the late afternoon or at twilight with a live bait will likely outperform a lure. Once all light is gone from the sky, artificial lures have the advantage. Five-inch, white or silk chartreuse soft-plastic lures rigged on a weedless jig head work well. Retrieve the lures at a steady pace for trout and redfish. For snook, add twitching to entice strikes.
Tip: Trout, redfish and snook will congregate in areas that have decent current flow, a food supply and contour changes. Particularly on the lower evening tides, all three species will settle into small holes or off the down-current edge of sandbars waiting for a meal to flush by. Handle snook with exceptional care, keeping them in the water as much as possible, and make a fast, healthy release.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at adventurekayak fishing.com or (727) 692-6345.