What's hot: The gulf water temperature has dropped significantly recently. Last week the water was in the lower 80s, this week it is in the high 60s, warming to the low 70s in the afternoon. The drop in temperature has made the speckled sea trout fishing a reliable target. Redfish have been on the move, so sea trout has saved me on many charters this past week.
Tactics: Wind can be your friend when targeting sea trout. It allows you to set up a drift on a deep grass flats, so a large area can be targeted. On sunny days, it is easy to locate deep grass. The darker patches are the grassy areas and lighter areas are sandy bottom. I stay away from the sandy bottom; it usually does not produce the desired catch. On cloudy days, I 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 work the edges and the middle of these holes. Trout linger on the edges of these 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.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.