What's hot: Speckled trout populations in the Tampa Bay area have returned to the levels seen pre-Red Tide 2005. The big, fat trout of early 2010 are a year older, providing of a lot of catches of trout longer than 23 inches, a size that makes them fight more like their cousin, the redfish.
Tackle: When targeting these trout, select an outfit that allows you to cast light lures a long distance. A 7-foot, medium-power, fast-action graphite rod with a series 2000 or 2500 reel is perfect. Spool it with a small-diameter main line and tie on a 2-foot length of 10- to 17-pound fluorocarbon leader. At the end of the leader use a loop knot to hold 1/8- to 1/16-ounce jigheads with 3- to 5-inch plastic tails.
Technique: Lighter lures are an advantage. Fire long casts and move the lures slowly enough to be running just above the bottom, regardless of depth. The lighter lures provide an action that is more realistic and enticing to the trout. With the water temperatures remaining cool, slow the pace of the retrieve even more if you are not getting strikes. Trout will bang away at the lure several times before they hit the hook. They go berserk once you have them on.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com or (727) 692-6345.