What's hot: Many inshore species are adapting to the first cold snap of the season. The sudden drop in water temperature pushed a lot of trout and redfish into skinny water. The water column in the shallows heats up quicker. If it warms up this weekend, as forecast, speckled trout should bite throughout St. Joseph Sound.
What else: Though schools of bigger trout haven't emerged yet, the flats leading into estuaries and creeks are holding solid numbers that can be caught throwing artificials. Soft, plastic jerk baits and suspending lures work well on incoming tides. The key to working any type of lure right now is to slow it to a crawl and give these specks time to ambush the offering. The deeper water between the spoil islands has some sandy pockets with fish ready to feed. A select-sized shrimp rigged with a split shot above the hook should sink and hold the bait on the bottom for a productive presentation.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.