What's hot: This week's fishing has been good, especially spotted sea trout. Shrimp have produced, and there are a few places in my area still holding sardines. Deeper edges of the flats and the spoil islands around Dunedin have held large schools of trout. Typically, larger trout will chase a bigger bait, but even the smaller ones will make an extra effort to swallow a large bait. When detecting a bite, give the fish a couple of seconds to get the bait down before reeling. Circle hooks ensure the hook will set near the corner of the mouth, making the release easier.
Tip: Drifting flats from Clearwater to Palm Harbor using artificial baits is producing trout. An eighth-ounce jig with a chartreuse jerk worm works in clearer waters, darker colors in murky waters. The fish over grass flats in 3-6 feet often are smaller than the size limit of 15 inches. Look for changing depths along the flat to hold fish. Work the jigs slowly near the bottom, especially as the water cools.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and through his website at captbrian.com.