What's hot: Speckled sea trout are a reliable target this time of year. The grass flats are usually empty because of extreme low tides. This will cause higher concentrations of fish on edges, and in deeper grass flats that still have water over them. The nice thing about trout fishing? No live bait is needed. A few select artificial baits are all I need.
Favorite artificial baits: A number of lures work great for sea trout. A red quarter-ounce jig head with eyes painted on it, rigged with a soft plastic tail, is my favorite. A heavier jig sinks too fast, a lighter jig doesn't cast as far, and so I have grown to like a quarter-ounce jig head. My choices of colors for tails are root beer, white, electric chicken and chartreuse. The tail can be a shrimp lookalike, eel type, paddle tail grub, or a minnow type with a swimming tail. Trout like to shake their head vigorously out of the water when they are hooked, so I use super glue to keep the tail in place. Top water plugs are my next favorite. They provide an impressive strike on the surface, but there are a lot of misses. Fish get lazy and don't strike again if they miss the plug. I remove the front treble hook on the lure to prevent it from snagging the main line and to provide an easier release.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.