What's hot: Cold water redfish are active, chasing and eating lures aggressively. Great sport on light to medium tackle, wintertime redfish are a great battle. With large flounder and great speckled trout in the shallows, this leads to a great mixed bag of action.
Tackle and techniques: In the clear waters of winter, downsize your leader to no heavier than 20-pound fluorocarbon. Move quietly around the flats. Concentrate on areas 1-2 feet in depth. Make long casts with the lightest jigheads and 3- to 5-inch plastic tails. Keeping the rod tip high, finesse the lure back to you at a steady, slow pace. Redfish will chase and thump the lure so set the hook when you feel the take. There is a daily bycatch of trout and flounder. A mostly mild start to winter, flounder have remained inshore in good size and numbers. Flounder have been caught on the sand patches of nearly all depths lately. The very largest trout are caught in the shallows where redfish are found. The bigger concentrations of trout have shifted to deeper areas inside Tampa Bay. Many redfish schools also shifted to areas well inside the bay.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com and (727) 692-6345.