What's hot: For rod-bending action, there is a potpourri of species around the bay area with redfish and fat trout supplemented by silver trout, whiting and pompano.
Tackle: Medium-spinning tackle with light fluorocarbon leader and a variety of plastic lures work well on a majority of species. But for fun, scale down to a rod and reel for silver trout, speckled trout and whiting. Use jigheads of one-eighth of an ounce with 3- to 5-inch plastic tails for redfish, trout and silver trout. Use pompano jigs for the whiting and pompano (preferably yellow with a pink fly "teaser").
Techniques: Redfish and the largest trout will be in 1-2 feet of water. Make long casts and work lures just above the bottom. Slot-sized trout will be in 4-7 feet with thick sea grass bottoms. Pompano are best at the bridges of south Tampa Bay. Silver trout and whiting can be caught around nearly all gulf passes, the edges of boat channels and off the beaches. They are easily tricked by using small jigs bounced off the bottom. If jigs don't work, whiting are caught easily on freshly dead or frozen shrimp placed on a size 2 hook and enough weight to reach the bottom.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com and (727) 692-6345.