What's hot: Speckled sea trout have long been a favorite of many anglers along Florida's west coast. Sea trout are easier to find and not as difficult to catch, and they will eat just about anything thrown at them. Every year keeps getting better after the bout of Red Tide a few years ago.
Bait: Scaled sardines have filled the well throughout winter. Watch the bottom machine and look for clouds of bait right off the bottom. Idle upcurrent and upwind, using a cast net. A large cast net can be hard to throw, so use the three-part method. If throwing a cast net is not your thing, then stop at a bait shop to buy a few dozen select-sized shrimp. Use a popping cork to keep the baits out of the grass. To locate fish, use a jig rigged with a soft plastic tail. Work a lot of area to find fish then switch to live bait to catch the larger gator trout.
Area: Low tides in the morning force anglers to work the edges of flats, which have deeper grass flats that have enough water and provide cover until the tide comes in. Once the water floods enough, target sandy potholes, working the edges of the holes where fish are waiting to ambush baits.
Rob Gorta can be reached at (727) 647-7606 or captainrobgorta.com.