What's hot: Targeting trout in deep water is best after a strong cold front. When the water temperature drops into the upper 50s, most of the trout will move to the warmer waters of the deep holes. Areas to target are deep holes close to the flats, residential canals and the mouths of rivers. The holes near the flats that run 6 to 12 feet deep are the ones to target. Residential canals that have a southern exposure will have the warmest water temperature. Fish the northern side of the canal. This area will have the least water movement and blockage from the wind. The turns of a river mouth will have a deep dropoff and good area for the trout to find a food supply. Look for the trout to move into the shallows closest to a hole during the warmest part of the day. They will lie in 1 foot of water and spook if not approached quietly.
Tactics: Fish the deep holes near the flats and the residential canals with a sinking hard-body plug or a jig that is heavy enough to reach the bottom. The hard-body plug should have a white or gold side that flashes when the sun hits it. The best approach is to reel the plug slowly across the bottom while twitching the rod tip every few cranks of the reel. This will make the plug turn on its side and flash when the sun hits it. The same approach will work around the river mouth. Remember to work the lures as slowly as possible to give the slow-to-feed trout time to strike the lure.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.