What's hot: It's a great time for the Sundown Slam: a snook, redfish and speckled trout caught during the same trip. Mature bait schools and rain-cooled waters have all three feeding on the stronger tides just before and after sunset.
Tackle and techniques: Medium-heavy spinning tackle is adequate. Presenting a soft plastic jig rigged on a one-eighth- or quarter-ounce jighead will produce strikes. A mullet-style tail works well for the redfish and trout the last two hours before sundown. When darkness settles in, switch to a lure that resembles a shrimp or a longer jerkbait-style tail. Move these lures so they are skimmed just off the bottom. A "Texas rig" or other weedless option keeps your lure free of the floating weeds. Set the hook when you feel the solid "thump" of these fish eating the lure.
Achieving the Slam: Target your redfish first, going into areas that are shallower and before twilight fades to darkness. Trout and snook are usually in deeper water and often feed more aggressively after the sun disappears. Keep moving to areas that have good current flow, spooking mullet and startled baitfish. Casts to sand patches and deeper troughs lead to snook strikes. Casting to the deeper seagrass beds gets you connected to the trout.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at adventurekayakfishing.com or (727) 692-6345.