What's hot: Speckled trout action is in full swing. Unaffected by the cold temperatures to start the new year, speckled trout are feeding aggressively all over the Tampa Bay area. Medium and large trout have invaded shallower grass flats, and with the right game, dozens can be caught on a single outing.
Tips: A 7-foot medium light spinning outfit with a light main and leader line with a one-eighth-ounce jighead and a 3- to 5-inch plastic tail is all that is needed. Attach the jig to the leader line using a loop knot. Bending down the barbs of a jighead allows easy release of fish that won't be kept. The light main line translates to longer casts. Light leader gives a lure the best natural action. Use a retrieve technique that keeps the lures swimming slowly and smoothly just above the bottom. When you feel a light "thump" on the lure, lift the rod tip and reel until the fish is hooked. Trout will be very active during peak times of tidal movement. Areas with turtle grass with patches of sand from 4 to 10 feet deep will have plenty of trout. The search for really big trout is a shallower situation. The largest are often caught while targeting redfish in depths of less than 2 feet.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the bay area and can be reached at adventurekayakfishing.com or (727) 692-6345.