What's biting: Not since before the terrible Red Tide outbreak of 2004 and 2005 has the speckled trout action been this good. Limits of keeper trout are the norm these days, and loads of undersized fish are being caught, signaling that the fish population is going to be healthy for years to come.
Lure selection: Topwater action for specs is phenomenal before the sun gets too high. Surface walkers such as the Zara Spook and Top Pup will draw strikes when others won't get even a look. When choosing a color, red head and white body is always a winner. A gold spoon is another lure trout can't resist. Stay away from weedless spoons; they'll leave you frustrated because most strikes don't get hooked. Instead, throw a quarter-ounce Capt. Mikes or Love's Lure gold spoon. Both have extra-strong treble hooks and come with a split ring and swivel to avoid line twist. Light jigs are the most versatile artificial to throw at trout. Eighth-ounce or lighter allows the jig to sink slower, offering a longer presentation in the strike zone. Root beer and motor oil with red glitter are hard to beat.
Tip: Two of the best trout-producing lures are the Love's Lure Float-n-Jig and the DOA Deadly Combo. They create tremendous amounts of noise and really bring in the trout.
Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 510-4376.