What's hot: Fishing topwater lures for snook, redfish and speckled trout is a great option for early mornings, dusk or nighttime. Ladyfish will often crash these lures as well and add to the action.
Tackle and techniques: Medium to heavy spinning tackle with a 25-pound fluorocarbon leader with the topwater lure of your choice will do the job. Floating weeds tangling on topwater treble hooks can often be a problem on the flats, so have an additional "weedless" jerkbait rigged weightless. Find areas with good current flow and water that is no more than 3 feet deep. Learn to work the lure with a steady and smooth "side-to-side" action. The game fish will regularly attack the lure several times. Continue to work the lure as this occurs. The fish will often hook themselves as they slash at the surface lure.
Safety: Anglers are most often hooked by lures with multiple treble hooks. Take the time to mash down the barbs on these hooks; then it's much easier to remove the hook from a hand, clothing and the fish. Many of these incidents occur when an angler is trying to remove a fish from a hook. Use a tool such as pliers or a hemostat. It helps to the hands a safe distance from the hooks.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at adventurekayak fishing.com or (727) 692-6345.