What's hot: The past two cold fronts will drop the water temperature and push the trout off the flats. The trout will move into deeper holes closest to the flat and into residential canals that have little water movement. When you locate a hole holding trout, you'll probably find them in good numbers. The best holes will be 6 to 12 feet deep.
Tackle: Rig rods with 6- to 10-pound line and a 20-pound leader. Use a jig heavy enough to reach the bottom. Drag the jig along the bottom as slowly as possible. The best colors have been strawberry and motor oil. When the water is clear use the lightest line and leader possible. Braided line has the most sensitivity to feel the bite.
Tips: Drift the edges of the hole and anchor when you start catching trout. Most trout will be belly on the bottom. Make sure your jig is on the bottom by stopping during the retrieve every few cranks of the reel. The old saying is, "when you think you're reeling slow, slow it down some more." The best holes are next to the dropoff of the flats. The most productive canals have a mud bottom and a southern exposure. Also, look for canals that have little or no water movement. They have the warmest water.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.