What's hot: Gulf water temperature has dropped significantly recently. One week the water was in the 80s, the next it was in the lower 70s. That has caused speckled sea trout to become a reliable target. The great thing about trout is there are other species that can be caught to provide fast action.
Tactics: Wind can be your friend when targeting sea trout. Set up a drift on a deep grass flats, so a large area can be targeted. On sunny days, it is easy to locate deep grass. Darker patches are the grassy areas; lighter areas are sandy bottom, which I avoid. On cloudy days, I use my bottom machine. A sandy bottom is a flat line. Deep grass will have a thick, jagged line. Grass flats have "sand holes". I work the edges and the middle of these holes. Trout linger on the edges of these holes waiting to ambush prey.
Tackle: Light 10-pound braided line with a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader will provide long casts. I cast with the wind and cover as much water as possible. A red quarter-ounce jig head rigged with a root beer paddle tail grub is deadly for trout. Eel and minnow-type plastic tails also produce good numbers of fish. Use a super glue to attach the tail to the jig head; this will get a few more uses out of the soft plastic baits.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at captainrobgorta.com or (727) 647-7606.