What's hot: The winter usually brings the larger spawning speckled trout migration to inshore waters. With unseasonably warm weather over the last month, the breeder-size trout have been slow to make it to the usual destinations, such as the spoil islands off St. Joseph Sound. The fish seem to be holding in deeper water adjacent to these rock banks. Schools of 50 or more are staying in water 5 feet or deeper. The good news is these predators are less cautious and will strike lures and plastics with aggression.
Tactics: In deeper water, a quarter-ounce jig head can give anglers a better feel for the bottom, where the trout are holding. A long cast with a slow retrieve bumping the jig along will bring more hookups. Darker colors , such as turtle grass and root beer, silhouette better on overcast days and look more natural. Be sure to reel quickly after the hook is set because these fish will run right at the boat and get off if there is slack in the line.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.