What's hot: All ages can enjoy catching spotted sea trout. When I take families with children fishing, I make sure we get on a good trout bite. These fish have been holding all season on the grass flats inside the passes where the water moves well with the tides. Also, deeper swash channels along the beach are great places to find trout, snook and even redfish.
Tips: Having the right bait is always important. Although trout chase and eat artificial baits, I like to have a livewell full of sardines, especially with kids aboard. Depending on the size of the bait, use a 1/0 or 2/0 circle hook. A long cast is recommended so the angler can cover as much area as possible. In summer, we often target the deeper portion of the flats with sandy holes throughout. Trout attack baits that are exposed over the sand, making them an easy target. A floating cork with 3-4 feet of leader is a fun way to see the action. However, on clear days with a high midday sun, free-lining might be better for shy fish along the bottom. Be prepared to hook several other species such as Spanish mackerel, flounder, jacks, ladyfish and even small sharks.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 or through his website at captbrian.com.