What's hot: Great concentrations of large trout and "middle slot" redfish are being caught in many locations around the bay area. On successive casts, both can be caught if anglers are in the right locations.
Tackle: The same outfits work for both with medium spinning outfits and a light fluorocarbon leader. Lures can vary with jigheads of one-eighth ounces and topwater lures. But also keep a weedless jighead available for thicker turtle grass in shallow locations. Smaller baits (3 inches) usually work best. But larger trout might want a 5-inch plastic tail. Color might matter. If your normal choices don't work, try darker ones such as root beer or motor oil that better resemble foods they consume during winter.
Techniques: Locate fish in areas far from human-related noises with water less than 2 feet deep and a mix of sand, grass and mud bottom. After quietly moving in on the fish, make long casts, then move the lures slowly so they cruise just above the bottom. With cooler water at this time of year, lures moved too fast will not be attacked. Unlike smaller trout found in deeper water, those bigger than 22 inches will fight with power. You might not know right away if you have hooked a trout or redfish.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com and (727) 692-6345.