What's hot: An unusually long period of cold weather and vigorous winds have made for challenging conditions. Trout is one of the species that will bite on crazy cold days. It will hang out in 6-15 feet. Channels adjacent to grass flats, and the mouths of some residential canals are a good place to look.
Tackle: Ultralight gear is ideal for winter trout fishing. Subtle strikes are easier to detect with downsized gear. The light stuff is way more fun when fighting fish as well.
Tactics: When fishing artificial lures, slow the retrieve to a crawl. This entices lethargic fish who would rather not use energy to chase something moving fast. This is also why live shrimp can be so deadly at this time of year. They are an easy meal, and just about all fish in Tampa Bay will eat one.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531 or visit fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.