What's hot: When the water temperature dropped recently, most of the trout and mullet moved off the flats. Trout normally would move to the edge of the drop-off closest to the flat. They want warmer water more than a safe place to hang. I found good numbers of trout in areas they normally don't hang in. You had to be in 4 feet or deeper to locate the schools. The bigger trout stayed in the 4-foot zones closest to the flats. Once located, we were able to catch and release 100 trout in four hours.
Tackle: The best action came when using dark jigs worked close to the bottom. In some areas, the trout hit best when we used a slow lift-and-drop technique to give the trout more time to check out the lure. There were ladyfish hanging with the trout. They ripped the tails off the jig after a few casts. To combat this problem, we glued the tail to the jig head.
What's next? Now that the water temperature is slowly rising, look for trout to move closer to the drop-off or onto the flats. This time of the year you'll want to follow the rise and fall of the water temperature. It will help you locate the movement of the schools. When the temperature drops, move off the flats. When it warms, move back.
Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.