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It's a great time to target trout in the Tampa Bay area

If the world doesn't end today, as the Mayan calendar predicts, you should pull out your light-tackle rig and go catch some spotted sea trout. The bite is on and the fishing will only get better with each successive cold front.

Winter is prime time to use artificial lures. But you can never have too many plugs and jigs in your tackle box. So with just a few days left before Christmas, here are a few of my favorites that will make great stocking stuffers for some lucky angler.

Terry's top three

MirrOlure MR17-GBC, $7.99

This suspending twitch bait sinks about 12 inches below the surface and will prove deadly in sandy potholes on the grass flats.

Paul Brown Little Devil Pink, $9.99

If your goal is to catch huge trout, this little devil will get it done. It works best over patchy bottom or over potholes.

Paul Brown Original Black and Purple, $9.99

This suspending twitch bait sinks quickly, so it is a good choice on the deeper flats and around docks. This bait catches big trout.

For the novice

DOA Deadly Combo, $5.99

A great choice for the beginner or children, this bait will catch small, medium and big trout. It is very easy to use.

Trout Master Tandem Lures, $2.19

A longtime favorite with anglers, these jigs are reminiscent of the Love Lure, which is no longer in production. This bait covers a lot of ground and will catch two trout a time.

All-around favorites

Slayer Inc. Sinister series baits, $4.99

This soft plastic is a great choice if you want to cover some serious ground on shallow or deep flats. Don't be surprised if it catches other species as well. Other color choices: Houdini, black and gold, molting and root beer.

Slayer Inc. Jig Heads, $3.99

This company uses quality hooks, which combined with the perfectly shaped lead head complements any soft plastic. The one-eighth-ounce and quarter-ounce are ideal weights for this area. Most local anglers prefer a red or white head.

Heddon Zara Spooks, $7.59 to $9.49

These baits are the best topwater plugs for trout. The Spook Jr. and the One Knocker Spook have caught their share of giant yellow-mouth gator trout.

Mirrolure Lil John Plastics, $4.29

A veritable guided missile for trout, this bait casts far and always finds its mark. Top colors: pink, gold, golden bream and watermelon red glitter.

Runner Up

Pro Cure Super Gel Attractant, $6.49

A few drops on any lure will increase your chances of success. Some top scents are shrimp, menhaden and inshore.

Source: Dogfish Tackle Co., 8750 Park Blvd., No. 102, Seminole. Call (727) 393-2102.

It's a great time to target trout in the Tampa Bay area 12/20/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 20, 2012 8:06pm]
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