What's hot: The shallow-water fishing is excellent for a mix of redfish and speckled trout. There have been high winds over the past several weeks. But by selecting the right location, trips have yielded excellent action on both species.
Tackle: Medium spinning tackle with light fluorocarbon leader and a variety of plastic lures is all that is necessary. Rig up 3-inch paddle tail plastics on eighth-ounce jigheads, and rig up 5-inch tails on a weedless jighead. If you take along a third rod, consider a topwater lure or gold spoon.
Techniques: The redfish of spring are the most easily spooked. Eliminate unnecessary noise, and stealthily move into the shallows with seagrass bottom to begin the search. Make long casts, and get the lure moving immediately, using the rod tip to control the lure and give it a realistic motion. When there is a solid "thump" on the lure, set the hook and feel the power of the redfish. Stay on the move, but be ready to quietly stake out your boat or kayak if you find the fish. The sand or mud bottom "troughs" that are surrounded by shallower grass will hold large speckled trout. It is not unusual to catch very large trout and redfish in the same locations at this time of year. These particular locations are usually oyster encrusted bottoms near the mangroves.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com or (727) 692-6345.