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Inshore fishing in winter can prove difficult. Finding large concentrations of fish is key and often they are not where you expect. Recently I targeted dock lights after dark until 10-11 and found a good number of silver trout, sea trout, redfish and an occasional snook.

Use light line and tandem-rigged \-ounce soft-tailed jigs close to the bottom to keep busy catching trout. White- or glow-colored jig bodies worked slowly seem to work best. For snook and redfish I use medium to heavy spinning tackle, 20-pound test line with a 2-foot shock leader and a small barrel swivel connected to 18 inches of No. 4 wire leader.

Use gold, long-bodied, rattling crankbaits worked as close to the structure as possible. When you hook up, muscle that fish away quickly or you won't have it on for long. Try not to handle the snook too long and release as soon as possible. The cooler water temperature slows metabolism, so the less stress, the better on the fish.

_ Dan Brooks charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 867-7856 or e-mail