What's hot: The open flats of Tampa Bay are prime territory for achieving the "Inshore Slam." Transitioning away from the beaches and passes for action, anglers should consider a shift to the shallow grass flats. Redfish are more cooperative with the arrival of autumn. Snook are patrolling the shallows, and speckled trout are responding to a slight drop in water temperature.
Tackle and techniques: With the change of seasons, the fish will again feed into the middle of the day if there is good tidal movement. To target all three, use medium heavy spinning tackle with a 25-pound fluorocarbon leader. Three-inch paddle tail style jigs might trick all three species. But larger 5- to 6-inch lures will tempt the largest fish. Have a "weedless" jighead option available as floating grass is usually encountered at this time of year.
Tips: While snook, redfish and trout can be caught in a single location,snook and redfish are more likely to found in shallower water On the lower tides (in depths of about 11/2 to 2 feet), try areas with a grass bottom and sand patches toward the outside of the flats. On higher tides (in depths of at least 3 feet), move closer to the mangrove shorelines for trout, which feed best during the first two hours after sunrise.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at adventurekayakfishing.com or (727) 692-6345.