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CAPTAIN'S CORNER

What's hot: Speckled trout remain the top target in low-light conditions around the bay area. Trout of all sizes are eager to pounce on live or artificial bait, with bigger trout most likely to be caught on stronger tides around sunrise or sunset.

Tackle: Medium or ultralight rods and reels will suffice. Use a thin-braided main line with a light 10- to 20-pound fluorocarbon leader. And employ a loop knot to attach lures for the best action of artificial bait. Three-inch paddle tails or 5-inch jerk bait-style tails on an eighth-ounceor a quarter-ounce jighead work well. The light line allows long casts with light lures.

Targeting and techniques: With steadily rising water temperatures, think deeper for speckled trout. Move lures within inches of the sea grass bottom in depths of 3 to 11 feet. Setting up a good drift and being ready to anchor at a location after finding a school of fish is key to targeting trout over open flats. Bending down the barbs on lure hooks helps make releasing fish easier.

Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at (727) 692-6345 or strikethreekayakfishing.com.

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