Speckled trout, easily our most prolific species, are being caught in large numbers. In the right location, there are large fish. Trout to 26 inches have been caught with a lot of upper-slot fish prevalent. Trout are easily light-tackle targets. Lures are all that’s necessary. One-eighth-ounce jigheads with plastic tails work exceptionally well. Make long casts and swim lures at a slower speed. The fish are going to be over areas that have seagrass bottom. To tempt the largest trout, use topwater lures. Depths of 2-5 feet are the best locations to target trout. Areas farther up Tampa Bay, fish around oyster bars at higher tides. The legal limit is four fish per angler at 15-20 inches, though one of the four can be more than 20 inches. My personal size recommendation: only keep trout 16-20 inches. I release all oversized trout and the “barely legal” fish. It should not be difficult to find some upper-slot trout.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com and (727) 692-6345.