The Tampa Bay Times

The trout action:  Unreal.   If you hit the right spot at the right time of day, you will catch a lot of big trout.    My trips, one location has had nonstop action.    The five and six inch jigs on 1/8-ounce jigheads are all that we have used.   The closure of trout has increased the numbers but more importantly, they are getting bigger.    18 inch trout are a regular catch now.    Targeting and catching trout is not difficult.     Other than ladyfish and jacks, trout are our most cooperative species.   If you are into them, they eat pretty much regardless of the tide.     The finesse of trout fishing, you want to creep your lures down by the grass.   Grass is a key.     Most of my trout fishing locations are purely grass bottom.   The depth is normally around 3 to 4 feet.   Deeper grass is fine.   Shallower grass will hold big trout when winter gets here but right now, staying deeper is a better option.  I believe trout will reopen.  Regulations changed after decades of being mostly the same.    3 is the number you can keep in this region now.   The slot changed from 15 to 20 to 15 to 19.   One of your three fish can be over 19 inches long.   Trout breed year-round.   A sustained species, they can be harvested without fear of impacting the species.   Still, I adhere to a rule: I do not keep any of the overslot trout.  Released, the trout above 20 inches promotes a trophy fishery.   The slot size fish are just fine for eating.  

Neil charters kayak fishing trips around Tampa Bay and can be reached at 727-692-6345.

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