The Tampa Bay Times
Trout, trout, everywhere: It is easy to get into the action when trout are your target. They are one of our most cooperative species. The grassflats of Tampa Bay have a glut of speckled trout thanks to the species closure, in it’s second year. Truth be known, they didn’t need to be closed but with a zero harvest policy they are able to flourish. To me, the net result is bigger trout. Grass is the theme. You will find the most trout over grass bottom in depths of three feet or more. Topwater trout, thick grass that is two and a half feet deep. In deeper water, your favorite plastic tail on a 1/8-ounce jighead is tough to beat. Make long casts and move the lures down near the bottom. It is not unusual to catch 100 trout in a fairly short period of time. Learning the finesse of lures leads to great catches of trout. The “touch” required is keeping that lure running minimum speed without snagging the grass on the bottom. A weedless jighead can be utilized. Routinely, we are catching trout over 20 inches. A majority of the fish we have been catching are 13 to 15 inches but putting in your time, you will find larger fish. Winter approaching, things will change and the really big trout will move to the shallows. When will it happen? Time will tell. With trout: All must be released until they are reopened to harvest. When they reopen, new rules apply. It will be three fish, 15 to 19 inches. One of your three can be over 19 inches.