The Tampa Bay Times
January started out decent. It ended badly. High winds and very cool temperatures made getting out fishing near impossible. The very few opportunities to get out, the action has been excellent. This time of year, large speckled trout are the best target and we have not had a problem intercepting trophy size fish. Five to six inch jerkbait style tails have been the best lure to use. Rigged on a 1/8-ounce jighead (or lighter) subsurface, these lures get eaten if you are in the trout. Areas that are fairly shallow are often as productive as deeper water. You want grass bottom. Rig up on light rods and reels with very light fluorocarbon leader. Make long casts and swim the lures straight and slow. Topwater lures might do well but the jig seems to be best this time of year. Trout remain closed so all must be released. Handle them with care so they survive the experience. They should reopen to harvest the middle of this year. When they do, new regulations will be in place. The new slot is 15 to 19 inches with a three fish limit. One of the three can be over 19 inches.