The Tampa Bay Times
Anymore: You have to just do the best you can. Opportunities have been the most challenging I have ever seen since I have lived here. In two weeks, a seasonal change: How much will that bring it back? There are fish to be caught. Maybe not in the number and size you are used to. The best planning and a little bit of luck, you can still have some good results out there. What to do? Well, you can drive a ways and get some results. Or you can stick around here and “adapt.” Be resilient: Succeed. Maybe it will get easier again.
Trout have been easy but they have been “summertime trout.” The size of trout caught should improve significantly with the approach of weather. Soft plastic tails on a 1/8-ounce jighead are king but to tempt a really large trout, splash topwater lures over grassbeds that are 2 to 2 and a half feet deep.
Pompano have been a weird one. The ones caught: Miles away from where they are usually caught. They’re there, but can you find them? If you can find them, you have great fishing trips.
Redfish were seasonally a better option with oversize breeder fish inshore for four weeks. That is diminishing. If it isn’t over already, it’s close and you have to wait until next September to catch a giant one. “Broadcast” spawners, they only come inshore in September. The smaller redfish have been tough for five years. Things have changed. It just isn’t the same.
Ladyfish and jacks provide some action. One solid front: Silver trout and whiting become an easy target. Using a pompano jig and teaser, these are easy to catch when they are in. Use ultra-light tackle and enjoy. No regulations: I put them on the smoker whole and I make fish spread out of them. So underutilized, it doesn’t bother me to keep them.