Trout fishing has been my most productive target for the start of this New Year. Winter cold fronts and cold water are making conditions difficult to target snook and reds. Redfish are unaffected by colder water; the conditions are what make them hard to target. Strong winds from passing cold fronts make it hard to work the shallow water flats. The wave action will cause water to slap the hull, making a lot of noise. This will spook reds long before you even see them. On the other hand, Higher winds can make it ideal conditions for trout fishing. I will use my bottom machine to locate grass flats in 3 to 5 feet of water. Motor to the edge of the grass flat upwind and deploy a sea anchor. The anchor will slow a drift and allow for a more effective coverage of the area. If I have a good drift, I will run back upwind and use my GPS track to arrange the next drift. Fort Desoto, Tierra Verde, and Pinellas Point are all areas that have a lot of grass flats, so I will target the deeper flats around these landmarks. Light tackle can make trout fishing more enjoyable. 10-braided line (size of 2 lb. diameter) with 20 lb. camouflage leader and quarter ounce red jig head with a soft plastic bait is my favorite lure. There are many plastic tails out there; it is just a matter of preference. Root beer and white are my favorite colors.
Captain Rob Gorta