It is prime time for catching quality trout, our most abundant fish, pretty cooperative and easy to catch most of the time. Make long casts and move lures slowly to connect with big Tampa Bay trout. Lures work just as well as bait for trout. Go with the lightest tackle you have. Light leader, light lures — set up equipment for making long casts and working the light lures through as much water as possible. You need to be over seagrass bottom, where trout live. Water depths will range from 3-7 feet. Use ?-ounce jigheads with 5- to 6-inch jerkbait tails for best results. Big trout will also fall for topwater lures the next few months. They make decent table fare; anglers can keep four trout that are 15-20 inches. One of the four can be more than 20 inches, though my rule is that anything more than 20 inches goes back. The slot fish eat better, and the big-fish putback promotes a trophy fishery.

Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at and (727) 692-6345.

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