Wintertime trout fishing has arrived. Our most prolific fish, the larger trout now outperform the smaller ones. It is pretty easy to get into a good school of slot-sized fish. They are not the hardest fighters, but they are dependable. For tackle, take the lightest outfits you own. Rigged with light line and leader, long casts will mean more strikes. Lures can be basically anything you want. In 2 feet of water, the biggest trout will crash topwater lures. In 3 feet or more, subsurface baits work better. I like 5-inch jerkbait-style tails that you can move the slowest and can still look realistic. Fish are more aggressive now, but there will be times when you have to really creep lures slowly to get strikes. The bag limit on trout is four fish of 15-20 inches, and one of your four can be more than 20 inches. My own personal bag choice: all fish 16-19 inches. I don’t think there is adequate meat on a 15-inch fish, and I like to let all the biggest fish go to keep trophy fish in our waters.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com and (727) 692-6345.