By CAPT. DOUG HEMMER
WHAT'S HOT: Fishing over the deeper grass flats continues to be strong. Speckled trout, bluefish and silver trout are schooling in waters that are 3 to 6 feet deep. Lower Tampa Bay north to Dunedin has been very productive. The lower part of the bay has large numbers of undersized trout. Crimping your bards down will make releasing easier for you and the fish. Heading north along the intercoastal waterway you will find trout inside John's Pass and Clearwater. They are more spread out in this area. Drift until you find out where they're schooling.
Dunedin has the largest concentration of fish. There is a mixture of bluefish, speckled and silver trout near the crab buoys. Snook, redfish and larger trout are close to the swash islands. Drift up to the islands before anchoring. The sound of a running motor will push the schools away from your boat. Dark green jigs worked near the bottom are drawing the most strikes. Due to the large numbers of blues and puffer fish, you'll need to have a good supply of extra tails to replace the ones that get bit off.
ON THE BEACH: The hard bottom just off the beach is full of silver trout and blue runners. Indian Rocks to Redington Shores is the most productive area. Look for clouds on your bottom recorder before fishing. Once you locate a school, drop a tandem jig to the bottom and bounce it off the sand. This doubled jigged rig will allow you to catch two at a time. Loves Lures and DOA manufacture a pre-rigged tandem. One trick is to use different colored jigs until you find the one that draws the most strikes.
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