By CAPT. DOUG HEMMER
WHAT’S HOT: Trout fishing in lower Tampa Bay has picked up. The deeper flats off of Pinellas Point to the flats of Fort Desoto are holding good numbers of trout. Most of the schools can be found over grass piles in 3 to 6 feet of water. The best action has been close to the schools of spawn that can be seen raining on the surface. The trout are running in the 12- to 20-inch class. It’s best to squeeze the barbs of the lure flat with your pliers so you can release undersize trout without harming them.
TACKLE: Ultra-light spinning gear in the 6- to 10-lb class will draw more strikes. Leaders should be no more than 20-lb test. Float and jig combinations have been the most productive. Small jigs under a ½-inch cork or a 1-inch cork rigged with an artificial shrimp will draw plenty of strikes. Strawberry red and motor oil green are the best jig colors. Artificial shrimp have been working in the white or light green colors.
TIPS: When using the float and jig combo, pop the cork hard so the cork makes noise. This will cause a reaction strike from the trout. The cork and shrimp rig should be used a lot slower. Drag the cork across the surface and spot. Let the shrimp pull the cork backward until the cork stops moving. Wait a few seconds before repeating. Fish this rig like you would a live shrimp under a cork. Give the trout time to strike the fake shrimp.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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