The majority of inshore trips on Tampa Bay recently have one thing in common. “Cancelation”…..
Normal high temperatures for February are 70-71 degrees but this year it’s been more like 55 and very windy. A year ago Captain Steven was on a red hot snook bite, now if the weather allows spotted sea trout is our main target and maybe a few redfish.
Last week Captain Chris and I ran a scouting trip drifting deeper grass flats looking for trout and reds. Chris quickly hooked up using 4” DOA CAL jerk bait in silver glitter color on a1/8 oz Mission Jig head. I was tossing a live shrimp on a popping cork and quickly go into the action.
With the wind now pushing 20 mph it was time to cut the day short. Conditions may be less than ideal but the trout action remains steady. Tactics are simple; whether you choose live shrimp or artificial lures there are some very simple rules to follow. In the winter the water is very clear downsizing both the mainline and leader is key. Most trout can safely be targeted with 10-15 pound braided line finished with 3’ of 15 pound fluorocarbon leader. If tossing soft plastics bounce the jig slowly along the bottom, keep in mind most times trout hit the jig as it falls watch your line closely.
Live shrimp and a popping cork can be a lethal combination. Leader length is determined by the depth of the area you are fishing, it important to keep the shrimp just above the grass. A quick snap of the rod tip will make the cork popping sound which attracts trout. Watch the line closely as most hits will be as the shrimp falls.