Florida Trout Fishing in the Warm Waters on a Cold Day

We fished the mid-day high tide using the higher tide and warmer water as our friend.

Speckled trout was the target for Capt. Jim Huddleston and me this week. We started the day fishing the spoil islands of St. Joseph Sound on an incoming tide. Live jumbo shrimp tail hooked on a 2/0 circle hook with twenty pound leader and a small split shot lead was the terminal tackle used. We fished mostly free line but did use a cork some of the time.

 The weather was real cold that day with a north wind blowing harder than expected. Despite the blustery conditions we did mange to catch some real nice trout in the 20- 24 inch range along with flounder and sheepshead.

   Later in the morning as the sun heated up the water, Huddleston took us in real shallow water 1-2 feet deep. Big schools of large speckled trout were laid up in the shallow water sunning and we had a good, but challenging time, sight casting to them.

  The key to success was long casts past the laid up fish and working the soft plastic jig or live shrimp back to them in their strike zone. We did this successfully a number of times and were rewarded with big yellow mouth trout.

   Capt. John Mclay guided the “Fishing with Bill Miller” film crew and me to some excellent fishing this week in the Pinellas Point area. We fished the mid day high tide using the higher tide and warmer water as our friend.

   Fishing structure and docks we caught redfish, snook, sheepshead and flounder under docks and around sea walls. Flounder and trout were caught away from the structure along the deeper channel edges.

   Mclay likes to use a 1/8 ounce jig head and a head hooked jumbo shrimp. One trick he used was to break off the shrimp's tail to add some extra scent to the bait presentation.

   Capt. Scott Moore reports good fishing in Sarasota Bay and Anna Maria Sound for trout, reds and pompano. No reports of red tide there. Most red tide seems to be from Venice south.


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