Warm Days Ahead Look Promising For Trout Season Opener
Recent warm days have brought on a good redfish bite. Most of the fish we have been catching have been in shallow water from 1 to 3 feet deep. Fish have been slot size with our largest caught right at the top of the slot at 27 inches. Fish have been most actively feeding on the incoming tide in the lower Tampa Bay area from Terra Ceia Bay to Port Manatee. Most of our action has come on CAL quarter-ounce Jigs with Shad tails. I like the chartreuse jig head with a Night Glow or Arkansas Glow color tail, but a couple of the new colors have worked great too. The new Copper Crush and Night Glow/ holographic gold glitter tails have been excellent. With spotted seatrout season reopening Thursday here in the south region, we've been targeting them for catch and release to locate some of the larger fish. Trout tend to school to size, so whenever we're on some smaller fish, we may move a bit to find another school.Our top trout bait continues to be the DOA Night Glow Shrimp, but as with the CAL Shad, the two new colors mentioned above have worked well in the shrimp too. Water temperatures have been back up into the 70s again over the past week, and with the continued weather pattern, it appears that we will have some good fishing days ahead for the New Year season opener for trout. We've been throwing top water baits with limited success, and the bottom third of the water column seems to be where the action is. I medium retrieve with the rod tip down should get jigs toward that zone, and a slow presentation for the DOA Shrimp will get the job done.
Ray Markham co-hosts "Florida Sportsman Magazine Radio Live," Saturdays from 8-9 a.m. on 820 AM, and can be reached for charter at (941) 723-2655.