Cap­tain’s Cor­ner

Tampa Bay Times - - Baseball -

Trout fish­ing has been my most-pro­duc­tive tar­get to start the new year. Cold fronts and cold wa­ter are mak­ing con­di­tions dif­fi­cult to tar­get snook and reds. Red­fish are un­af­fected by colder wa­ter; it’s the con­di­tions that make them hard to tar­get. Strong winds from pass­ing cold fronts make it hard to work the shal­low-wa­ter flats. The wave ac­tion causes wa­ter to slap the hull, mak­ing a lot of noise. This spooks reds long be­fore you even see them. On the other hand, higher winds can make it ideal for trout fish­ing. I use my bot­tom ma­chine to lo­cate grass flats in 3-5 feet of wa­ter. Mo­tor to the edge of the grass flats up­wind and de­ploy a sea an­chor. The an­chor slows drift and al­lows for a more-ef­fec­tive cov­er­age of the area. If I have good drift, I run back up­wind and use my GPS to ar­range the next drift. Fort De Soto, Tierra Verde and Pinel­las Point are all ar­eas that have a lot of grass flats, so I tar­get the deeper flats around their. Light tackle can make trout fish­ing more en­joy­able. Ten-braided line (size of 2-pound di­am­e­ter) with 20-pound cam­ou­flage leader and a quar­ter­ounce, red jig head with a soft plas­tic bait is my fa­vorite lure. There are many plas­tic tails avail­able; it’s just a mat­ter of pref­er­ence. Root beer and white are my fa­vorite col­ors.

Rob Gorta

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