The bay as been rejuvenated since my dad fished it forty years ago. The presence of healthy mangroves are proof that the conservation efforts are paving way . Tampa bay is a beautiful estuary with rich turtle grass and a abundance of marine organisms that were not present in the last forty years. This is evident in the trout fisheries . Sea trout are a great fish to catch as well as a great table fish for anglers that like to eat their catch. Sea trout also called “ specks” are a aggressive fish they can be found on and around grass beds . Sea trout are also found around structure such as rocks and snags.
Sea trout like ledges, drop offs and breaks. Sea trout are aggressive eaters and enjoy eating all types of different live bait. Trout fishing is a great family activity and can be appreciated by any skill set of angler. When locating the trout it’s important to keep them interested in what you have to offer them in ways of bait . My favorite choice is scaled sardines . Shrimp work well as do pinfish. I like anchoring up to fish for Sea Trout ideally I like fishing grass beds. Keeping the Sea Trout interested requires a lot of bait. The point is to chum or introduce a “ ecosystem “ of bait fish.
By doing so you will entice the trout into a feeding frenzy given the Trout are there and the tides are conducive to there feeding schedule. The chumming is done by injuring or stunning the bait fish and then throwing them behind the boat . The Trout will smell and see these injured bait fish and eat them . Keeping the fish chummed up you present the Trout with a bait although this bait has a hook within in it. Trout can be tricky when it comes it catching them . The term “ less is more “ rings true when targeting Trout. Tackle is important as bait . It’s important to match your tackle to your size of fish. I prefer a spinning rod of medium to soft action. The length is between six and half to seven and half feet. The size of reel is in the 1500 – 2000 series a smooth drag is important. I’m bias on line choice I guess it’s habit , but I prefer mono filament over braid . Although they both work just fine. Ten pound to twenty pound line works fine in ether mono or braid. Leaders are not necessary if using a long shank hook. If using a circle hook a piece of ten pound fluorocarbon leader is fine.
I really like a long shank wire hook when targeting Sea Trout ,but any kind of hook will do as long as the hook matches the bait size. Attaching the leader it line by knot is important . A floating cork can be used as well. Trout will feed in the upper water column and the surface. Whether using live fish or shrimp for bait when Trout fishing hook placement is important so that the bait can swim naturally . The action of the fishing rod is a misunderstood point for anglers new to SeaTrout fishing. Trout have what’s called a “soft mouth” so a really stiff rod will pull the hook out of this fishes mouth . Where’s a soft or flexible rod will give when catching this toothy fish. This type of action prevents pulled hooks and will increases you odds of catching a Trout. Trout like tide so depending on your location in Tampa use that to your advantage when targeting Trout.
When fishing for SeaTrout make sure to always keep a bait in the water so that the Trout stay interested. Trout are soft skinned and should be handled properly to prevent injuries . Remember to practice ethical and respectable fishing practices.