Pasco County Report By: Capt. Bobby Carroll

This is the time of the year when you don’t have to worry about getting up super early and getting that first light bite. Focus on what the tides are doing more than anything. I like to be at my first spot the last hour or so of the outgoing tide and fishing the troughs and holes that are holding water.

The fish will slide into the deeper pockets and become trapped. This makes winter-time fishing that much easier. This is also a great time of the year for wade fishing and for kayak fisherman to get to their prime spots that boats can’t get into. If you’re going to wade the flats during the negative tide, look for the schools of mullet on the open flat and throw a topwater bait or a weedless swim bait. You will find that one school of mullet will have multiple redfish in it. After you catch one, continue to stay on the school for as long as possible to better your chances of catching multiples.

Big trout seem to be plentiful this time of year. They are chewing on anything and everything. For the artificial angler, we have been using the Slick Lure–producing tons of redfish and trout. We’ve also been throwing 1/8-ounce jigs rigged with the Lil Slick to give it a different style presentation. As stated in the previous months report, find the potholes and you’ll find the big trout waiting in them. This time of the year is very exciting for the numbers of trout that we produce. Try to keep only what you’re going to eat that day or so to protect our great fishery. Also, remember that you can only keep one trout over 20 inches. It’s hard to throw back such a beautiful fish at that size, but it’s what keeps our fishing great!