Skinny Water Report By: Derick Burgos

With all the cold fronts we have been having this month, now would be the ideal time to search for your first big trout. Despite the fact that they can be caught year-round, the cooler winter months have proven to produce some monsters. Fishing for them at the end of low tides early in the morning can’t be beat, as opposed to the other parts of the day. As the sun rises, it shines on the exposed sand, grass, and oyster clusters, which in turn, warms them up. As the tide starts rising, warm gulf waters begin to fill those areas up, making it prime real estate for hungry predatory fish. The last thing you’ll need to know about before endeavoring for your trophy trout, is lure selection. Many lures have proven to catch trout, but for the sake of this write up, I’ll stick to what works for my clients and myself most frequently. Trout are very territorial fish and tend to strike at just about anything that crosses their path. For that reason, my favorite is the top water walk-the-dog style lures. When presented correctly, the side-to-side action of these lures attracts a highly aggressive strike, which can be both physically and visually enthralling. Top water lures can also be considered one of the best “search baits,” and are great for covering large areas of water. Another option for lure selection would be to use a simple jig head paired with a soft plastic. This combo is widely used in our area for not only trout, but other species, such as reds, snook and cobia. Mullet patterns, chartreuse, gold, and root beer colors are some of the best that have produced great fish for me and my clients throughout the years. Start by rigging with an 1/8 ounce jig head and a paddle style tail soft plastic. Scan the area for potholes in the sand and grass, and start casting towards those areas. You will find that many trout and a vast array of species tend to congregate in these areas, thus making your hook up ratio increase. That’s it for now, see you next month for the next skinny water report–good vibes and tight lines always!

Derick Burgos is a kayak fishing guide, owner of Phatfish Kayak Charters and Co-Owner of Pure Florida watersports in Tampa Bay. He has called the area waters his home for over 20 years. He specializes in Snook, Tarpon, Redfish and more on artificial lyres, live bait or fly. He can be reached at:

[email protected]