Tampa Bay Fishing Report By: Capt. Woody Gore

Spotted Sea Trout

If you’re a trout enthusiast like me, here are a few tips for catching these Tampa Bay favorites as they appear on the coastal Tampa Bay flats.

Since trout are semi-territorial, they tend to school together, often returning to the same areas. You can find trout by locating grass flats with sandy bottoms, rocky bottoms or a combination of both. Since trout are notorious bait chasers, they typically chase their next meal and trap it on the surface. This form of surface-trapping food works in their favor.

Fishing topwater lures is a hoot, especially when working with a group of actively feeding fish. Check weather conditions, because trout fishing and a robust stormy cloud cover seems to work better together. Keep reminding yourself that trout get highly selective. Instead of fast and irregular presentation, it’s time to slow down, which is difficult and often frustrates anglers. You must make your lure look more tempting. Strikes often come when the lure moves slightly after sitting idle or wobbles slowly across the surface. Another method uses rigged soft plastic lures.

Like many other species, trout stop feeding or scatter when pressured by boats, anglers or predators. The most common error happens when someone carelessly roars into a good trout fishing area, shuts down and throws out an anchor. Then they sit and wonder where the fish went. Regardless of the circumstances, it doesn’t mean the party is over when the bite slows. Some fish are there, just recovering from their last big feed. Kind of like us, after a large meal. So, enjoy the fact you’re on the water, slow down, relax and pay attention to nature and what you’re doing. Often the bite continues after a few minutes. Remember, it’s called fishing, not catching, so have fun.


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