© St. Petersburg Times, published March 2, 2003
Trout fishing along the northern Pinellas County boundary has been very productive. With the trout season just reopening, head a bit further north for multiple catches of keeper-size trout. A prevailing low-pressure weather system will have fish feeding practically nonstop during a moving tide.
Though there are a few schools of white bait scattered throughout the area, soft plastic jerk baits remain the best choice. Drift fishing areas between 4- to 6-feet deep yield the best results. Even with water temperatures increasing, a slow retrieve still draws more strikes.
Try drifting different areas until large schools of trout are located. If possible, drop a marker and circle the area several times.
When catching only undersized trout, move to a different area. Trout school with fish their size.
If targeting trophy-size trout, head to water at a depth of 2 feet or less. Large trout like to ambush bait along sandy potholes and grassy edges. While working these areas, try a gold spoon. Jerk baits will work, but the added flash provided by the spoon's wobble often entice trout to strike more aggressively.
When fishing along the northwestern and southern zones, remember the bag limits. In the northwestern zone, anglers can keep five fish; four are allowable in the southern zone.
All trout must be between 15 and 20 inches and one keeper can be more than 20.
-- Capt. Wade Osborne operates Afishionado Guide Services out of Tampa and can be reached at (888) 402-3474 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.