tampabay.com

Daily fishing report

Trout season starts Monday in south zone.

By DOUG HEMMER
Published December 28, 2006


What's hot: The start of trout season in the south zone, from Fred Howard Park south, is Monday. Most of the trout will be over the grass flats that are 2 to 4 feet deep. The larger trout are smart and like to stay where there is shallow water nearby. Topwater plugs and jigs worked while drifting is the fastest way to locate a school. Then you can switch to live shrimp.

Tackle: Lightweight spinning reels and rods in the 4- to 10-pound class are best for feeling the strike of a trout. Braided lines don't stretch and will give a better feel than mono for the strike. Topwater plugs work best at sunup and on overcast days. Jigs should be worked slowly across the bottom. Shrimp can be free-lined or fished under a cork. Rig the cork so the shrimp is near the bottom. Use a small split-shot close to the hook to keep the shrimp from jumping when a trout moves in. Pop the cork every minute to help the trout locate the shrimp.

Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 347-1389.