By RICK FRAZIER
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 27, 2001
Convicts and yellow-mouths are the ticket for inshore success. If you want to catch something besides ladyfish and jacks, sheepshead and trout are best.
Local bridges and piers are great places to catch sheeps, but did you ever try holes on the flats? Sheepshead love worms, and with bloodworms and tubeworms readily available on most mud flats, no wonder the convicts are trying to get an easy meal.
No need to dig up the flats looking for worms, either. Go to a bait house and buy some red wigglers or night crawlers to make things easy. Sheeps will attack those like there's no tomorrow. Use a long shank No. 1 hook and slide the worm on it. Light tackle is all you need because there is no heavy structure to cut you off. Use a small crimp on weight to get you down. Speckled and silver trout are where you expect to find them this time of year. In deep water, tandem-jig rigs are the ticket. The heavier rig will get you to the fish and the two jigs look like one is chasing the other, enticing trout.
Silvers are always off the beaches on hard-bottom areas close to shore. Drift along and let your jig bounce along the bottom with the movement of the boat. Hot pink and chartreuse are good colors.
Look for specks in 4- to 8-foot depth, usually at the drop-off of a flat. Cast your tandem to the shallows and work it back slowly through the drop-off. Slug-style, soft plastic bodies are great. Shrimp colors are hard to beat.
- Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters in St. Petersburg. Call (727) 448-3817.
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