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Daily fishing report

By RICK FRAZIER
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 31, 2001

The season for spotted sea trout (speckled trout) opens at midnight after being closed since Nov. 1. Specks, one of the most sought-after gamefish in our area, are found on grass flats, along deep channel edges and in just about every hole that has security, water movement and, most importantly, sustenance.

As the water cools, huge breeder trout will move into deep depressions to wait out the winter. Once you locate these pockets, it's almost like fishing in a barrel.

Use light tackle. Ten-pound test line is more than enough; 8-pound is the most common. Most prefer spinning tackle because the light line is easier to cast compared with a conventional reel, but both work.

Trout take a variety of live and artificial baits. Shrimp, pinfish, whitebait and small crabs are great baits and easy to acquire. Topwater baits that zigzag, dart and dive, or create a splash with propellers work well. As do gold spoons and jigs with tails. Natural colors work best.

Spotted sea trout have a bag limit of four per person per day. Only one longer than 20 inches can be harvested. Minimum length is 15 inches.

-- Capt. Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters in St. Petersburg, (727) 510-4376 or e-mail captrick@luckydawg.com

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