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Trout 101<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

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Spotted Sea Trout (Cynoscion nebulosus) is a favorite target for Tampa Bay anglers. Today let’s look at the basics of Sea Trout 101. Sea trout are voracious feeders and once found typically won’t pass up well placed bait. At 14-16” being a typical trout they are not the region’s biggest game fish but what they lack in size they make up for in quantity. Once trout are located you almost always will catch several. Trout 20-28” are taken in the region and I just heard a report about a true gator trout stretching the tape to 32”. Trout are famous for rapid head shakes and jumps.<o:p></o:p>

Trout tend not to be overly finicky and make great targets for kids. Trout also a great target for anglers looking to keep a bend in the rods. Not all charters are looking for that one big fish.<o:p></o:p>

Downsize your tackle to better enjoy the battle from frisky trout. Captain Steven prefers a 7-7.5’ light spinning rod with a size 20 spinning reel. 8 Pound braided line with 15 pound fluorocarbon leader will ensure long casts. Artificial lures are my personal favorite, soft plastic baits on 1/8 to 3/8 oz jig heads are great for trout. Shrimp imitations are my first choice, any color as long as its white or motor oil will work. Hard plastic surface and subsurface draw savage hits and are great for bigger trout. White baits and shrimp are the best live bait options. Fly line baits, add a float or add a small wieght in deeper water are al sure fire techniques. Keep it simple!<o:p></o:p>

Summer is here and you will find trout in deeper, cooler water adjacent to the flats and up on the beach. We even find trout on hard bottom surface up to 20’ inside Tampa Bay. Winter and cold water are prime trout months, use the same tactics as above just slow everything down.<o:p></o:p>

Sea trout have a protective slim coat that when removed can harm them. Handle with care, always wet your hands first and try not to touch at all unless you plan on harvesting fish. A quick flick from a dehooking devise and you are good to go. Trout have two fangs like front teeth, warning do not try to lip a trout like a bass. <o:p></o:p>

Captain Steven<o:p></o:p>

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