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Sunday was a planned scouting day with a simple goal locate new trout and sheepshead location. It was very warm but the forecast for winds blowing 20 and gusting even higher cut my plans short. Staying close the marina and the wind protection it affords was key.

It’s funny how often anglers overlook areas near their marina or ramp. Several of my favorite trout holes are adjacent to very busy channels; most would think the boat traffic would make for a poor bite. Keep in mind channels for boats are natural roadways for fish also.

The pattern from Saturday worked on Sunday, keying in on 4-6’ inshore flats loaded with mixture of grass and sand. I was working silver jerk baits slowly along the bottom with positive results. Spotted sea trout to 16” inhaled these baits as if they had not eaten in a month. Most often trout hit the jig as it falls so I recommend a loop knot to make the jig fall naturally.

The water clarity on Tampa Bay’s inshore waters and shallow water flats are very clear in the winter. Improve your catch ratio by using fluorocarbon leader’s 15 pound test or smaller and at least 3 feet in length. Captain Steven believes color does matter; my simple rule is light colored bodies on bright days and dark bodies on low light days. Silver, white, motor oil and new penny are by far my favorite color.

If you like to wade fish Ft. Desoto has an abundance of quality areas to fish, in most cases right next to the main road.

Captain Steven


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