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Big trout made for a special Sunday. Lower Tampa Bay is not known for large gator trout like the spoil islands North of Clearwater or the Indian River area on Florida’s east coast. So catching numerous trout over 20” is a good day. My secret trout hole appears not so secret as 2 boats were anchored and catching nice trout upon my arrival. Live shrimp on a 1/8oz jig head or soft plastic jigs took numerous trout in the 16-21” range with 2 larger fish (23-24”) lost boat side.

I was surprised today to find trout in shallow water 3-5’. The water temperature was chilly at 57 so I would have thought they would be staged in 8-10’. We also found small trout 12-14” on 2 stops, working DOA deadly combo over turtle grass scored over and over again. At times the trout would hit the jig just sitting there! All very positive signs as we move towards spring.

Today’s key was locating clear water; recent winds have numerous flats looking milky and cloudy. Stay away from these areas until the sediment settles.

With very light winds forecasted for Monday I am optimistic I may be able to locate the school of large black drum for my clients. The tell tale push of water is easy to spot on calm days.

Capt. Steven

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