Well, what do you say to a client when they are disappointed that the fish are too big to keep? I guess you just keep patting them on the back and telling them that you’re sorry that the fish are too big. You see, here in Florida, we have a slot size limit on speckled sea trout. Fish much been between 15″ and 20″ for the majority of your limit and you can only keep on e fish per person over the slot size limit. Today, like most recent trips, the hard pert is not putting fish in the boat, it’s putting fish in the “box”. This is the time of year where we get big trout. Really big trout. Today we struggled to find fish small enough to fit the slot size. Many of the fish were over slot.
Tarpon Springs and Clearwater are both famous for producing large trout this time of year. And now that the water is warming up, they are chewing the bottom out of the boat on an incoming tide. Shimp, pinfish and sradines (yes I said sardines… they’re around if you know where to look) fished under a popping cork are producing great numbers of really large trout in the Tarpon Springs, St. Joseph Sound and Clearwater areas. Fishing charters in the Tarpon Springs and Clearwater areas have produced 50+ fish days while most fish have been big enough to make it hard to reach our 4 fish per day limit.
Fish grassy areas and rocky areas in 3-6 feet of water with good tidal flow during the incoming tide. The incoming tide has been absolutely essential to get on a good bite and the bite usually lasts about 2 hours. Once the trout bite slows, we’ve headed off in search of redfish and though we’ve found plenty to play with, it’s been a little tough to get them to bite. I think it’s due mostly to us spending the best part of the tide wearing out the trout. Also, it wouldn’t hurt for the water temps to come up another few degrees to really get them turned on. Good news is that 70+ degree temps are forecasted for the foreseeable future so the reds should be turning on soon.