This freezing weather we recently had brought back memories of younger days. During those freezing days I would fish residential canals and dredge holes around Tampa and St. Pete for speckled trout.
Trout gang up in those out of the wind places because the water temp is usually warmer around the sea walls and the deeper holes.
Old time commercial trout fishermen like Ralph Wilson, Dick Guagliardo and Jim Bradley were masters of cold weather trout fishing and they taught me how to catch speckled and silver trout in ultra cold weather.
The first thing they taught me was you don’t have to go at the crack of dawn. Let the sun come up and warm the water and air some. The other is you don’t need live bait. Jigs, soft plastic or hair, work just fine.
The reason jigs work so good is you can cover lots of ground looking for the trout. The key is to work the jig very slowly bouncing it along the bottom. Every now and then we would tip our jig with a small piece of shrimp to help entice a bite.
Now is a good time to start going over your boat and your fishing tackle in preparation for spring. Capt.Billy Miller and I both have had our boats in the boat yard fixing, painting and cleaning.
We are buying our kingfish and tarpon tackle and getting ready because when the bite starts running around trying to get ready is lost fishing and catching time.