With the cooler weather and fronts rolling through our area weekly, the big Gator Sea Trout are beginning to move into the flats from Clearwater right on up the coast to Tarpon Springs and New Port Richey, and a lot of them are the biggest of the year!
On the low tides, focus on the outer edges of these vast flats, keep your eyes on the water for birds dipping on baitfish, and showering bait (bait-fish grey-hounding on the surface). Both artificial and live baits work. For the lures, try 1/4-oz. jigs with a baitfish imitation-my favorite color in deeper water rootbeer, strawberry, tiger stripe green.
Up on the flats on the higher tides, go to a silver flash, pearl with sparkle or pilchard, ballyhoo-colored jerk shad tail, Mirro-lures work well also the Mirro-dine in the greenback variety are my favorite.
Live bait, like select shrimp, works well for anglers who do not want to cast and retrieve as much around different structure.
All baits are used on light tackle spinning equipment a good graphite 7-8-foot rod rated for 8-17lbs, spooled with 8-10lb. Berkley Ultracast in green or invisibraid and a Vanish fluorocarbon leader of at least four feet. The live bait can also be rigged with a popping cork!