Tarpon Spring’s fishing guide, Capt. Rich Knox of Absolute Florida Flats Fishing, inshore fishing charters New Port Richey, Palm Harbor and Tarpon springs, with the cold fronts becoming more common (weekly) and the water temperature falling into the mid 60’s to 70 degree range the Spotted Sea Trout will start to get red-hot. The Trout will begin to group up in good numbers on many West Central Fl. Gulf Coast shallow water flats and there drop-offs and will feed on many live bait’s, pilchard’s, select shrimp, pinfish to mention a few as well as an artificial bait placed in the right location, 1/4 oz. jig’s tipped with a soft plastic tail, 3-4 inch minnow type, shrimp imitation, and 5′ jerk shad in a variety of color’s depending on the condition’s. Mirro-lure Top water plug’s like the mirrodine and the mirro-mullet work well in the shallow water also. Red-fish and the famous Snook will be looking to eat heavily as they feel the need to put on weight, and store some protein for leaner winter month’s. The remaining school’s of pilchard’s cast-netted up in the morning will turn the switch, look for day’s with good tidal movement’s before an approaching front.
The fall King-fish and Spanish Mackerel run will go into full swing now, many artificial reef area’s also inshore hard bottom areas will be holding these speedsters, I like to use fluorocarbon leaders 40 lb for the Spanish coupled with a #1 or #2 long shank 2x hook work well with a live pilchard or a small Johnson silver spoon, also 1/4 oz. jig’s with a 3″ silver fleck paddle tail work well, on the jig I use a small piece (1 foot) of # 4 wire shock leader. The King-fish require heavier tackle with 20lb. mono or braided line, 250 feet of line on the spool recomended slow trolling with conventional tackle use a short wire stinger rig . Gag and Red Grouper have moved to an easier closer location inshore to catch, (Get Your Grouper Now) the season for keeping fish closes in December.