How To Catch Spotted Sea Trout On Florida’s Big Bend

During periods of low rainfall and runoff, many trout often move into deeper rivers and bayous with the first cool weather of fall. Similar concentrations occur at dredged boat harbors and channels. Large fish feed almost exclusively on other fish such as mullet, pinfish, pigfish and menhaden. This preference for large fish makes large trout difficult to catch. Large trout do not feed often and few anglers like to use 12-inch live mullet for bait.

If you see a deeper trench along the shore, mark its location. The “problem” we have targeting big trout on the barrier islands off the Mississippi Gulf Coast and in the Louisiana Marsh is the small trout. You might hook a trophy trout on one cast, and then on the next cast, a 6-inch speck nails the same lure or live bait. Your best bet is to use big artificial bait for speckled trout, like the Zara Super Spook or jumbo Savage 3D Shrimp. If you know one of the fishing bait shops has larger live shrimp or larger croakers, get up early and get those best speckled trout baits.

Your mission is to fish shallow areas early in the morning and late in the evening. In the heat of the day, move with the trout to deeper areas, specifically the drop-offs around grass flats and channels. When the weather is moderate, Guided Fishing Boat Charters Bradenton Florida the fish may remain in shallow water for a longer portion of the day. During winter and late spring, shallow grass flats are key. Trout get skinny with large schools of mullet as a defense against predators trying to sneak up on them.

It sounds like a paradox, but the largest fish are often found in the shallowest water. They abandoned the sanctuary of the large schools to strike it out on their own. Once they reach 20 inches in size or so, they have very few predators. Dolphin, sharks, large birds, and large predator fish are there only true enemies at this point.

Submerged grass flats are the prime fish holding habitat for speckled trout. The shallow grass holds bait fish and crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp. This is the main forage for spotted sea trout and other saltwater species. Trout will be found at any depth, with the fish being deeper in the cooler and warmer months. Anglers wishing to fish artificial lures for spotted sea trout will also find there are many options for successful hookups. If you’re able to fish shallow, in the 3-foot depths, use topwater plugs to attract explosive strikes from what are usually bigger fish.