I’m over here under the dock at Fisherman’s Cove RV Resort, and I was checking on these reefs because I saw some shadows in the distance. That man right there just caught himself a keeper-sized trout! Remember, speckled sea trout have a slot and have to be between fifteen and nineteen inches if you’re going to catch them. Everyone is allowed one over twenty inches, and we include tips for catching them in your weekend fishing report.
Speckled sea trout, also known as spotted seatrout or simply specks, are a highly prized game fish found along the United States Gulf Coast. These fish are a favorite among anglers because of their delicate flavor and acrobatic fighting style. If you’re looking to catch speckled sea trout, remember a few essential tips and techniques.
Know Their Habitat
Speckled sea trout are found in various habitats, including bays, estuaries, and nearshore waters. They prefer shallow waters with sandy bottoms, oyster bars, grass beds, and other structures. Knowing their habitat and where they are most likely to be found will increase your chances of catching them.
Use the Right Tackle
Speckled sea trout are caught using a variety of tackle, but the most popular method is light to medium spinning tackle. A fast-action 6-7 foot rod is ideal, paired with a reel spooled with 10-12lb monofilament line. Fluorocarbon leader is a must as it is invisible in the water and provides added abrasion resistance.
Our water clarity has significantly changed. We’ve had rain, so it’s an excellent time to bump up those leaders to thirty or forty pounds and see if you can stick one that doesn’t see it coming.
Choose the Right Bait
Speckled sea trout are opportunistic feeders and will eat a variety of baits, including live shrimp, minnows, mullet, and artificial lures. Soft plastic baits in natural colors like white, pearl, and clear are also effective, fished on a jighead or weighted hook. Topwater plugs can be very productive in the early morning or late afternoon when the water is calm.
Learn How to Retrieve
A slow and steady retrieve with intermittent pauses is effective when fishing soft plastics or live bait. Depending on the fish’s mood, a popping cork can be popped aggressively or slowly. When fishing topwater plugs, a “walk the dog” retrieve or steady popping motion can be productive.
Pay Attention to the Weather and Tides
Speckled sea trout are affected by the weather and tides, just like any other fish. They are more active during low light conditions like dawn, dusk, and overcast days. A falling tide can concentrate the fish around structures like oyster bars and grass beds. The incoming tide can bring baitfish and trigger feeding activity. We are finally getting some respite this weekend. Flat winds and a perfect time to get out there, especially to book a charter, get offshore, or hit the beaches.
Practice Catch and Release
Speckled sea trout are a valuable resource. Handle them carefully, and release them quickly. Keep only what you need for a meal.
Make sure you join our weekend fishing clinics on Saturday mornings or visit our website to book a private charter for more instruction and extreme fishing fun! I’m Captain Erik, and we’ll see you and your catch here at the pier next week with our weekend fishing report.