Maximizing Spring Speckled Trout Season
Spring is here and Speckled Trout spawning is coming as well. This is the time of year that the female Trout are more aggressive. That behavior change is driven by several factors such as increased hunger, as well protecting their roe from predators.
Changes in their environment mean changes in the way I fish for them. First, I look for grassy areas with about 3-5 feet of water. This attracts the female Specs due to the soft bottom where they will deposit their roe. The grass acts as protection from predators by providing a cover for the roe. I look for areas where I may see Rays active. This indicates a soft bottom and conditions that are favored by the female Speckled Trout. Rays are attracted to the same water PH that the Specs are attracted to. I also favor a warm day that seems to make the fish more active. As we get into Spring these days will be more frequent and the fishing will improve as well. You can fish either a falling or rising time, whichever you prefer because it doesn’t seem to matter.
The type of bait is a key factor. In the Spring months, I always use large baits. Big bait means big fish. My preference is either big Croakers or Menhaden. I really like the Croaker option best due to the thumping sound that a Croaker makes. It attracts the attention of the female Trout that’s protecting her roe. As a result, she attacks the Croaker. Rather than seeking food, she makes a defensive move that’s sudden and powerful. Speaking of the females, it’s important not to keep or kill the females since they are the reproductive source for the Speckled Trout fishery. This time of year is especially important.
Using topwater lures can be a great alternative to live bait. Again, it plays into the female’s protective nature. Hearing the movement of a topwater lure will cause the female Spec to go into defense mode, and it’s great to get the attention of a hungry male Spec too. Be patient. Most of the time, the fish will give the bait a quick and hard bump to disable it. Seeing the water swirl or splash may be just that. You need to wait for them to commit to taking the bait. You’ll know when the fish starts to run and then there’s no mistaking that you’re hooked up. To make sure you don’t create a short strike, cast and retrieve with your eyes closed. When you feel it (not see it) set the hook.
The best Speckled Trout days of the year are just around the corner. Have fun and remember to release the females.