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24 Feb

Late Winter Speckled Trout Fishing

Speckled Trout is nearly always a great wintertime fish. However, even toward the mid to late winter months the bite slows. When it does, you will need to change your strategies and tactics to make an adjustment. These adjustments are largely driven by the feeding habits and the movement of bait that the Specs depend on for feeding. It’s also driven by the Speckled Trout’s need to keep warm. As the winter progresses the water temp continues to drop and that forces the fish to seek and find areas to stay warm. So, you’ll looking for areas that can accommodate both needs.

Start by looking back in the creeks that have a minimal tidal flow. The shallow creeks are where Specs are able to keep warm as the sunlight penetrates the more shallow water. The minimal tidal flow allows the water to better retain the heat rather than cold water rushing and lowering the temp. Fishing later in the morning is a smarter bet. This will allow the water to warm up and encourage Trout to be a bit more active. The tidal marshes, which will be productive in warmer weather, will not be very productive when the water becomes cooler. Also look for deep holes in the creeks by drifting when watching your fish finder. The Specs will often seek the deeper holes to protect themselves from the colder moving water.

Next, find locations that are holding bait. In the winter months, Speckled Trout will not move too far from the easiest source of food. Using a suspended bait is my first pick. I like to start with the MinnowZ by Zman on a 16 oz. jig head and make your presentation at or near the bottom. The winter season also produces an underwater growth that I call Snot Grass that can become tangled in your rig and lessen your effectiveness. Try to avoid this when you cast. However, the Snot Grass can also house bait fish like the small glass minnows. While these underwater weeds can be a pain when it comes to your bait presentation, it also serves as a good sign that Specs are nearby as they are feeding on the glass minnows when they arrive. If you want to try topwater, I recommend a MirrowLure MR17. The MR17 has probably been the most popular lure for most Trout fisherman for the past several years.

While you’re targeting the Specs, make sure to look for Roe Mullet with blue tails. This is a good sign that Redfish are nearby. You’re already rigged and ready and you may get a few Reds too.

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