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23 Apr

Matching Wits With Speckled Trout

February 22, 2024

Every saltwater fish has its way of doing things. Their movement, habitat, food source, water temp, and a lot more have a bearing on their activity. Speckled Trout is at the top of the list for quirkiness. While their demands are listed below, you can rest assured there’s much more. These demands and the ability to catch them are far beyond those of other saltwater fish, especially the inshore kind. Anglers fishing for Speckled Trout need to know and be prepared to adapt to be able to catch the Specs, much less the big trophy Specs.

First, the Specs will likely hang around the deep open water, such as basins during the later part of the winter fishing season. However, their feeding areas are largely around some structures near deep water I previously mentioned, as well as the shoreline near deep water. The Specs then move into the shallow water looking for the baits. They commonly show up in numbers, they’re not loners, and when you catch a big Spec, there’s likely more where that one came from. Keep working that spot.

Second, be stealthy. Make long casts with quiet lures. Also, quietly drifting over the Specs would prove to be a good tactic. Popular lures are suspended topwaters. Use rods that can cast a long distance. This enables you to get your lure to the fish before he knows you’re even there. Sight commonly is the more prevalent way the Spec spots his target. Sound can work against you. Rattling lures will spook the fish. Also, with the clear water of winter months, bright color lures are the key. This is the perfect combination for those cold days.

Third, Many times Speckled Trout schools will be a mixture of large and small fish. You’ll find days that you may catch a large Spec, and then the rest of the day it’s small Specs only. If you’re looking for the bigger Speckled Trout, use a bigger lure. This is true for both artificial and live baits. Remember, big fish look and feed off big food. The smaller fish can’t handle the bigger bait and commonly leave them alone for their big brothers to enjoy.

Fourth, scout and learn where the big Specs are. Look for ambush points, and the more the better. Try to find locations that have as little boat and fishing traffic as possible. Specs spook easily. Boat traffic and other anglers can change the environment from a successful fishing spot to a lonely day of fishing. Look for drop-offs that serve as great feeding grounds. Also, fish while the water is moving the most, such as falling or rising tides. Slack tide is boring for the Specs and will be for you too.

Last, be conscious of the salinity level. Specs like clean water with a lower salinity level. The fish may move upstream or down, depending on recent rains or dry spells. They’re pretty touchy over the water salinity and quality.

Most of all, fishing for big Speckled Trout takes patience. If you have that, you’re halfway there.

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