27.5″ seatrout caught on a 5″ gulp jerkshad from this week!
Finally some good trout action! 2019 has started out a little bit warmer than I expected, but since the last cool front the trout bite has really picked up. Most anglers can always find the typical 12-15 inch sea trout in large numbers along deeper drop offs, channel edges, deeper spoil islands and pretty much all year round, but I personally love to target large speckled seatrout in our cooler months. With that being said this week has finally been more consistent “gator trout fishing.”
When it comes to catching larger seatrout I like to put away the popping corks, the heavier jigs and move away from the deeper water — the total opposite that most would think about when it comes to trout fishing. I like larger profile baits such as big weedless swimbaits, 5-6″ jerk shads, and even large cut baits. If you can find a shallow water grass flat with good sand holes and lots of mullet, these big trout aren’t going to be far.
I look for areas with as much grass as possible. Even if it’s tough to cast a lure, cast your bait past the sand holes and try to give the slowest presentation possible while still moving your bait. Big trout are huge ambush predators and they use these sand holes to ambush shrimp, mullet, and other small baitfish. If you find an area that seems to have lots of trout and you just can’t get them to chew, set up wind and toss out large ladyfish chunks 3 to 5 inches in these sand holes. It may take a while but this usually does the trick and might even get you a redfish as by catch.
I have found large trout to be very smart and one of the hardest fish to target, but a little patience goes a long way. The trout fishing has been fantastic lately and will hopefully only get better! Remember, these fish are very crucial to our future and I highly recommend everyone catch and release, especially anything over 18 inches! These fish can make many more for years to come.