In the summer, Florida spotted sea trout are extremely active in the inter-coastal saltwater rivers and bays. These fish are one of the most prized by anglers not only because of there excellent meat but for the fight they deliver when hooked. When in season, the sea trout may be very active but can elude many fisherman. Trout are picky eaters and knowing the right strategies will prove essential when targeting the this species of fish.
The first key to success is to know what trout are eating and where they are looking for it. The food of choice for trout are live shrimp and small bait fish. Many saltwater anglers are using these baits on the bottom with the weight and leader method. For sea trout, in most cases this method just won't work. This species of fish tend to feed near the surface and won't usually be looking for food deeper down. When targeting trout with live bait, you can use a float to keep your bait towards surface or simply free line the live shrimp or bait fish. Remember, in almost any saltwater situation, there will be tide flow. Keep in mind that floating of free lining bait will move with the flow.
Artificial lures have proved to be the number one bait when targeting Florida sea trout. A variety of lures appeal to these prized fish and can be utilized a number of different ways. Knowing that the trout is a surface feeding fish will help select the proper lure. While there are many affective choices, there are two artificial baits that remain a favorite among seasoned trout anglers. The D.O.A. Shrimp, fished with a popping float and the Yo-Zuri Floating Minnow have been producing quality trout for decades. Both of these lures are available at most fishing retailers in many different sizes and colors.
Picking the right bait is only part of a successful sea trout fishing trip. Knowing where to find these fish is just as, if not more, important. During the day, anglers will want to target shallow water flats and deep water structure. The sea trout will feed during the day in these places but will be more active once the sun goes down. At night, fishing you lure or live bait under lights will produce fish. Sea trout are attracted to artificial light sources such as dock and bridge lights. Having said this, there is not a trout under every light. It may take some hunting for them but once a light source that holds fish is found, it will likely produce throughout the entire season. Sea trout will usually be found in numbers. If you catch one under a light source, chances are that you will catch several more in the same area. This rule is also true for your choice of bait. If live shrimp is what you are catching trout on, keep using live shrimp. If one fish is biting it, it is very likely that they are all going to bite it.
In Florida, trout are a heavily targeted species by recreational anglers. They are also a heavily regulated species. Florida has strict laws pertaining to size, bag limit and harvest season. Different parts of the state have different laws so be sure to familiarize yourself before heading out. Always make sure you have a measuring device to check fish sizes. Having illegal fish can result in heavy fines and loss of your fishing privileges.
The spotted sea trout is a great species to fish for. They are fun to catch and great to eat. Anglers from around the world head to Florida every year in search of this, and many other, species of quality game fish. Know when, where and how to target trout will give you and edge over most other fisherman. Like any other fish, experimentation with bait and technique will be the key to catching more sea trout. Good luck with your fishing adventures.