Monster Speckled Trout
Do you want to find the real monster speckled trout? Not the one-pounders, not the two-pounders, but fish that weigh five, seven, or even 10 pounds? Of course you do! On a recent outing Capt. James Avendon and his crew caught three specks over five pounds, all in the same afternoon. We don’t care how jaded an angler you are – any way you cut it, that’s pretty dang impressive. If you want to enjoy the same kind of success, employ these tactics:
- Fish topwater early in the morning, and right at dusk. This is when the bigguns feed, and smaller specks usually won’t attack a large topwater plug. Yes, we said “large” topwater plug and we meant it. Leave the four-inchers at home. Think of a six-inch plug as barely acceptable. And when you want to target monsters and monsters alone, sling a nine-inch or even larger topwater. That may seem absurdly large, but those big specks want a big meal and will have no problem attacking a nine-incher and really big ones will hit a foot-long plug, no problem.
- Early and late in the season, look for shallows that drain into deeper areas and fish an outgoing tide late in the day. The key to what you’re looking for here is temperature differences, during the times of year when water temps may be a bit cooler than ideal for the specks. Remember, larger fish have an easier time dealing with cool water temps than smaller fish by virtue of body size; being cold blooded, it takes longer for shifts in body temperature to take place with larger fish than it does with smaller fish. As a result, when the water temperature is lower than they’d like the smaller fish are the first to depart an area and look for warmer areas. This gives those bigger fish a great hunting opportunity – competition is reduced, while smaller critters are moving slower. Now, add it the sun-warmed water draining from a flat at the end of the day on a falling tide. The tighter a bottle-neck and the stronger the current, the better. Specks will seek out the warmer water, which is both more comfortable for them and is also flushing bait out off the shallows.
- Early and late in the season during mid-day hours, consider trolling shallow-running lipped or swimming plugs. Yes, we know this sounds a bit odd, but it works. For those same reasons listed above, in chillier waters the smaller fish will have thinned out. That can make for a lot of searching to get a bite. Trolling allows you to cover a ton of territory, and plugs that run a foot or two under the surface are a great way to entice the fish you pass by.