Abrupt weather changes force different behavior from many species, and one that’s strongly impacted is speckled trout. After a strong front pushes through they may well change feeding locations, depths, and even what prey they focus on. When the weather turns cool and the big specks seem to disappear, remember these tips.
- Abrupt weather changes are often accompanied by spikes in barometric pressure, and spikes in barometric pressure often send fish deep including trout. If the shallows were previously productive but now seem abandoned, that may be because they are abandoned. Try shifting your efforts to holes and channel edges with at least five or more feet of depth, that are close by the shallows that produced bites in the recent past. Also try up-sizing the weight of your jig head or switch to a rig that allows you to fish at or very close to the bottom. When fish go deep after a pressure change, they often hug bottom and don’t seem to want to rise in the water column, to take a bait or lure.
- Give the fish larger offerings. This pretty much holds true any time the water gets cooler. Large predators will want to expend the least amount of energy possible for the greatest reward possible, and in cool temperatures, the old adage “use a big bait to catch a big fish” is truer than ever. This is the time to pull out those eight and nine inch plastics that look absurdly big, or reach for the largest finger mullet in the livewell.
- Look for areas with temperature spikes. In chilly water, big trout will definitely gravitate to and gather in areas of warmer water, even if it’s only a degree or two higher than the rest of the surroundings. Depending on where you live and fish, there may be a man-made warm-water discharge nearby. But there are also natural “warm water discharges.” Wherever you find contained flat shallows with dark bottom, you’ll find water that warms quickly on sunny days. Then, look for the cut or channel where those flats drain out into a deeper channel or larger body of water. These are the spots you’ll want to hit, after a high tide has begun to fall and that sun-warmed water is pouring out. Hitting such a spot on a falling tide in the mid-afternoon, when the sun has had some time to do its work, is ideal.