Three Tactics for Winter Specks

dead bait dredge
The Best Dredge for the Way You Troll
January 4, 2023

Big speckled trout will bite, if you serve 'em up what they want in the winter months.

Winter can be a great time to target speckled trout, and although the bite may be on the slow side some days, this is a time of year when some real gators show up. You say you want to catch trophy-sized trout? Apply these three tactics, and get out on the water asap.

winter speckled sea trout

Big speckled trout will bite, if you serve ’em up what they want in the winter months.

  1. Bucktailing – Instead of casting tails on a bare jighead, tie a bucktail onto the end of your line. Using a bucktail as opposed to a jig head bulks up the presentation, and makes your offering look larger. In chilly weather as the fish’s metabolism slows down they don’t want to expend a lot of energy to chase down small baits, and bigger is usually better.
  2. Feather Jigging – Feather jigging is incredibly effective when the fish school up in deep holes and channels, usually after a cold front pushes through and temperatures take a dive. In this scenario, rig a chicken feather jig on four or five feet of 20-pound fluoro leader to a triple-swivel. Then, tie a two-foot dropper line on the third eye of the swivel, and add a three-quarter ounce or one-ounce weight to the end. Troll the rig at walking speed, sweeping the rod tip forward then allowing it to drop back to give it a swimming action. Let out just enough line out that you can feel the sinker tap bottom at the very end of the sweep.
  3. Drifting Livies – Also good when the fish head deep, drifting live mud minnow or mullet can be a killer tactic. The beauty of doing so is that you can rig up a fishfinder-style rig with a circle hook, set out the line, sit the rod in a holder, then actively fish a second line with a different offering as you drift. With circle hooks the fish will set it themselves, so there’s no penalty in sitting the rod down rather than holding it. In fact, don’t even touch the rod when you see the tip jiggle – let Rodney the Rodholder do his thing and wait until the rod bends all the way over before you even pick it up.

One of the great things about fishing in Texas is that even in the middle of winter, you can enjoy some serious success. So set your sights on winter trout, and put these tactics to work.

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