MIDDLE COAST FOCUS—Aransas/Upper Laguna Madre
December 25, 2023
December 25, 2023



Tips for Big Winter Trout

LISTEN: (2 Min, 59 Sec)

IT IS TIME for winter trout fishing in the coastal bend area.  Crisp mornings will greet you on the water and often offer opportunities for heavy trout targets.  Consistent trout fishing is in the details.  Here are some suggestions to tip the odds in your favor. 

BAIT PRESENCE:  When targeting winter trout, the first and most important piece of the puzzle is the presence of bait.  The main bait source for trout in January and February is mullet.  When evaluating an area with sustained water temperature in the 50s or 60s, the presence of bait (flipping or nervous bait) is significant.  During January and February, these opportunities are often found over softer bottom as opposed to hard sand.   

STRUCTURE:  The Port O’Connor area is blessed with an intricate system of marshes and back lakes that stretch for miles.  The softer bottom found in these areas is ideal for winter trout fishing.  This type of structure will absorb heat on sunny days after cold fronts and hold the heat longer than hard sand.  The bait moves in, and the predators follow.  Deeper holes with soft bottoms can be very productive, as well.  On unseasonably warm days, the bait can ease out over adjacent warming sand pockets to sun and trout will follow.  

Crisp winter conditions often improve the chances of catching big speckled trout.

Crisp winter conditions often improve the chances of catching big speckled trout.
(Photo: Capt. Kim Gouden)

WATER TEMPERATURE:  Water temperature plays a role in consistency.  It is not necessary to target a certain water temperature, but being aware of the dynamics that produce areas of warmer water may give you an edge.  During winter, water off a leeward shoreline on a sunny day will warm relatively faster than middle areas.  This can bring bait up shallower and give trout opportunities for easy meals.

ARTIFICIAL LURES:  With the main bait source being mullet, heavy-bellied suspending twitch baits and similarly-shaped larger tails can produce some elbow-rattling thumps that will live rent free in your head for a while.  Vary your retrieval until you draw a bite.  Slowing lures way down in cold water can have outstanding results.  MirrOLure Corkies and Soft-Dines are very effective.  A down-sized version of larger profile lures is a must.  If they will not commit to the larger version, downsize the offer.   

The cat-and-mouse game of winter speckled trout fishing is a great way to spend a day on the water.  I hope these tips will give you ideas for a game plan and lead to a personal best speckled trout to start your year off right!


Email Kim Goulden at KimGouldenFishing@gmail.com

Online: PortOConnorFishingTrip.com

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