Spotted Seatrout aka Speckled Trout

Man Holding Speckled Trout

Spotted Seatrout Fishing Tips

  1. Stalk your prey. Try not to slam shut any hatches or let your wake crash heavily around the area where you are wanting to fish. Shutting off the motor before you get close and letting the tide take you the rest of the way, or using a trolling motor are good practice.
  2. Search for clear water. Try to avoid areas where the tide is kicking up pluff mud. Trout are sight feeders and it is important for them to see the bait or lure you are presenting.
  3. If you don't see other signs of fish, focusing on the outside of bends where the water is typically deepest in the area where you are fishing is a good place to start.
  4. Easy on that hook set. There is no need to throw your shoulder out of socket pretending to be on the Bassmaster Classic. A solid wrist flick is more than enough. These fish have delicate mouths.
Slip Bobber

Fishing Techniques and Lures

Drifting minnows and live/dead shrimp with a slip bobber is a popular technique in this area. Typically used in water that is a little deeper than 5ft., if you are in an area where you have caught fish in the past it is important to drift the bait through the run several times at different depths to work the entire water column.

A popping cork with live bait on the end is a classic for a reason - it works! The closer you are to the bottom the better, so pay attention to your depth gauge.

Don't forget the trusted Carolina Rig for trout, too. Dropping a live finger mullet down to a live bottom, near oyster beds, or around a structure, can be very effective.

When fishing for trout with artificial baits, less action often results in more hits. Try darker lures on overcast days and brighter lures on sunny days. It is not uncommon to go through your entire arsenal of lures before you find the one that the trout are interested in. 

DOA Shrimp are a good option for a simple wrist flick as it flows with the current. Slow sinking twitch baits by Mirrolure or Rapala are also effective. The slower sinking the better, because trout will typically strike the bait on its way down. The slower the sink, the longer time in the strike zone. Zman's trout eye jig heads, old school paint-less jig head, as well as 1/8 or 1/4oz jig heads with curly tail or paddle tail grubs on them are a great option. 

Trolling is another effective method for finding trout. Pay close attention to where you are when you get a bite and be ready to work that area. Where there is one, there are often more. Unless you are using a trolling motor, let out plenty of line to allow the noise of the motor to pass by before the lure is presented to the fish. Curly, paddle tail grubs, and suspending hard plastics are effective for trolling.

Know The Difference!

Spotted Seatrout and Weakfish are very similar fish. The easiest way to distinguish between the two are by their spots. Be sure to know the difference as these two species have different bag limits.

Speckled Trout
Spotted Seatrout

Weakfish
Weak Fish

Release The Big Girls

Almost every trout over 20" is a female. It is best to practice catch and release with the larger the fish, since more eggs will be produced. For example, a one year old sea trout (about 13 inches) will produce just over 3 million eggs while a three year old trout (between 17-18") will produce almost 18 million eggs annually.

Seasonal Trout Fishing

Winter Trout Fishing

“If you find the bait, you’ll find the fish” is a good rule of thumb to follow during the winter. Diving Terns and Gulls are great indicators of bait and shrimp schools. This works year-round. If you actually see several small schools of mullet or shrimp flow past you in the tide, you're probably in a good run. Once you locate bait, focus on current breaks (structures, eddies, etc.) where the trout can hide from the strong current and ambush passing bait. 

Spring Trout Fishing

As the water begins to warm and bait moves back into the shallows, so do the trout. Trout schools can be found on sand flats and shallow water chasing bait in the Spring. Focusing on shell banks and creek mouths can be very productive this time of year. Gator Trout are usually in deeper water waiting for bait to pass.

Summer Trout Fishing

Early morning is your best bet to catch trout in the heat of the Summer. Getting out before the sun rises and working oyster beds, sandbars, and grass lines as the tide begins to fall, is a good plan. Fishing a live bottom in deeper water is another great option in the summer heat. While this technique works well throughout the day, it works best during slower tidal flows.

Fall Trout Fishing

Fall fishing is hot for everything in Georgetown. Focusing on an area where the cooler offshore water is pouring into the bay or inlet is a good bet, during the beginning of fall when the water is still warm. As the water begins to cool, the trout continue to move further up the creeks and rivers. The top half of the tide is preferred, but trout can be caught during anytime of the tide in the Fall. Working the edges and bringing the bait toward the boat in the same direction the bait would naturally move is a good technique.