The spotted seatrout, o speckled trout as it is sometimes called, is found throughout the central Florida region all year long. They account for the biggest number when it comes to the amount of fish caught by recreational anglers here. Local anglers usually refer to them simply as "trout". While they make appear similar to freshwater trout, specks are in the drum family along with redfish, croaker, and black drum. The inside if their mouth is yellow and they generally have one or two large fangs in front surrounded by smaller teeth. Their scales are small and they are a delicate fish that cannot take much handling. Their bodies are covered in spots to help them hide in the grass beds. Watch a video about seatrout fishing in Mosquito Lagoon.
Seatrout are an ambush predator, They can sit still and wait for a passing meal and then quickly grab it with their large teeth. The primarily feed on shrimp and baitfish such as mullet, pinfish, and pigfish. They are not picky, however, and will eat a huge range of live, natural, artificial baits and flies. I primarily fish for seatrout using artificial lures. Along the edges of flats in in water 2-4 feet deep, trout can be caught using jigs with a soft plastic tail or a noise making cork and plastic shrimp combo. See my video on the best seatrout lures for central Florida. In these locations, it is common to catch numerous fish in the 12-20 inch range. Up on the shallow grass flats, larger trout will lie in and along sandy spots, using them as ambush points. Anglers can blind cast across these areas using a soft plastic jerk bait or they can wait until individual fish are spotted and cast to them. Trophy sized trout over 24" are extremely sensitive to boat noise and will quickly swim off if they become aware of your presence.
Seatrout are more sensitive to the cold than redfish. They will gather in deep holes during cold spells. If the water remains too cold for too long, our seatrout have no place to escape unlike other regions in Florida. Our waters warm back up quickly, however, and winter can offer some of the best sight fishing for big trout on the flats.
Seatrout are generally easier to catch for inexperienced or novice anglers. The fish in deeper water do not require the casting skill that are needed to sight fihsing for redfish. typical blind casting technique with a wide range of retrieves will entice these fish to bite. Having a dehooking device while eliminate the need to handle every fish. Using barbless hooks will cause less damage to them and help insure a healthy release,
A seatrout caught while fly fishing in Mosquito Lagoon
Seatrout and redfish double header hookup.
A full grown spotted seatrout caught in the Indian River Lagoon
Watch anglers casting seatrout on the flats using the DOA Deadly Combo
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