The upper back has an iridescent sheen with light blue and purple. ... cold stun happens when water temperatures drop drastically and quickly after events like Thursday's blizzard. Dr. Greg Stunz of the Harte Research Institute says speckled trout are prolific spawners, capable of spawning as frequently as every 10 days, under favorable conditions. However, that cooler water seems to cause the seatrout to become active and bite. On these sunny days, angler can sometimes find really large trout holding in very shallow water where they soak up sunshine and warmth. Just as much as coastal fishermen will be checking salinity levels in April, they will also be eyeing their water-temperature gauges to get a jump on speckled trout fishing. Also, a slip cork will allow you to adjust the depth of your live bait until a bite is achieved.”. Tommy Sutton of Columbia has discovered a little-known lure from Strike King that has proven deadly on big trout hanging near the bottom in the same situations. Once my mullet reached bottom, it didn’t take long before I felt the subtle but definite bite and take of something solid. The area's legion of speckled trout anglers are in mourning. Trout feed better when the temperature is on the upswing (at the lower range) than they do when the water temperature is falling. They gorge themselves on them, and they get fat. This time of the year (summer), our water temperature will get pretty hot without any tidal flow, and my clients will generally be able to catch speckled trout with water temps as high as about 88.5 degrees. Wind Direction – Three days of wind from the north-northwest, northwest, west or a combination of these will pull speckled trout … When the water temperature hits 60 degrees, the Cutthroats will begin to stress and feed less. “I’m always looking for the schools of baitfish, and I’m looking for sandy or shell bottoms in 3 to 4 feet of water where there is current running through a stretch of the marsh. Here at Marsh Buggies, we love the Louisiana Marsh and everything that comes with it, and that means fishing season. In cold weather and water times, specks are not scattered widely- they’re concentrated in big schools in very specific locations. Expect a variation a few degrees one way or the other. The Dog River between the marinas often produces good cold water specks. “They show up in huge schools, and if you can find one, you can bet the trout have found them, too. That “something solid” came to the top and the silver sides and deep black spots of a strong three pound or so speckled trout flashed in the early morning sun. Trout fishing at lower elevations (and in southern latitudes) can be quite poor when there is a long hot spell. “If you can find three to four inch long finger mullet, sometimes you catch them cast netting the mouths of bayous over dark bottom, it’s a very good bait in cold water.”. When I see 70 degrees, I know it’s time to go hit the grass beds or go hit the marsh flats about 3 to 4 feet deep.”. They are silvery gray or greenish on the upper sides and back, shading to white on the belly. Only a couple of months ago the air and water of Mobile Bay were both warm, still and pleasant. Most times of the year, anglers can locate schools of actively feeding speckled trout in a wide range of locations. Specks might be feeding around the platforms in the bay, they might be at the same time feeding up in bayous and smaller creeks or they may be in open water chasing shrimp. “Trout seem to disappear on us over the winter in the Mississippi Sound and Biloxi Marsh, but then they reappear in masses as soon as the water hits 70 degrees. The other fins are pale or yellowish. When you swing a trout in the boat there’s a better than average chance they will spit out a few minnows on the deck. Speckled trout will invade Mississippi Sound and Biloxi Marsh when the surface water temperature climbs into the 70s. Copyright 1998 - 2021 Mississippi Sportsman, Inc. All rights reserved. Whether an angler uses live bait or artificials in December, most of the time the offering will be on the bottom where the fish will be holding, and, according to Yano, this can create some problems. You may even hook up to some gator speckled trout, if you can withstand the cold, that is. • A study in Barataria Bay in Louisiana concluded larger speckled trout are most likely to be found over shell or soft (mud) bottom when the water temperature is 75 degrees or higher. “My best advice on how to catch speckled trout in the winter? You have to work it out each day.”, Captain L. W. Burroughs adds, “Speck fishing in December can be quite productive due to the fact they seek the warmth of deep water, this can be from eight to twenty feet, in canals and rivers which flow into saltwater bays. At sunrise, the usual lure of choice is a topwater plug. There are so many  variables that can change the fishing from day to day at this time. The dorsal fin and tail are dusky, and the tail is edged in black. Become the most informed Sportsman you know, with a membership to the Mississippi Sportsman Magazine and One stressful thing is the vicious wind which chills my wet hands after I baited up with a nice finger mullet before my cast. So most of the time in December, speck anglers can motor past the bayous and shallower waters which held lots of trout back in warm months. This article first appeared in the December 2018 print issue of Great Days Outdoors Magazine. The acoustic tags have an additional sensor to record the water temperature at the location of the fish. Make sure you’ve got winter speckled trout lures, Choosing the Best Suppressor for Your Style of Hunting, Assessing Pre Built Hunting Cabins for Sale, Choosing the Best Duck Hunting Kayak for Your Area, Boat Maintenance Checklist – Annual Tasks for All Systems. “When the water temperature climbs out of the 60s and into the 70s, it’s like magic — you know, like somebody flipping a switch that turns on the speckled trout. The VIMS researchers are finding that smaller speckled trout behave differently in cold weather than the larger speckled trout. Capt. Sometimes the little jigs, the two-inch size, will work better on cold water trout than larger jigs.”, “Soft plastics such as the GULP Swimming Mullet or a Saltwater Assassin Cocahoe Minnow on 3/8 oz jighead is a good method,” pointed out Burroughs. A warming water temperature of 68 degrees tells trout the spawn is coming. December often sees large swings in water temperature, which will move speckled trout into and out of shallow areas. It may be cold out but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good time to go fishing for some specks. The over… Use a flyrod and flies as water temperature rises, and trout move from deep pools into riffles in search of insects; Use a light-action rod and a spinning reel holding 4 pound test. Bobby Cleveland has covered sports in Mississippi for over 40 years. The fabulous 50s I prefer … According to Burroughs, “Finding the right water depth where the fish are holding is very important. “I like GULP and Matrix Shad jigs in chartreuse and white, chartreuse and black, and just solid chartreuse,” Yano said. Then the trout will make their way back to the “outside” to begin a new spawn. For more great hunting and fishing content for the deep South, subscribe to Great Days Outdoors print and digital editions or click the image to download this issue. “In cold water, I primarily free-line live baits such as live shrimp, croakers, and finger mullet,” added Burroughs. The other stressful thing is something strong and disagreeable on the end of my line. There’s no single pattern for catching specks in December. However, sometimes anglers can find some very big gator speckled trout doing some very out of the ordinary things in December. As water temperatures decline during fall, fish move into deeper bay waters and the Gulf of Mexico. “What I like to do is concentrate in main bodies of rivers, not bayous but deep water with ledges that hold bait. Both guides ike to use jigs and soft plastics during cold weather times. There are so many variables that can change the fishing from day to day at this time. Look for the fish to be holding near the bottom in fifteen to thirty feet of water. Spotted seatrout have an elongated, streamlined body with a slightly elevated back, long pointed head, and oblique mouth with the lower jaw extending beyond the upper. The weather, the water temperature, the salinity of the water all can change at this time of year. As long as you know, I manage to keep the hook and the fish together until I slid the fish into my, The Dog River between the marinas often produces. But if you feel the headshake, then you’ve got a trout,” said Yano. It may be cold out but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good time to go fishing for some specks. A kayak fishing enthusiast, he loves paddling into those hidden honey holes in search of all types of gamefish. Well, I promise you that fishing only at 7:30am or 2:30pm is a great way to make sure you don’t catch a limit of speckled trout. In other words, it is that time of the year when speckled trout fishing is all the rage. In this webinar we take a look at factors that affect their behavior, such as optimum spawning locations, water salinity, water temperature, light conditions and when they bite the best. Best Water Temperatures for Fishing for Speckled Trout in North Carolina. Temperature preferences are only a rough guide, and Farhenheit at that. Notionally, neither vantage point is wrong.