Species Spotlight: Spotted Sea Trout | Sport fishing magazine

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Spotted sea trout, aka Cynoscion nebulosus.
Jon Whittle

The elegant silver-spotted sea trout might look more like a ballerina than a linebacker when compared to its cousins ​​in the drum family: the rockfish and the black drum. However, looks can deceive as even the smallest of these dancers will gladly slam a surface lure more than half their size.

During frenzied feeding, sea trout often binge to the point of regurgitating – an ungraceful behavior – leaving watermelon-scented slicks on the surface of the water that betray their presence to observant anglers.

Spotted sea trout, also known as speckled trout or speck, provide year-round action for inshore anglers from the mid-Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico. Every year, recreational fishermen fish millions from bays, estuaries and coastal ocean waters. When the bite is triggered, live bait such as shrimp, presented under a float or freeline, produces double and sometimes triple digit catches of schools of fish in the 1 to 3 pound range.

To get artificial, pair a cork with an imitation shrimp to generate irresistible sound and visual stimuli for the trout. The resulting head shake of a hooked fish also generates an irresistible siren call for anglers.

Trophy hunters pursuing “alligators,” weighing 5 to 15 pounds and measuring up to 30 inches, should choose larger baits and lures to tempt these notoriously finicky older fish.

But again, size doesn’t really matter. The sea trout are there and ready in two steps. Are you?

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