The spotted sea trout is one of the most targeted fish in the bays. There are many different places that you can find sea trout in the bays. Large grass flats are where you will find large schools of sea trout feeding on a variety of bait such as shrimp, small crustaceans and bait fish. The deeper water near these grass flats will hold good numbers of sea trout during the low tide. Some of the other places that you can find sea trout in the bays are at the mouths of tidal creeks and inlets, around bridges, rock piles, docks, oyster beds, sand bars and points.
Bridges can be good areas to target spotted sea trout. Bridges attract all types of bait and the bridge pilings provide tons of great spots for sea trout to ambush bait fish. Moving water is usually key, so make sure to get out there and fish during the tidal changes. An incoming tide tends to be more productive, but it all depends on what type of bridge you are fishing. There are tons of bridges located in all different depths of water throughout many of the popular inshore areas where you will be fishing for sea trout.
Docks can definitely hold some spotted sea trout, although, you won’t typically find good numbers of trout around the docks like you will find them on the grass flats. On the grass flats, you may run into large schools of sea trout that range from 20 to 100 fish. When fishing the docks, you are most likely going to find isolated trout. At times, you may find bigger trout around the docks though. The better docks to fish for sea trout will usually have some shallow water grass combined with some deeper water near the edge of the dock. The high tide tends to be the best time to fish the docks.
Spotted sea trout will move back into the creeks, inlets and backwaters just like redfish. If you can find some grass flats in these shallow water areas, you will have a much greater chance to find some sea trout. The tides will dictate where the fish will be located throughout these backwaters. As the waters rise, you will find sea trout moving onto the flats and around many different types of shoreline cover. During the low tide, sea trout will be found in the deeper cuts and channels. Tidal changes bring moving water, which is essential to find feeding trout. The winter months will usually hold large numbers of sea trout in the tidal creeks.
From spring through fall, the grass flats are by far the best place to consistently find spotted sea trout. Anglers target sea trout many different ways on the flats. Bobber fishing is popular with a popping cork and live shrimp or pinfish. Artificial lures such as spoons, spinners, jerkbaits, topwater lures and soft plastics will all catch plenty of trout on the flats. The bigger sea trout feed primarily on bait fish, so even though you may catch some big trout on shrimp, live pinfish are the way to go if you want to consistently catch bigger trout. During the winter, good numbers of sea trout will move back into the tidal creeks. A warm front may bring some fish back onto the flats during the winter, but fishing is usually much more productive in the tidal creeks during the winter.
Fishing piers can definitely be productive areas for catching spotted sea trout. You won’t find consistent numbers of sea trout on the piers like you will on the grass flats, but sea trout will move under the piers to find an easy meal. If you happen to be on the piers when sea trout move into the area, you can catch them with live shrimp and live pinfish.
Spotted sea trout are not very common on the beaches, but there are often times that they can be found in the surf. If you are a surf angler, you will know when these fish are roaming the beaches. Sea trout will be very active, especially on an incoming tide. They can easily be caught with a variety of artificial lures, live shrimp and live pinfish. The deeper troughs located along the surf will usually be the best spots to fish for sea trout.