Happy New Year! I hope every one had a Merry Christmas and safe and happy beginning to 2017. Throughout our region, anglers should find some quality fish to brag about.
To begin with, are you ready to catch a fish that is known for its explosive top water action? Than look no further than the spotted sea trout. These fish can provide some of the best top water action year round. Typically, these fish can be caught along the flats during the early morning or late evening hours when conditions are calm. Many of these trout will be in search of an easy meal such as small bait fish, shrimp or small top water lures. One lure that will receive plenty of action is Rapala’s Salt Water Skitter Walk (gold mullet).
Typically, many of these trout will be feeding along the flats in three feet of water or less. Anglers will also want to fish their baits near schools of bait fish as well as near sandy pot holes. Did you know that trout have excellent eye sight and can be easily spooked? One way to over come this is to make long accurate cast to a targeted area. In order to do so I suggest using a 7’ medium action spinning reel combo equipped with 20 pound test braided line and 15 pound mono leader. Attaching the braided line to the mono will work best when using a blood knot. When attaching the lure to the mono leader you should use a Rapala Knot. This knot will allow the lure to swim freely and have more action. According to the FWC, spotted sea trout can be caught and harvested in our region (southeast) year round. Seatrout must be more than 15 inches and less than 20 inches total length (may possess one over 20 inches included in bag limit). Also, anglers are allowed to possess up to four trout per day.
Also, anglers will have a good chance of catching some fish around the port. During this time of year, cooler waters and calm conditions will help many anglers locate fish such as pompano, blackdrum, and even sheepshead. When targeting these fish, baits such as shrimp, fiddler crabs, and small artificial lures will work well. This is especially true during an outgoing tide. One of my favorites to catch this time of year is the sheepshead. I suggest using a seven foot medium action spinning reel equipped with twenty pound test braided line and fifteen to twenty pound test mono leader. As far as the hook goes, you can either use a 2/0 with a ¼ ounce barrel swivel or a small jig head. Tipping the hook with shrimp or fiddler crabs will be your best bet. Anglers should keep in mind that many of these fish are know to feed near structure that is covered with barnacles.
Capt. Keith Mixon
Mixin’ Work With Play Fishing Charters