Kayak Fishing

By: Eric Henson

I absolutely love this month because we still have the cooler temps but there will be spurts of spring coming soon. This also is one of my favorite months to target big “Gator” trout (Speckled trout) here on the southwest coast of Florida. Their giant yellow fanged mouths make them one of the most optimized predators in our waters. They are sleek, beautifully spotted, and have a rainbow iridescent glow to them. This helps them blend into their surroundings on the grass flats and gives them a great advantage. They generally are not the hardest fighting fish on the flats but, when they get into gator trout size, they can really put up a great fight. Plus, once you find them you can catch them one after another.

My favorite way to target them is by top water lures like the Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil or if there is lots of floating grass, the Monster 3X Pop-Action rigged weedless. It makes it easier to target them in the thick grass flats and it doesn’t get much better than watching giant trout exploding on top water lures! Sometimes it sounds like gun fire and the lure will go flying 4 ft. into the air. Trout are one of the species that sometimes like to stun their prey first and come back to finish it off. Trout can be so aggressive that I’ve actually seen them eat lures while they have 3 inches of a 10-inch mullet hanging out of their mouths. This makes them loads of fun to target with artificial lures. My second favorite way is soft plastics rigged weedless because these fish love to hide in the grass to ambush their next meal. This is also the time of year when they start to spawn so, please handle these giants with the utmost respect and care. When I’m using hard baits I always switch out the treble hooks to single hooks. Not only is it much nicer on the trout’s soft mouth, but you get a better landing ratio once the fish is hooked with the singles. When these fish get over 20 inches, they are for sure our breeding stock and the bigger ones don’t really taste good anyway. If you want to keep a fish or two,16-19 inches perfect!