We call them “dinks” here on the Gulf Coast of Texas. They are the spotted seatrout that are undersize or just barely legal. There are many anglers out there this summer who will be happy to catch a limit of trout, even though they are dinks. But there is also a strong contingent of anglers, like me, who would rather catch trout in the 18- to 20-inch or larger range or go catch redfish.
You can put several things in your favor to help you catch better quality summertime trout. One of those is not fishing too shallow during the heat of summer. The forage better quality trout eat is oxygen level dependent. Species such as glass minnows, silversides and menhaden move deeper in the summer heat. Continuing to fish shallow grass flat edges during July and August is a great recipe for catching smaller-than-average, undersized spotted seatrout. Look for structure that is deeper than 8 feet in your bay system. If it has good current, you’ll find it also has better quality seatrout during the heat of the summer.
On rare occasions, a very large trout will be feeding on the small trout and mullet in shallow water. But trying to target fish in this scenario tends to be a Hail Mary more than a good plan, unless it’s an area that typically holds big trout. Big trout can be caught on structure at the edge of deep water pre-dawn until about sunrise, but many will just stay deep during this period.
Hunt the fish, and you should have better results.
Tobin created TroutSupport.com – Precision Teaching and Tools for Speckled Trout and Redfish.