Paddle Power in May 2021

Spring is in full swing and one of my favorite “seasons” of inshore fishing is as hot as it gets! It does not matter where you decide to launch your kayak in Florida or in any of the southeast states the story for inshore is the same. Spotted sea trout fishing is to springtime as water is to wet. Of course, you can catch trout all year on the Space Coast in Volusia County and in the Tampa region, but nothing compares to the springtime bite.

With spawning activity centered around full or new moons in the spring and summer the need to feed is sparked. Add a steady influx of bait to the shallows as they warm and you get the best opportunity for quality and quantity. Long gone are the chills of the winter and sea trout will respond by happily staging in the shallows where bait is present and the deeper waters necessary for spawning are nearby. Though sea trout will be more than willing to take a wide variety of offerings there is a clear favorite way to fish them for most who chase these ambush predators. Top water plugs are the apex of tactics to not only get plenty of bites, but to also tempt the biggest of the bunch to take a swing. The explosive strikes that are synonymous with the walk-the-dog action of Skitter Walks, Zara Spooks, Ba-Donk-a-Donks and several others are hard to beat. I almost always opt for this style over inline propeller or chugger style plugs. It takes a bit of work to get the proper action down but when you do the results will speak for themselves. The topwater bite is best at low light times like dawn and dusk, however I like to always have one rigged and ready on the kayak. More than once mullet getting chased at high noon has produced amazing topwater hits from great fish.

A more traditional way to keep the action going as the sun gets higher in the sky is switching to that paddle tail lure rigged weedless or on a jighead. My top colors run the same with both techniques. Bone/white, mullet, and sea trout patterns will all get the reaction you are looking for. With the spotted seat trout pattern topping the list many times due to larger representations of the species being all to willing to cannibalize smaller trout. The regulations on sea trout have changed in size, limits, and season so make sure you are up to date if you are wanting a trout dinner. Also keep in mind that the larger specimens are the brood stock and any trout over 24 inches is a female that is much more useful serving as a breeding machines than being served as dinner.