Speckled Trout

Saltwater Fishing

speckled trout

Speckled Trout Tips and Techniques

Big Speckled Trout How To Catch Them

Stealth is the key to catching big speckled trout. Whether it be the approach or the lure silent and subtle wins out when targeting big trout. Some anglers even leave the boat behind to wade shallows to explore for possible hideouts that hide throughout the shallows. Hideouts like deep holes hiding among the skinny water. Speckled trout linger in these areas, ambushing baitfish as they are pushed through by other game fish. When you find one of these big speckled trout hideouts it can hold several big spotted seatrouts. Catch one trout and there is more than likely a few more.

Big Speckled Trout Baits

When you are targeting big speckled trout stealth is important. While many speckled trout baits have rattles and make lots of noise to attract the fish. When targeting big speckled trout angler’s in the know will throw baits that are silent to trigger strikes. Speckled trout have learned what is dangerous. They will shy away from rattling noisemakers not taking the chance. A silent bait is used to trigger speckled trout to strike when they are a bit sluggish.

Rigging Live Shrimp For Specks

Live shrimp is a very popular bait for speckled trout. It’s probably the most utilized bait for speckled trout.  Of course, shrimp will catch big speckled trout. All speckled trout love the delicious shrimp that swims in the gulf’s water just like we do. There are a couple of ways to rig live shrimp for specks but one seems to stand out among serious speck hunters. It is a simple trout rig consisting of a hook, usually a circle or octopus-style hook. These hooks should be light wire short shank hooks. This will keep the weight down allowing the shrimp to swim freely or drift in the current more naturally.

Hook the shrimp just below the horn. The horn is the crown of the shrimp’s shell that is hard and spiny. Make sure that you miss the vital organs of the shrimp so it stays lively longer. You can see the vitals through the shrimp’s translucent body as a small dark blob. Above the hook place a sinker. The weight of the sinker depends on the current. Another option, when rigging live shrimp for spotted seatrout is to leave the sinker off. The sinkerless rigged shrimp allows for a free drift. Oftentimes this is the desired rig for catching speckled trout. I always love to see the line jump that comes with a sinkerless free drift. This rig will let the bait drift more naturally.

Bobber And Corks For Catching Speckled Trout

A bobber or cork can be used with the live shrimp rig. The bobber is used to keep the shrimp above the bottom. This allows the bait to drift through likely spots for speckled trout. There are several different bobbers and corks on the market. They can be weighted or not, chuggers or silent, slip bobber or fixed. Controlling the depth of the bait can be the ticket in some circumstances. Attaching a rattle to the bobber or using a chugging bobber can create the necessary stimulation when needed. I know, I know. I mentioned above the silent approach to catching big speckled trout. Now I’m talking about chugging a big bobber through the school. There are always those that have figured out how to catch speckled trout. Some will swear by the silent approach, others swear by the noisy approach. It depends on whatever you are confident in.

Rigging Finger Mullet For Spotted Seatrout

Another great live bait rig is the mullet. The mullet is to southern saltwater as is the shad to southern freshwater. Mullet are the most widely available baitfish in the shallow saltwater of the southern shores anyway. A 3 to 4 inch mullet rigged under a popping cork can agitate some large trout. Free-lining is my favorite way to fish any type of live bait and the mullet is no different. As with all live bait rigs for spotted trout, a short shank light wire hook works best. This allows the mullet to swim freely.

If the speckled trout are being picky then a cork can help keep the mullet lingering in the strike zone and will help you catch more specks. Popper corks will also create a huge disturbance on the surface like a wounded mullet. When the trout comes to investigate the disturbance from afar it will find the struggling mullet rigged underneath the cork. It will be glad to devour the mullet and the fight is on.

3 Popular Topwater Plugs For Spotted Seatrout

Catching any fish on topwater is a blast and speckled trout are no different. The shallow water where specks feed lends itself to excellent opportunities for catching them on top. I will list 3 of the more popular topwater plugs used for speckled trout on topwater below. Warming waters in the spring and cooling waters in the fall usually mean speckled trout will eat on top. Whether it be the spring as the waters begin to warm up from winter or whether it is the fall as the water temps drop from the summer.

There are also times when topwater lures will work outside these obvious periods. This is when water temps rise in the winter. When water temps rise from a warm front or clear skies during winter by just a few degrees can give the topwater angler a day or two of topwater action. Topwater lures will usually catch bigger fish no matter the species. The action and size disturbance signals to fish that an easy meal awaits.







Rapala Skitter Walk

When it comes to working topwater for big fish the Rapala Skitter Walk, with its right-out-of-the-box “walk the dog action”. This action is deadly on big fish and easy to perform with the Skitter Walk. It imitates a swimming mullet or baitfish perfectly. Internal rattles create a rhythmic side-to-side motion. The skitter walk is equipped with VMC Perma Steel hooks and are made for saltwater for the ultimate longevity and strength. These hooks are also super sharp. The rugged construction holds up to the aggressive strikes and teeth that these fish have.

  • Rugged construction
  • Internal scale and gill patterns
  • Weighted tail makes for easy ‘Walk the dog’ action


One Knocker Zara Spook

Rattle up some speckled trout with this excellent plug! The Heddon One Knocker® Zara Spook features a single tungsten rattle. It creates a loud thump that penetrates the water, drawing fish in from long distances. A strategically placed rattle inside the plug makes walking the dog easier than ever. The One Knocker Spook comes ready to rock with ultra sharp Mustad treble hooks. These hooks keeps your fish buttoned up all the way in.

  • Noisy topwater increases strike-zone 
  • Tungsten rattle emits a one knock thump
  • Ideal walk-the-dog action
  • Equipped with premium Mustad treble hooks

She Pup Details

MirrOlure’s She Pup is a high buoyancy topwater lure that lets you walk the dog with ease. The She Pup lure is built with twin sonic fish calling rattles made into the bait. These rattles emit a high-frequency sound that enrages game fish. Outfitted with high-quality hooks and hardware, the She Pup is very effective for speckled trout, snook, stripers, tarpon, and reds. The She Pup is 3-1/2″ and weighs 1/2 oz

A Great Recipe For Pan Roasted Speckled Trout

Spotted seatrout makes for excellent table fare. The firm meat and mild flavor make these most sought-after inshore fish along the southern coast excellent for many fish recipes. Whether you like them grilled, baked or fried, these abundant gamefish are flavorful and enjoyed by many anglers.

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About Ken McBroom 307 Articles
Ken McBroom is an accomplished outdoor writer and photographer. Growing up in Lynchburg Tennessee allowed him many opportunities afield as a boy and young man. Later in life, after Desert Storm, Ken’s wanderlust took him to Alaska to live and work and experience the last frontier. Married now with two beautiful children, Ken now calls Kentucky home where he continues to communicate our American outdoor traditions and the lifestyle it offers.