Those of us who prefer to target trout are getting pretty excited, as we know that Spring means we will catch our largest and heaviest trout of the year. Speckled trout have one thing (well, two things) on their mind when the water starts warming: Eat, and Spawn.
Water temps in the Wando last Sunday were around 56F, so still a little cold, but they are rising fast. As I write, the water temp is nearing 60F and any time now the topwater bite will kick in fierce. This is from past experience. When the water gets in the low 60’s, this brings the return of large schools of baitfish. By watching my Humminbird fish finder, we could see these schools coming in waves suspended about 10 feet down. There was also evidence of bait on the surface, and even a few fish strikes. If there are no mullet around, the topwater bite will be very slow. Soon, they will be everywhere, and thus the trout (and redfish) will be focused on this easy meal.
This day, the trout bite ranged from the familiar *tick* to a barely perceptible pick-up. The larger the trout, the lighter the bite (this is often the case)
I began the day throwing the Pearl MinnowZ that I was using last trip in the Cooper, and I fished it pretty much all day with success. I did eventually break it off on some deep structure doing some experimenting. I replaced it with a BadShad color MinnowZ and got a memorable bite from a large redfish.
This fish hit like a freight train right in the middle of a group of pilings. The feeling coming down the line let me know it had wrapped around a piling. I’ve learned from experience that the best thing to do in this case is to open the bail. The lack of resistance calms the fish and it will often stop running. I ran the trolling motor so that I could free the line. Reeling in, I discovered it had wrapped around another piling! I opened the bail and got it free. Next, I was able to steer it around the remaining pilings, then headed for deep water. This pretty red fought hard and only after landing it did I discover its “Nemo Fin”.
A couple quick pics and released. A great way to end the day.
Totals for the day, about 16 trout to 19.5″, two reds to 28.5″, and one flounder at 14″. My first slam of the year 🙂
A note about spring time trout: These trout will be fat with eggs, and the gators will all be females. Please consider releasing them to spawn. Wetting your hands before landing them will help protect their slime. I release all trout over 20″ as a personal upper-slot limit, and on top of that will only keep 2 or 3 for a meal to eat fresh.
It’s time to stock up on your tackle! The best value in Trout Eye jigs is to buy direct from us in bulk. We also have a limited selection of Z-Man soft plastics in colors and profiles that we recommend and fish with ourselves. Click on our Store link above. Grab a hand-towel while you’re at it. It’s a great accessory. Thanks.