Kayak Fishing for Speckled Trout

Kayak Fishing for Speckled Trout | Navarre Kayak Fishing

Kayak Fishing for Speckled Trout is an excellent way to enjoy Inshore kayak Fishing.

Here, in Northwest Florida, we are able to target Speckled Trout all year and a kayak provides the perfect platform.

If you are having a tough time locating Speckled Trout along the Emerald Coast, try applying the following tips and techniques.

We are sure they will increase your chances of catching the fish of a lifetime.

Kayak

There are a large number of well-made kayaks on the market today that are perfect for Kayak Fishing for Speckled Trout.

After fishing from multiple paddle and pedal kayaks, our kayak of choice is the Old Town Predator PDL.

The PDL is stable, quiet, and provides a dry ride throughout the year. Staying dry is very important during the winter months and we recommend you check out our blog/video “Waders For Kayak Fishing.

The Old Town Predator PDL has the ability to go backwards and coming to a quiet, hands-free stop makes a huge difference when positioning or approaching feeding fish.

Gear / Tackle

When targeting Speckled Trout along the Emerald Coast the majority of anglers prefer to use spinning equipment.

A seven-foot medium action rod paired with a 2500 size-spinning reel is perfect for targeting Trout. A soft tip is important and plays a crucial roll in fighting the fish. The stiffer the rod, the more likely you are to lose mature Trout.

The reel should be spooled with 10-20 pound braid and a five-foot section of fifteen-pound fluorocarbon should be attached to the main line using an Albright or FG knot.

When attaching a lure to the fluorocarbon, I prefer to use a non-slip mono loop knot; the loop knot allows the lure to move as freely as possible.

Lures

If you are new to inshore fishing, lure selection can be overwhelming.

You can ease the pain by visiting your local tackle shop and ask a few questions or by checking out our blog “Simply Your Tackle Selection.”

When we target Speckled Trout, we prefer to carry three rods.

The rod that see’s the most action will be rigged with a 1/4 ounce jig head and a “Mini Swim Bait.” Both of these are available at https://navarrekayakfishing.com/store/

The second rod will be rigged with a suspending lure, such as an Rapala X-Rap 08.

The third rod will be rigged with a top water lure, such as a Jackall Bonnie 95.

Background

The Speckled Trout or Spotted Seatrout inhabit coastal waters throughout the Southeastern United States.

Spawning season varies by location but can last from March – April depending on the water temperatures.

Speckled Trout feed primarily on crustaceans and a variety of small finfish.

Seasons

As the weather changes fish behave in different ways.

It’s important to consider the time of year when Kayak Fishing for Speckled Trout.

Summer

During the summer months, we prefer to target Speckled Trout in the Santa Rosa Sound.

On the north side of the Sound, there are several boat ramps.

These ramps allow easy access to endless miles of grass flats.

Woodlawn Beach Boat Ramp, Oriole Beach Boat Ramp, and Shoreline Park Boat Ramp are three of the most common.

Come summer, Trout are most active early in the morning and they primarily feed on small crabs, shrimp, and minnows.

At first light, Speckled Trout will ambush bait and can be seen chasing baitfish across shallow flats.

Trout are easily caught throwing topwater lures but floating grass often prevents the use of topwater lures in the middle of summer.

In these situations, a weedless presentation is key.

We have found using a weightless lure; such as “Soft Jerk Bait“, to be most effective. We recommend pairing it with a 5/0 EWG Hook, the extra weight will help get the lure down into the strike zone.

When fishing a weightless lure it’s important to keep constant contact with the lure. If you can’t “feel” the lure you can’t “feel” the bite.

The “Soft Jerk Bait” will flutter through the water column and become an irresistible snack for any nearby Trout and is an important lure to carry when Kayak Fishing for Speckled Trout.

Fall

As the water temperature cools the fish will stay on the flats throughout the day.

That makes the fishing phenomenal from September to November.

We like to slowly move across the flats, scanning the grass and potholes for any signs of life.

A quality pair of polarized sunglasses is essential when searching for potholes in shallow, crystal clear flats.

Once a desired area is located, we prefer to work a soft plastic through the strike zone very quickly. The fish are aggressive and will hit just about anything when they are actively feeding.

Winter

From December to February, Speckled Trout can be hard to locate especially if it’s your first time chasing them in the cold.

During the winter months, anglers rush north to the river systems and fish deep water because that’s what they have been told to do.

It’s a huge misconception that we watch inexperienced anglers fall for every single year.

If a Speckled Trout was located in the middle of the Santa Rosa Sound it would be an 80 mile round trip migration to the nearest river system.

The location doesn’t need to change, however, the pattern does and it’s worth taking the time to figure out.

Simply put, we fish the Santa Rosa Sound for Speckled Trout in the middle of winter with excellent results.

It’s important to remember to slow down!

Spring

March brings unpredictable weather and unreliable fish.

Fortunately, bait will begin moving back on to the grass flats first thing in the morning and the Speckled Trout will follow.

As spring progresses the Trout will become more and more aggressive, making them vulnerable to anglers throughout the Panhandle.

By April, the flats will be teaming with bait and the Speckled Trout will be feeding heavily on small minnows.

Conclusion

Chasing Speckled Trout can prove to be challenging.  I hope these tips provide a little insight and help you catch more fish!

Until next time, stay safe and always wear a quality lifejacket.

Kayak Fishing for Speckled Trout | Navarre Kayak Fishing

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