By Capt. Gus Cane
Spotted seatrout or specks as they’re often called, are a favorite quarry for skiff anglers from the Chesapeake Bay to Laguna Madre. They can be fooled by a variety of baits and lures, they’re abundant and delicious prepared several ways. Smaller trout are not difficult to find. Trophy “gator” trout are very wary, however, and a challenging adversary. To catch big fish, try these techniques:
Start on top but stay flexible. Trout are ambush predators and big trout like big baits. Topwater stick lures are effective, especially with a “walk-the-dog” or a darting, sideways retrieve. If the lure has rattles or a cupped face to make noise or spit water, that’s added attraction. Make long casts and work the lure back with an erratic, wounded motion. The fish will often track the lure for a distance before striking.
If the trout strikes and misses, pause the lure for a moment before resuming the retrieve. Trout usually kill a bait first before swallowing it. If the short strikes continue without a hookup, switch rods and try a subsurface presentation such as a soft-plastic jerk bait, imitation shrimp or suspending plug. Live shrimp rigged on a leader under a clacker-style cork will fool big trout too. The noise of the cork’s rattles/beads mimic frantic shrimp and arouse attention. If a trout hits the cork instead, switch over to a topwater plug.
Trophy trout are also similar to realtors. It’s all about location, location, location. Ambush points like sandy pot holes in sea grass flats, oyster bars, creek mouths, and pilings are convenient places to hide before pouncing on a passing meal. Even color changes between muddy or dirty water and clear can hold big trout. Find those spots, and you’ll find the fish.
Big “gator” trout are mainly loners. They don’t get big by being stupid so hunt for them in less pressured areas. That typically means super-skinny flats or tidal creeks that don’t see a lot of boat traffic.
Big trout like freebies too. While drifting the flats actively casting, rig a live pinfish, finger mullet or pilchard on a circle hook and float and let it drag behind the boat. You’ll cover more water, and that struggling morsel often attracts some of the biggest trout in the area.
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Designed with fishing in mind, the 18 JVX CC will provide you great access to shallow creeks and rivers where you need to fish.
The JVX 18 CC is a solid performer with a lightweight hull, Mod V Hull design and can carry more weight further and faster to yield more valuable fishing time on the water. With a length of 17 feet 9 inches and a beam of 78 inches, you will be able to reach all of your hot spots effectively and efficiently.
There are many standard options available including full instrumentational console, front deck 12-volt trolling motor plug, 12 gallon live well and a 70-quart removable cooler. Plus, there are many additional options available to meet your needs from a raw water wash-down to upgrades to a 24-volt trolling motor.
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