Spotted Seatrout also known as speckled trout or just plain “trout” in the Tampa Bay area is one of the most fished for species around Florida. The meat is mild and it tastes delicious! The fish is widely available around the state and just recently (2012) we’ve had our seasons changed where there is no closed season on the gulf coast. I mainly fish for trout in areas of seagrass, around islands that are surrounded by grass and oyster beds, off the beaches, and in residential canals in the winter time. I fish live bait in the form of scaled sardines, smaller threadfin herring, or shrimp for the trout usually. This can be done by free line the bait or implementing the use of a popping cork or float.
The trout will also take artificial lures with ease and it’s nice to be able to drift flats the flats making casts and catching fish after fish without the need to go to the bait well to put another one on. When using topwater plugs for trout, sometimes you’ll see them come up and blast the plug out of the water a couple feet while they’re so aggressively trying to eat it! Trout also will eat flies with ease for the fly fishing enthusiast. This is nice also because you can scale back and use a lighter weight fly rod.
I target trout on my Tampa Fishing Charters, St. Pete Fishing Charters, and Clearwater Fishing Charters year round.