One of the most targeted species within inshore saltwater is the Spotted Seatrout. These trout are known by other names as well. For instance, the nickname yellowmouths are given due to the yellow coloring of the mouths, more commonly found in larger fish. You will also hear the term papermouths being used due to their delicate mouths which often times result in a hook being torn from their mouths. The most prized sought after trout is the gator trout which refers to their massive size, but everyone has their own definition on what makes a trout a gator trout. Trout are often caught in the 14 to 20 range and around 1-3 pounds. Trout of 5 pounds are not uncommon and larger trout weighing in around 10 pounds have also been caught (gator trout). Male trout grow much slower than females and have a shorter lifespan; therefore fish that are caught weighing in over five pounds is almost guaranteed to be female. Not only are they great eating, but what makes these game fish so attractive to target is the simple ways in which to catch them. But before you think you can go out and start catching right away, there are some things you must know. Knowing bits of information like diet and habitat will help aid in a successful day of trout fishing.
Lets start with diet. Spotted Seatrout are ambush predators, meaning that they lie in wait and make short lunges to grab their prey. Their large front teeth help in holding their catch. Typical diet of a Spotted Seatrout ranges depending on size. Smaller fish target shrimp, while larger trout will ambush smaller fish (pinfish & menhaden) crab, and shrimp. With that being said, live and/or dead bait works well when targeting trout. The best presentation comes from beneath a popping cork and small jig head with your bait of choice attached. This allows you to not only keep the bait suspended, but to also use the noise from the popping cork to attract predators. Artificial lures are also popular when targeting seatrout. Jigheads with soft plastics (paddle tails, jerk baits, etc.) will produce. Also try small suspending twitch baits and topwater plugs to mimic an injured bait fish. Knowing what to throw is just half the battle. In order to be successful, you must now know where to throw.
Choosing your location can make or break your trip. Knowing where and when to fish is just as important, if not more, than what you have tied on the end of your line. The trout typically are more active in the mornings or with tidal currents. Most trout will spend their entire life in close proximity to the estuary in which they were spawned. However, during the year, they can be found in different locations throughout the estuary. Before spawning (Febuary-April), they are typically scattered throughout the bay. This is a good time to target the grass flats. Look for a vast grass flat with potholes which are areas of sandy bottom scattered within the grass. These make great ambush points for the trout. During the spawning season (May-September), the fish old enough to spawn will find water with higher traces of salinity. This also triggers a feeding frenzy as they are in need of more food to keep their metabolic rate up. Once October rolls around and the cooler fronts start passing through, the trout will begin to migrate more inland where they will remain up until the beginning of the year. Temperature will also play a part in finding trout. In extreme cold or heat, the trout will retreat to deeper holes to find warmer or cooler water. This is also a time where they will become lethargic, so slowing down your presentation is key.
So once you have caught and cleaned your trout, it is time for you to cash in on all of your hard work; eating! Trout is best fresh and should be placed on ice immediately after landing. The meat of trout is white and flaky with excellent flavor and texture, making it one of the most sought after table fare for recreational anglers along the gulf coast. Although deep frying the filets are popular, broiling and pan searing are also great ways to prepare your catch.
Louisiana has some of the best habitat for Spotted Seatrout. The labyrinth of bays, estuaries, and marsh make it the perfect home for trout as well as other inshore species. If you are looking for a truly unique experience, consider booking a trip within the Terrebonne Parish of Lousiana. Captain Rob Dupont of Impulse Fishing Charters offers guided trips in this highly sought after area. From Theriot, to Dularge, to Houma and Cocodrie, Rob has the knowledge and expertise to professionally put you on all the trout you can handle. Bag limits are 25 trout per person with a minimum length of 12 and no more than two over 25, so you can enjoy catching all day long! Great for beginners and family outings, trout fishing in the marshes of Louisiana is a trip of a lifetime, and a sure fire way to catch the fishing bug.