Some of the best speckled trout fishing that can be done is on the East Coast. From late September into the winter is the prime time to get in on this great speckled trout action.
When fishing for specks, baitfish is the first thing you have to find. If there is bait around, there will more than likely be speckled trout. Look for live shrimp popping on top, as well as live mud minnows or live finger mullet.
The trout will stage up in the deeper water in these areas, around six-feet deep, and come up into the shallows to feed. They love to be around some kind of structure. Bridges, boat docks, marsh areas, creeks, grass beds and oyster bars are great places to be looking for specks from late September through November.
The ditches that run through a marsh area are always great places to try. They actually flow through the marsh grass and are the deepest parts of the marsh systems, because of the current flowing through them. Trout love to stage up in the ditches and ambush bait that is being pushed through with the current. They don’t really mind current, they like moving water…that’s where they like to feed.
As the water cools down in mid-October some of the trout will start to move, heading toward the ocean waters. Not all of the trout come out of the inshore waters but a lot of them will make their move near areas with rock jetties.
Then, as it cools down even more in November, you will start catching speckled trout coming out of the northern areas. Speckled trout are usually in these areas until late December. It all depends on the water temperatures, how cold it gets or how warm it stays.
Surf fishing is a great option for trout fishing in the fall. When fishing the surf, you want to look for sloughs along the beaches. A slough is a sand bar with a deep hole then a sand bar on the other side of the deep water. The deep holes are where you will find the trout. They will stage up in the holes waiting to ambush bait moving up and down the slough. There are times the trout will be right up against the beach feeding on bait.
Artificial lures and live baits will both catch Speckled Trout. Yes, live baits are probably the easiest way to catch them but you can get just as many on artificial baits. Talk to your local bait and tackle shop to find out which artificial baits are working best in your area.
When fishing artificial bait, you may need to work your bait to suspend in the water column or you need it to sink faster because the water might be deeper or the current might be running hard. When you think you are fishing it slow enough, slow down even more. All you need to do is make very short snaps with the tip of your rod or just reel the lure “real slow” through the water column and let the lure do all the work. Always remember you want to fish the lightest head you can get by with, but you need to be on the bottom or somewhere near it.
By December, the live shrimp will start to disappear. After the shrimp are gone, the live bait choice will be live mud minnows. The trout will really start to key in on the mud minnows because that will be the only bait left for them to feed on. You fish them the same way as you would fish a live shrimp. As the water really cools down into the winter they are just about the only way to catch good numbers of speckled trout.