My interest in Speckled Sea Trout was piqued after reading an article by Brandon White on Tidal Fish. I caught one in the Honga River, last fall, for the very first time. Since then, fishing for them has become, well, kind of an obsession. I’ve read through fishing reports, articles, blogs, forums, etc., anything to learn more about this elusive and mysterious creature. My buddy, Steve, and I have put countless miles on the kayaks chasing these beautiful fish. Our success, until now, has been sporadic. Make no mistake, anytime that a Speck has been caught, regardless of size, we have felt very fortunate.
Lately, I have spent a lot of time studying Google maps and NOAA charts, looking for points, channels, and drop-offs. Yesterday morning we launched from a ramp in southern Dorchester County. We usually fish close to shore, but the water in the shallows is quite warm right now. So, on a hunch, we moved out to a drop-off in 10-14 feet of water. The tide was dead low and just starting to come in. Almost immediately, I hooked and landed an 18″ speck. What transpired over the next couple of hours was simply fishing heaven. We caught about 20 Speckled Trout, all in the range of 17-20″. We also caught several large croakers, the largest being 15″. It wasn’t fast and furious by any means, but it was steady, and it was fun.
20 1/2 ” Speck
We are used to catching smaller sized trout and were not prepared for fish of this size. I was using an ultralight rod with 10# mono, casting an 1/8 oz. jig head dressed with a 4″ Gulp Saltwater Swimming Mullet. Chartreuse was the color of the day. Steve was using the same, only he was using 6# mono! There was no horsing these fish, you had to let them get in a couple of good runs before bringing them to boat. One fish shot off to the front of the boat, did a 180, and came blasting back past me. He was about a foot under the surface and looked like a silver rocket. Did I mention it was fun?
Without a doubt, it was one of our best days fishing. Seven Specks were kept for the table, as well as a couple of Hardhead and the rest released for another day.