Big, Yellowmouth Speckled Trout Are Biting
It’s been a banner year for huge speckled trout along the Alabama Gulf Coast with anglers boating 27- to 30-inch trout that range in weight from 7 to 9 pounds. Let me tell you, those are trophy trout that the locals have dubbed yellowmouths.
If you look at the inside of the mouth of a big speckled trout, spotted seatrout for all you purists, it has a distinct yellow hue. When you hook a fish and it comes to the surface thrashing around, you can see that yellow mouth right away, which puts you into a different mode. You realize this is not going to be a trout that will come easily to the boat. That’s when you quickly pull out a foot of line to make sure your drag is working properly, because you will definitely need it while fighting a yellowmouth. The big fish will make several runs before its tires enough to finally succumb to the angler’s steady pressure.
One thing to note is the trout transitioned a little quicker than normal this year to live bait, probably because we went from a nice spring to summer in about a week’s time here on the beautiful Gulf Coast. If live shrimp is all you can find for bait, be prepared to buy extra because everything loves to eat shrimp. If you can find a bait dealer with live croakers, definitely take advantage and free-line a nose-hooked croaker behind the boat. This time of year, that tactic pays big dividends.
One report I got from a couple of experienced anglers was that the difference in fishing live bait versus artificial lures can sometimes be dramatic. One angler was fishing one side of a private pier with live bait and was hooking fish steadily. The anglers in a boat on the opposite side of the same pier were casting artificial lures and weren’t getting a single bite.As the water temperatures rise, the trout will be in different places with activity on the plentiful inshore reefs in the mornings when it’s cooler. The Alabama Marine Resources Division has been steadily upgrading the reef material on the inshore reefs to make the fishing better, so don’t pass a chance to fish these areas when you have a chance.
As the water temperatures rise, the trout will be in different places with activity on the plentiful inshore reefs in the mornings when it’s cooler. The Alabama Marine Resources Division has been steadily upgrading the reef material on the inshore reefs to make the fishing better, so don’t pass a chance to fish these areas when you have a chance.
When the sun gets high in the sky, the trout will then usually move into deeper water, so be ready to adjust accordingly.
The only obstacle for hooking fish lately has been the wind. A fairly steady blow has made pre-trip planning significant to make sure your favorite honey holes are fishable.
When it comes to equipment, I’ll stick with 10-pound to 12-pound test line for trout, which have more delicate mouths than the tough-as-nails redfish. With the drag set properly, using braided line gives you a very good feel for when you’re getting a bite. Fluorocarbon lines give better sensitivity than monofilament and are tougher when you encounter oyster shells and barnacle, especially if you use a short leader of 20-pound fluorocarbon line. I stick with medium-action rods with good backbone for trout to get the feel needed along with a good hookset.
With the majority of the fishing crowd out taking advantage of the red snapper season, it’s a perfect time to stay inshore and hook into a yellowmouth trout.