| Seatrout, or trout, as they are commonly
called in Florida, are widely fished throughout
the state. Their range covers the entire coast
of Florida and all the way around the U.S.
coastal Gulf of Mexico where they are equally
popular with anglers in the other Gulf
Schoolie trout up to 20” or so are
accessible, relatively easy to catch fish and
lend themselves equally well to beginners and
experienced anglers alike. They are good
table fare, which adds to their appeal still
more. They are a common catch on the grass
flats in the estuaries and lagoons, as well as
the salty portions of rivers and backwaters of
Florida. An area that holds smaller trout will
always have more than a few around. Smaller
trout are given to schooling behavior;
sometimes tightly, sometimes loosely
scattered about; and often, many can be
caught from the same area or single spot.
Intermediate and large trout, fish over 20”
ranging up to 30+” are more challenging and are
a favorite target for many savvy fishermen.
Large trout over 24", or “gator” trout as they
are commonly called, are virtually all females
and are different in some of their habits from
the smaller fish. While they can be found in
schools during certain times of the year and in
certain locations, they are generally more
inclined to smaller, loose associations or
solitary behavior mostly dependent on feeding
stations and local habitat.
Trout are a very attractive fish,
unmistakable in appearance. As the name
suggests, they have a substantial coat of
spots, sometimes so heavy as to seem almost
black on their backs. This spot coat is
dappled over an olive back and iridescent
sides, declining and disappearing below the
lateral line to blend into a white belly. They
are primarily ambush feeders, especially the
smaller fish, and they blend in so well with the
grassbeds in which they lay that it is sometimes
impossible to see them until they move to
strike a bait or flee one’s feet or the approach
of the boat.
They respond well to many methods and
techniques, again, heightening their popularity
for their angler friendliness. Live bait is the
best guarantee of a strike from trout and I
employ it frequently on charters, especially at
night when the fish sometimes shun artificials in
some spots. But, on day trips, I most often
use artificial lures; jigs and soft jerkbaits, with
topwater plugs a favorite when feasible. That
said, one of my favorite diversions is wading or
sightfishing for big trout with fly rods and deer
hair sliders, muddlers or unweighted baitfish
flies. As always, I will match the technique to
your preferences and skill level. If you wish to
pursue big fish, then the location of the fish
and conditions will ultimately determine the
technique(s) we use on your trip.
Conventional tackle for trout fishing will
range from 6-10 lb class spinning gear to 8-12
lb class plug casting tackle. Fly tackle
selections are simple. A 7-9 weight outfit is
ideal, depending on wind and skill level. If you
wish to use your own outfit, I’ll be happy to
discuss the kind of trip you wish to go on and
advise you accordingly on which of your rods
|A thick, 26.5" female about to return
to her house in the grass.
|A typical 17" school trout comes
to the boat.
|A fly caught 23.75" trout headed
back to a winter spawning school.
|Another fly caught winter female going home;
this one a heavy bodied 9 lb, 28" bruiser.