Catch More Speckled Trout
Countdown till May Full Moon
So whats up with the countdown till the full moon in May? Historically three days prior to the full moon and new moon each month are typically the better moon phases for bigger and more speckled trout with the month of May being one of the best all year.
Catch More Speckled Trout
Speckled trout are a commonly targeted fish species in and around Mobile Bay. Both, local and out of town guests are interested in how to catch more speckled trout. More specifically how to catch more speckled trout in Mobile Bay. Locating speckled trout is one huge step. Understanding migration patterns is a big help to understanding when and where to target speckled trout. After having a better understanding of where to target you will want to know what is the best bait to use for speckled trout once you feel you are in the right area. For the artificial purest you will want to understand what is the best lure for speckled trout in and around Mobile Bay. Some days it will seem like there is an endless supply of speckled trout. Whereas other days it will seem like they are non-existent. We just want to catch more speckled trout.
Where and When
How do you do anything usually requires you knowing other answers like where and when. Where to catch speckled trout is a lot like selling Real estate, "location is everything." Picking the right location for me always begins with water quality. The first step is checking the most recent satellite image for Mobile Bay. (See example images below). The next step is to know your predicted tidal movement and the predicted wind direction. The last bit of information you need to dig into is salinity levels. When is relative to the time of year and or water temperature range. Generally speckled trout are nomadic. The majority of speckled trout roam throughout the bay, Mississippi sound, rivers and creeks as water temperatures raise and lower. Click here to view my personalized species calendar for Mobile Bay to see the peak months for speckled trout fishing.
Click here to view satellite image. Once you are on the site change the date at the bottom of the page to a date with a clear sky of the area you wish to inspect and then zoom in for inspection.
Mobile Bay Speckled trout migration
Understanding the migration of speckled trout around Mobile Bay will certainly help with catching more speckled trout. The biology of speckled trout allows them to move in and out of salty, brackish and nearly pure fresh water. Speckled trout spawn multiple times per year usually beginning in late April and the last spawn usually occurs in late September. Speckled trout require a minimum of 15ppt salinity to engage into spawning activities. Understanding the spawning schedule and salinity requirements helps us understand that the majority of all spawning age speckled trout will be located in high salinity waters April through September. Now that we understand when speckled trout will be in the open saltier waters we can now discuss the colder weather hide outs. Basically, once a speckled trout is no longer in spawn mode they switch gears to winter survival mode. That means feeding heavily in the rivers, creeks and canals surrounding the bay. Speckled trout can survive in as little as 5ppt salinity during these colder weather months.
The Best Bait
We are talking about a fish that basically lives two different lives. The cold water life and warm water life. Can we really say "the best bait to use for speckled trout" is _________. Well, I think we can say "bait(s)" and get away with it. From the time a speckled trout is a tiny fry it is a savage creature. I have seen them as small as 1/2" long eating other 1/2" long speckled trout in captivity. Unfortunately, those little guys will both die but that just goes to show the size of appetite these freckled fish can have. Therefore, not much that swims is off limits to a hungry speckled trout. Okay, lets get to the best bait to use for speckled trout around Mobile Bay. One sea creature that a speckled trout of any size will rarely refuse is a shrimp. Painting with a broad brush here, a speckled trout of most any size and most anytime of year will consume a properly presented shrimp.Whereas, if you want to target larger speckled trout I recommend using larger live fish or fish imitation lures.
The Best Lure
Lets face it. Not everyone likes to fish with live shrimp. They cost $4+/dozen. They are fragile and can be hard to keep alive. Bait stealers love them, Catfish will nearly jump in the boat to get your precious live shrimp and to top it off not many bait shops keep shrimp 12 months per year. They definitely don't keep shrimp 365 days per year. Therefore, finding a highly effective lure or lures can be a nice alternative to live shrimp. So whats "the best lure for speckled trout?" Fortunately, its a much more durable option than a live shrimp. The best all around 12 month fish catching lure is a vudu shrimp. Once again, I am not saying this is the best big trout bait. The vudu shrimp is very durable and has life like tail motion and some very realistic eyes. However, there are many other very good, life-like, artificial shrimp options that are also, durable and effective for catching speckled trout around Mobile Bay.
Wrap it up
Looking to catch more speckled trout in and around Mobile Bay you can take the simple approach of focusing on shrimp and shrimp imitations as your bait of choice. Follow the general migration patterns and you will likely increase the number of speckled trout you will catch in a year. However, speckled trout are such a fun fish to target using a variety of baits, lures and locations throughout the year it could get boring doing the same thing day in and day out. Therefore, if you are looking to learn more about speckled trout fishing around Mobile Bay you could join the Alabama Coastal Fishing Association (ACFA), listen to weekly podcast fishing reports through Alabama Saltwater Fishing Report, and or book a fishing trip with me by click here. I have many local anglers who book with me each year to learn about a certain area, fishing pattern or how to catch fish on the Slick Lure. That will be the topic for another story 🙂 Good Luck and Be Safe!