By Peter Miller, Bass 2 Billfish

Helpful tips and hints for trout fishing in Florida

Found from Cape Cod all the way down to southern Florida, the spotted seatrout is limited to the western Atlantic Ocean. As beautiful as it is delicious, the spotted seatrout is a highly desirable catch.
Though the smaller versions of this fish may not seem like much, seasoned anglers know that seatrout remain the number-one targeted saltwater fish in the state of Florida. Part of their appeal is the unusually wide range of fishing possibilities. They are easy to catch from boats, shore, docks, bridges and piers. They can also be found in a variety of locations from rivers and creeks to lagoons and bays.

Seatrout suffered mightily from overfishing in the late 1980s (when recreational limits were as high as 10 per day) but new rules for both commercial and recreational fishing have solved many of the problems and the species has rebounded well. An aggressive fish that will strike almost anything, seatrout do well on topwater artificials, spoons, jigs, flies, and live bait. Their natural food source includes small crustaceans, shrimp, and other fish.

Often called “gator trout” when they exceed six pounds, seatrout tend to congregate by size—if you haven’t caught the big one yet, try looking for a different group. Larger trout don’t feed as often as smaller fish, and some anglers like to entice big trout with a live 12-inch mullet. Asking at your local tackle shop may be a useful way to find out how to fish trout in your area. Many factors including season, weather, and location can affect your trout fishing success.  
A very popular method for fishing trout is the popping cork rig. Varying the retrieve, frequency of popping and the depth of the bait will simulate live action and entice a trout to bite. Seatrout are popular and versatile—fun to catch and delicious to eat. It’s no wonder these attractive fish keep anglers coming back for more.