Speckled Trout Help [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Speckled Trout Help


FlyFishZak
05-18-2008, 05:09 PM
I live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and spend many a morning targeting speckled trout. Having recently picked up saltwater fly fishing, I find myself wade fishing on the beach quite often. The problem is that I can never seem to catch any specks on my fly rod. I have caught numerous specks here using a popping cork and live shrimp, but fly fishing does not seem to work. I am doing something wrong, but I cannot seem to pin point my problem. I use a variety of Clouser Minnows, which I heard work wonders for speckled trout.

The area I fish is a deserted beach front that has a muddy/sandy bottom. To the left are docks that have been ruined due to Katrina, and to the right is an inlet that runs to many other small bodies of water. I have read that specks prefer areas that do not have a uniform bottom, such as sudden drops. The three foot deep beach drops to about five feet once it hits the inlet, and I am sure it is considerably deeper having watched boats go in and out. On either side of the inlet is marsh grass, which I heard specks frequent. I would love to wade the inlet, but as it drops from three to five feet, the mud begins to suck you under to neck depth, posing a serious threat. The current also keeps me away, easily being able to sweep me away.

I do not really have a question, but rather I am requesting advice on how to surf fish for specks. I have read every online arcticle I could find, but they do not seem to help. My basic game plan has been to walk out about a hundred yards and start casting. I know this is not an effective strategy, but I am dumbfounded on how to go about successfully catching these fish.

Thank you for your time.
Zak

blindcurvw
05-19-2008, 09:39 AM
Fish for them just like you do w/ spinning tackle only use your fly rod and flies instead of bait/lures... I've fished only a little bit for speckled trout and used clousers and shrimp patterns. The fish didn't seem very picky but different region (Cape Hatteras) so perhaps your fish are more selective. The big thing I remember was the take was very subtle.

Sounds like your a novice fly caster so I'd guess you have 1 of 2 possible problems:

1.) Sensing the strike
Its quite possible you are getting strikes and don't even know it... Try to make sure your line is straight in the water and not kinked... Don't want any slack in the line during any portion of the retrieve. Keep a grip on fly line at all times and keep your eye on the end of the fly line, strike if you feel anything or see any movement counter to natural stripping direction. If that fails, Trying shortening your leader as this will improve sensing the strike... If the water is stained a 4-7' leader will probably do just fine.

2.) Getting Strikes
Its also possible you are just not getting strikes... Best flies mimic the naturally available bait. You don't have the advantage of smell so need the fish to hear or see your fly... A surface popper or bulky fly will create sonic waves that attracts fish... If you can spot fish and cast w/in a foot or two of them, then a more natural pattern will work... If water is stained go w/ a fatter and brighter colored fly... Finally, make sure your leader material isn't too big a diameter (guessing 8-10lb test would be plenty for brushy/rocky areas, maybe 4-6 lbs for sand flats/beaches).

Good luck! Figuring out how to target and catch a species on a fly rod will become a never ending pursuit.

FlyFishZak
05-19-2008, 04:16 PM
Thanks for the advice. I will see to it I follow those tips on the next outing.

I have read online that the moon affects the feeding patterns of specks, but am not sure how it does so. Half of the sites say that the following day after a full moon is not going to be productive due to the fish feeding during the night. Others say that the week before and the few days after a full moon are prime times to catch specks, especially in May when spawning begins. I am confused about whether an outting during these times would prove successful in terms of catching fish. Although catching fish is fun, a morning of just getting the line wet is equally as rewarding to me, but I fish sure would be nice! :chuckle: