Inshore fishing grounds

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Stretching greater than 367 miles, Texas’s Gulf Coast is a fisherman’s paradise. Inshore fishing is plentiful, and there’s one stand-out species that calls these waters dwelling – Speckled Trout (also called Noticed Seatrout, relying on the place you’re).

A father and two kids wearing matching American flag life vests, while also holding a Speckled Trout just caught in Texas
This picture was taken by Captain Joaquin Pena of Drift Water Charters, SPI

On this article, I’m going to share every thing it’s good to find out about Speckled Trout fishing in Texas. And with fish able to reaching 16 kilos in measurement, you’ll see why Texas is among the prime Trout fishing locations on the planet. Learn on and discover out what’s so nice about it.

Why Texas for Speckled Trout?

Speckled Trout are an inshore species of fish, discovered alongside coastal water habitats. The most effective Trout fishing happens in three essential habitat sorts:

  • Flats/Backcountry. Seagrass beds, oyster bars, mud flats, and tidal coves.
  • City/Construction. Docks, residential canals, bridges, boat harbors, and marinas. 
  • Bays/Channels. Dredged channels, passes, and open water habitats.

Thankfully, the Lone Star State affords anglers all of those habitats and extra, which implies incredible alternatives to catch Trout year-round. Not like different inshore species that go into hiding in the course of the colder month (similar to Snook), Speckled Trout chunk each day of the yr in Texas.

From the world-famous Galveston Bay in North Texas to the city sprawl of Corpus Christi, all the best way right down to the shallow Laguna Madre close to the southern border… Texas is a Trout fishing paradise.

The place to Catch Speckled Trout in Texas

An infographic showing a map of Texas's Gulf coast with six of the best Speckled Trout fishing spots marked, such as Sabine Lake, Galveston Bay, Laguna Madre, and more.
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Speckled Trout are primarily an inshore and shallow water species. Most fishing is finished inside a mile of shore. Actually, a number of the greatest Trout fishing is finished only a few hundred yards out! Texas is massive y’all, so I’ve damaged down the state into three essential areas and highlighted common areas:

North Texas Speckled Trout Fishing Spots

Sabine Lake is a brackish tidal lake situated in North Texas on the Louisiana state line. It affords glorious Trout fishing, with a powerful tidal affect. Simply be certain to control the rainfall and salinity ranges when planning your journey.

A smiling angler in a hat holding a Speckled Trout while on a fishing charter in Texas City
This picture was taken by Captain Michael of Spots to Dots Information Service, Texas Metropolis

Galveston Bay and close by Trinity Bay will be the most well-known bays in all of Texas. This huge bay and surrounding barrier islands provide anglers distinctive city fishing alternatives, with numerous docks, canals, marinas, and constructions for hidden Trout. In the event you want a extra distant setting, concentrate on fishing the East Bay and round Goat Island.

Matagorda Bay is situated about midway between Corpus Christi and Houston. This huge bay system encompasses a essential bay with quite a few rivers and tidal lakes round its perimeter. East Matagorda Bay is common in the course of the winter, when anglers use stay mullet for his or her probability at a real big.

Central Texas Speckled Trout Fishing Spots

San Antonio Bay. Positioned close to the Aransas Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, this physique of water affords a number of the most distant and undeveloped coastal fishing in all of Texas. Fly anglers and sight fishermen ought to try the mosaic of islands and backwater bays alongside Welder Flats Wildlife Administration Space.

A group of anglers pose around a board stating "Welcome to Conn Brown Harbor" and showing off the numerous Speckled Trout they caught, with the water and a bridge behind them
This picture was taken by Captain Randy Filla of Fillabite Information Service, Aransas Cross

Copano Bay/Aransas Bay is situated simply north of common Corpus Christi and affords anglers a very good combination of city lodging and distant coastlines. Goose Island state park is common with households, and the barrier islands present loads of locations to cover from the wind.

Corpus Christi Bay is among the largest within the state and, though it’s protected by barrier islands, it’s all the time greatest to examine the climate earlier than fishing this open water. Widespread spots embrace the JFK Causeway, Mustang Island State Park, and Nueces Bay to the north.

South Texas Speckled Trout Fishing Spots

Baffin Bay affords South Texas anglers incredible shallow water alternatives and a number of the largest Speckled Trout in Texas. Visiting anglers ought to contemplate hiring an area information to navigate these shallow, however productive waters. This space could also be your greatest probability at catching the fish of a lifetime. 

Three women in the water next to a charter fishing boat holding the Speckled Trout they caught
This picture was taken by Captain Rudy Rivera of Reelin’ and Chillin’ Charters, SPI

Laguna Madre is the final main lagoon system in South Texas earlier than you hit Mexico. This inside lagoon has a lot much less freshwater affect than the bays within the north, which implies clear and clear waters. Incredible sight fishing alternatives await, and fishing is superb year-round for Speckled Trout and Redfish.

Speckled Trout Fishing Deal with & Gear

The typical measurement of Speckled Trout in Texas is between 2 and three kilos. That’s why most anglers use medium–mild gear. Nevertheless, Trout over 5 kilos aren’t unusual, and also you’re simply as prone to catch a Redfish or Flounder when fishing in Texas’s Trout habitats!

You’ll want an outfit that’s delicate sufficient to throw mild lures and onerous baits, however sturdy sufficient to corral fish away from oyster beds and sharp pilings.

Rods and Reels

A group of anglers fishing on a jetty in South Padre Island on a sunny day
This picture was taken by Captain Noe Granada of AVM Fishing Outfitters, SPI

Casting distance is a very powerful function when fishing for Trout. Most anglers wade or drift giant shallow flats, the place fish can simply be spooked. Lengthy casts will can help you cowl extra water and attain the fish earlier than they see you coming.

I like to recommend utilizing a 7′ medium-light motion rod, with a 2500-4000 collection spinning reel. Pair your reel with a 12–15 lb check mainline, and you’ll want to use a 20 lb check fluorocarbon chief to stop break-offs from the Trout’s sharp enamel.

Fly Fishing

For fly anglers, a 6–8 wt rod is my advice. In the event you plan on entering into a number of the extra distant backwater places deep throughout the coastlines, a 6-weight is good. Nevertheless, if you happen to plan on fishing open water and passes, an 8-weight is best suited to fight the wind and throw heavier flies.

Widespread flies for Speckled Trout embrace the basic Clouser minnow, in addition to any shrimp or crab sample. In the event you’re concentrating on trophy-sized Trout on the fly, think about using a big mullet sample with a 2/0–3/0 hook and a sinking line. 

Lures

Probably the most common Texas Speckled Trout fishing methods is with a popping cork and jig combo. A popping cork provides the angler a visible chunk indicator and creates a splashing sound within the water while you shortly raise the rod tip.

A closeup of a fishing lure used for fishing for Speckled Trout in Texas being held for the camera
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Tie your jig 18–24 inches beneath the popping cork or simply above the grass line in whichever depth of water you’re fishing. The popping cork will create a splash and draw consideration to the jig within the water column beneath. Relying on the present and wind, a ⅛ to ½ ounce jig head tied with any common mushy bait will do the trick. Widespread manufacturers embrace Gulp, Strike King, and Z-man. 

If the water situations are clear and freed from weeds, attempt throwing a ¼ ounce Johnson silver minnow spoon. Differ your retrieve velocity to concentrate on totally different depths. A sluggish retrieve will fish deeper, and a quick retrieve will fish nearer to the floor. In the event you’re fishing in an space with sand or mud backside, pause your retrieve and shortly begin once more to create a flutter-like motion.

Topwater lures are additionally extremely popular with Texas Trout anglers, and will be the most enjoyable strategy to catch them. Lures just like the Zara spook and Yo Zuri pencil minnow imitate a dying mullet and work exceptionally nicely round docks, bridges, and different city constructions.

Dwell Bait

A closeup of a Speckled Trout caught with live bait in its mouth
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Simply check out the enamel on a Speckled Trout, and also you’ll see that they’ve a mouth constructed for predation and consuming stay bait. Dwell shrimp is the very best all-round bait for these fish, and it’ll get you bites all yr lengthy. However, it’s straightforward to undergo just a few dozen shrimp as Pinfish, Snapper, and even Catfish will all be nipping at your bait.

If you wish to concentrate on bigger trophy-sized Gator Trout, it’s good to use massive baits. Massive 5–7” finger mullet are the very best, adopted by stay pinfish or pigfish. Most anglers freeline their stay baits utilizing a 2/0–4/0 circle hook whereas drifting the shallow flats. 

If you wish to catch giant numbers of fish with regular motion from a number of species, go along with stay shrimp or a jig/shrimp combo. However if you wish to goal giant. trophy-sized Trout, concentrate on utilizing giant stay baits and maintain quiet. Large Trout don’t chunk typically they usually’re simply spooked.

When to Go Fishing for Speckled Trout in Texas

Speckled Trout are extremely delicate to fluctuations in water temperatures and chilly snaps. Usually talking, because the water warms throughout spring and summer time, the Trout will transfer shallow, all the best way into creek mouths and tidal coves. As water and air temperatures drop, Trout migrate into deeper habitats the place they will discover refuge in channels, cuts, passes, and bigger bays.

A rear-view image of two anglers on a pier at sunset, somewhere in Texas
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Late winter and early spring are nice occasions of yr to focus on Speckled Trout in Texas. Not solely is the climate extra nice this time of yr, however the Trout are shifting into shallow places the place you should use a wide range of methods for fulfillment.

Conversely, the fall to winter transition is one other nice time of yr to hit the water. This time of yr the fish transfer from shallow water refuges to deeper holding zones. They’ll faculty up and supply incredible motion if you’ll find them. You can too plan your journey in the course of the fall mullet run, when giant faculties of finger mullet migrate alongside the Texas coast inflicting a feeding frenzy.

And bear in mind, it by no means hurts to name round and get an area report on the chunk. Most bait and sort out outlets and fishing outfitters are glad to share a report on the Trout fishing situations. 

Texas Speckled Trout Fishing Rules

An infographic containing the Texas state flag, a vector of a boat, and the FishingBooker logo, with text statin "Texas Speckled Trout Fishing Regulations: What You Need to Know" against a blue background
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Fishing Licenses

Each resident and non-resident anglers want a sound saltwater fishing license when fishing for Speckled Trout. Resident saltwater fishing licenses can be found for $35 or $17 for seniors over the age of 65. Non-resident fishing licenses can be found for $63.

Speckled Trout harvest laws in Texas are divided into two essential geographic zones. As of Could 2022, new laws went into impact in response to the unusually chilly climate of 2021 that resulted in above-average fish deaths. 

Texas Speckled Trout Limits

North of FM 457 (East Matagorda Bay)

Leisure anglers might maintain as much as 5 Speckled Trout per day, with a slot measurement between 15–25 inches. One of many 5 fish might exceed the 25-inch measurement restrict. 

South of FM 457

Open Season: March 16, 2022, to August 31, 2023

Leisure anglers might maintain as much as three Speckled Trout per day, with a slot measurement between 17–23 inches. All fish should measure between 17–23 inches. 

Notes: Speckled Trout laws within the state of Texas are topic to vary. At all times seek the advice of with the Texas Parks and Wildlife for probably the most up-to-date closures and fishing laws.

What to Pack

Together with the traditional staples similar to a sound fishing license, fishing sort out, polarized sun shades, and foods and drinks, you additionally need to pack for the climate. Texas can get unusually chilly in the course of the winter and brutally sizzling in the course of the summer time. Thunderstorms can pop up shortly, so high quality rain gear is vital. I like to recommend dressing in layers and defending your palms and neck from the weather. High quality gloves and a neck gaiter will do the trick.

And lastly, don’t neglect a top quality touchdown web. Trout are a delicate fish species and ought to be dealt with with care, particularly when training catch and launch. 

Speckled Trout Fishing in Texas: An Unforgettable Expertise

A view of the inshore fishing grounds in Aransas Bay at sunset
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The Gulf Coast of Texas is among the most original fisheries within the nation. This ecosystem helps a strong leisure fishing trade, in addition to distinctive seaside cities and a real native vibe. So plan a visit to the Lone Star State, and you could very nicely catch the most important Speckled Trout of your life. And don’t neglect, there are many certified captains prepared to point out you the ropes!

Have you ever ever been fishing for Speckled Trout in Texas? How was your expertise? Any ideas and methods to share along with your fellow anglers? Drop us a line within the feedback beneath!

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