It's no secret to everyone that knows me that winter time in Southwest Florida is by far my favorite time for inshore flats fishing. For most it's the cool early mornings chasing down tailing redfish that get people excited, and I'll admint I am one of those people that spend my mornings looking for tails. It's the return trip back to the launch when the tide comes in and floods the flats that I look forward to the most. Hunkered up in the grass waiting for bait to swim by is in my opinion the most under rated gamefish we have here in SWFL, speckled trout. Not the small 15"-18" fish that we get all summer long, but the 24"+ fish that make Matlacha and Pine Island Sound their winter home.
Fishing for trout is pretty straight forward. They are pretty aggressive and will accept a large variety of baits (topwaters, soft plastics and live bait) My favorite however is by far the Spook. Big trout have a habit of launching themselves out of the water when it comes to attacking a topwater plug. Almost like a great white shark launching out of the water after a seal. It's an awesome sight, one that gets the heart racing each and every time. After the initial display of aerial acrobatics your in for a great fight as the head shaking and drag peeling fight from a big trout is equally as impressive.
With their soft mouths and uncanny ability to shake a hook boating a big trout is definitely a smile worthy accomplishment that will keep you coming back for more all winter long.