Night Fishing for Speckled Trout!
Local Fishing By Thomas R. Dempsey, M.D. CCI
With March fading and April coming in the speckled trout are showing up around the piers on the Gulf coast just primed for the night fisherman. Fishing under the lights for trout is as close to sight fishing as you can get without getting a sunburn.
There are a few things to remember that can make your trip more productive. The best rod choice is a 7 or 8wt. with a weight forward floating line. This is one time when a bright color may help you see it better. The leader , about 7 1/2 ft. 15 lb is balanced to turn over the commonly used flies. Placement is more important than the type of fly. These fish hit the fly so quickly that I doubt they can distinguish much other than size. The universal goto never miss fly is the chartreuse and white Clouser minnow. Other colors and patterns are just as good.
Often on approaching a light on a pier pole you can see the trout chasing white shrimp popping on the surface. Other times the water appears dead but the trout are feeding subsurface on small minnows. Sometimes you have to make a few casts to see what the deal is. The best way to “explore” is to cast right against the pole from 40 or so feet out. Strip in short 4 to 6 inch segments across the light on the water. No takers? Re-cast, let sink and count one thousand-one,one thousand-two, one thousand-three then strip again. Now you have cover the top and sub-surface feeders.
Still no bites? Move along to another light, but don’t despair, often when you return 30 minutes later there is a fish under that same light. Speaking of light, I have my own theory that the lights about 2 feet from the water and orangish in color are best. Just my observation.
Fishing at night really hones your casting skills. You have to know where your line is at all times which trains you to “feel” the cast . Casting 40 plus feet to a pier pole requires accuracy and the ability to judge distance and shoot line, skills you can use under any fishing conditions.
Remember, you may eat what you catch but release the rest.
P.S. Wear your self-inflating life preserver especially if you fish at night and alone.