Justin Seiffert here again with some info from the Mobile Bay watershed. We are right at the beginning of one of my
favorite times of year to fish. The battle between the strong north winds of the cold fronts hitting us almost every week and the south winds of the ebb that happens after every one creates a struggle for kayak fisherman. This also creates a kind of dance on the baromoter that true trophy speckled trout fisherman pay close attention to.

Right before a front tends to be the magic hour as most anglers already know. The question that most have is how do you catch them right in the middle of a front when the air temps are at their lowest.

 

For Mobile Bay this means that we focus on the rivers and creeks that feed the main bay. The fresher water maintains it’s a much more stable temperature than the saline rich waters further south. You will find deep pockets in the freshwater rivers that hold the denser salt water in the depths. These salt pockets in the rivers become a trouts lifeline in the coldest of times. Anglers in the know can take advantage of this.

With the aforementioned knowledge you can start to find areas that will hold large congregations of these fanged predators. When you locate an area that looks promising you can narrow it down by finding muddy bottom areas nearby in a bit more shallow water and watching for jumping mullet. Since mullet are one of the only baitfish left in the bay throughout winter it becomes obvious that this is the main forage of big trout so lures that imitate them are the best producers of the big sows we love to catch.

I tend to be most productive with a slow sinking twitch bait like a Mirrodine, Rip-n-slash, Fat Boy, etc. When using these baits you have to be very patient as these fish are super lethargic. I have had a cast take over a minute to complete my retrieve. Atwitch or 2 followed with good stretches of very slow “slow-rolling” in between offers the best bites for me. So much, in fact, that I have donned it the “secret retrieve” when asked what I’m doing to keep them coming into the boat.

The last thing I will say about winter trout is this: when you find them you will probably wear yourself out catching. Please be mindful of the big trout that will surely be spawning come springtime. Realease them whenever you are able to because sometimes it can be like catching fish in a “barrel”.

Tight lines!