Trout and Snook are on fire off the Crystal River
<p>The falling temperatures of November and December can only mean one thing in the eyes of a local fishing guide. TROUT season is getting ready to HEAT UP!!! With cooling air and water temperatures Spotted SeaTrout gorge themselves before leaving their local flats and grass beds in search of warmer water. It is during this time of year that Trout fishing in our area is at its most consistent and exciting. On a few recent charters my clients and I were spoiled with not only an abundance of keeper Trout, but BIG keeper SeaTrout. Most of my keeper fish lately have been 17” or bigger, with a few reaching 24+”. With Trout this big and plentiful it sure has been fun fishing these days.
On an average day of Trout fishing I use a variety of different techniques to catch these challenging fish. But my favorite way to catch these fish is on TOPWATER lures. Weather the lures are hard or soft makes NO difference to me, just as long as I can watch a SeaTrout strike I am satisfied. Usually, I start my morning’s walking-the-dog with Rapala SkitterWalks. The side-to-side motion of this bait is enough to drive any fish insane. This lure can be worked extremely fast or slow but usually when this lure pauses most strikes occur. And when a Trout strikes a SkitterWalk it usually likes to knock the lure completely out of the water.
As the morning sun begins to rise I almost always switch from a walk-the-dog style of lure, to some type of soft Jerkbait. Berkley Powerbait and Gulps, Bass Assasins, and Zooms are my favorite brands of Jerkbaits. I usually will rig these up directly to a 2/0 or 3/0 offset worm hook to make the lure weedless. The buoyancy of the jerkbait helps keep the lure at the surface. This lure is extremely easy to use and with a few short twitches the lure also maintains an erratic side-to-side motions that SeaTrout love.
Trout are not the only fish that love these Jerkbait rigs. Snook and BIG Snook also love these Jerkbaits. I have been finding most of my Snook in the hidden creeks and coves of the Salt River. While scouting these areas I usually attach a DOA worm hook weight to my rig in order to cover a variety of different terrains where Snook may be hiding. If worked slowly the lure covers the lower depths where fish may be staging in potholes. If worked faster these lures cover ambush areas where hungry Snook usually hide and wait. Either way we use them their exciting lures and ones that everyone should have in their tackle box.
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About The Author: Captain Kyle Messier
Company: Red Hot Fishing Charters
Area Reporting: Crystal River and Homosassa
Bio: Capt. Kyle Messier is a full-time professional fishing guide with over 15 years experience fishing the inshore and offshore waters of Florida. Capt. Kyle's home waters off the world famous Crystal River and Homosassa area produce a number of speices including Redfish, Speckled Trout, Tripltail, Shark, Black Drum, and Largemouth Bass. Inshore light tackle fishing is his specialty, but as long as an area is wet he can figure out a way to catch fish in it.