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By Drifting Yak
This might be too generic but here goes.

How do you define "Winter" Trout Fishing? Is it water temperature? Length of daylight? Passing of cold fronts? Temperature/Pressure swings? Bait leaving the bay? Combination?

The reason I ask is that it seems like our water temps (along the upper coast) have been hovering in the 60's and have only recently started staying in the 50's. So when would you say that we entered into a winter pattern? Always trying to learn more about these wonderful creatures that we pursue so any input would be appreciated?
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By saltykat
To me it starts when the first few northers drop the water level and chills the shallows. It congregates the trout into certain areas where the mainly feed on mullet because the shrimp have left the bays. The bay water temps vary quite a bit depending on air temps and the sun. Afternoons can be good for a chance at a big girl looking to warm up and grab a meal but I have had caught some really good fish as the sun came up :cat:
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By Drifting Yak
Thanks for the reply saltykat. We have a tendency to hit the water during the wee morning hours so perhaps it's time to change to the afternoon - where the sun will warm us as well!
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By Dandydon
Saltykat knows what he's talking about.
I recall many Winter kayak trips with him where we limited out on solid specks using his beloved Tsunami Redfish Cork lure.
He could find the big trout.

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By shoffer
He sure does, you Kung Fu Slut!

You got 979 posts. I say you post 21 one word posts and get to your 1,000 before Stubbs shuts it down for good and we all fall into the sea!
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By Dandydon
Shoffer has gone officially crazy!
I hope I don't have to have him "put to sleep."

But his posting advice seems good.Image

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By Angler
I think it's a fair question.

I believe the most distinctive thing about Winter Trout fishing is that Specks are generally less aggressive and the take can be uncharacteristically subtle, so subtle that you can miss them, though they are still opportunistic with a good presentation. I recall slaying em a few years ago in very chilly winter water under the causeway lights with CrazyYak during the wee hours and windy conditions. It took a while to realize we even had fish on at first, as we were getting roughed up pretty good in the wind. The takes were not the typical trout hit n run. It was an education for me.

I believe this is a combo of water temp and also less food and tidal movement. Depending on how low the temps, the trout will seek comfort. Outside their comfort zone, trout are pretty lethargic. The tidal levels are typically lower too, at least in the upper gulf coastal regions. Less water enriched movement into and out of the bay areas and backwaters.
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By Dandydon
Great thread, Drifting Yak!

I used to limit out on medium-to-big Speckled Trout every trip during the Winter... Mostly Corkie lures fished very slowly... But

My fishing companion Saltykat moved back home to Chicago... Ouch.

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By Kayak Kid
Drifting Yak, the answer to your question is:

It's winter fishing when you are concentrating more on the what's in that mug of coffee or hot chocolate than on working that huge corky sloooooooooolly across a deep muddy bottomed marsh channel.

When it's cold, it's winter.

Better to stay by the fire place, make fly rods for friends, and practice tying better looking spun deer hair flies.
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By 2 Weight Willie
Once it gets and levels out into the 50s and then in feb. or Mar. when it gets back above the 50s. (Thats how I have gone about it)( you also want to remember that just because the air temp. Is above the 50s the water isn't. Allow for a "buffer zone of time". Approx. 1-2 weeks)

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