- Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:08 pm
Speckled trout are funny. They seem to range quite a bit in depth of water they like. I think the current Texas State record, the 15 pound six ounce fish that Carl "Bud" Rowland caught, was real shallow, like in a foot of water in the LLM, and sight cast to with one of his Numero Uno flies, if every detail of the story I read is to be believed. I know of a ten pound fish that was caught while fishing in 14' of water and that fish went for a corky. The biggest I've ever had on the line and seen, but sadly lost at the net, was when I was fishing in water about 8' and it went for a skitterwalk on top. I caught a seven pound fish on a suspending plug, an Xrap, fishing in 2-3 feet of water.
My biggest on the fly that went 6 pounds went for un-weighted Olive top White body Steve Farrar Blend Baitfish. I was in my kayak and fishing in about 2-3 feet of water using floating fly line and a long, blood knotted fluorocarbon Leader and probably 15# tippet, that's usually what I use. This summer, I was using the same set up, floating line and long fluorocarbon leader and fishing a drop off that went from 2' down to about 7' pretty abruptly. This time, the sparsely dressed silver eyelash yarn redfish crack fly was lightly weighted with a brass dumbbell. The trout would hit the fly as it fell over the drop off, probably at 3 or 4 feet of depth. Many of the trout I pick up are as by-catch while on redfish hunts. The last trout I caught, one just over 18" just the other day was in about 1.5' of really muddy moving water over shell, less than a foot of visibility water, and was in a spot that I normally pick up redfish. I do have places that trout get stacked into seasonally and I'll make it intentional to fish those places if I'm in the area or as a destination trip.
I know I've caught good solid trout fishing floating line and long fluorocarbon, never longer than 13-14', leaders in water as deep as 8 feet. I've been in a boat with a depth finder so the depth number is good. I don't normally fish anything that's weighted more than with a small dumbbell or no bigger than a 3/16" bead. None are difficult to cast with 6 and up weight rods and floating lines like SA Titan Taper or Airflo Bruce Chard Tropical Punch. The biggest hook I might ever use or have usdd for speckled trout is a 1/0 stinger, but that's for an un-weighted baitfish type. Most of my weighted patterns like redfish crack, Borski sliders, shrimp patterns are tied on size 2 or 4 hooks. Occasionally, I'll do something on a size 6 or 8 hook.
I actually hate medium or larger dumbbells and those big clousers and other patterns weighted with them that are sold all over. Those are a pain to cast and fish. I bought a few when I started out. I never use a clouser these days, mainly because that's what a lot of folks seem to gravitate to and it just rubs me wrong to use clousers in the saltwater. I don't think there's anything magical about a clouser other than they resemble or are suggestive of lots of forage and tend to get to the right depth where the fish often are. On any given day, I know a size 4 well tied Borski slider will out perform a size 4 deer hair clouser in the water I fish across a number of species. So will redfish crack out catch a clouser, so will a shrimp pattern on most days. We all have our particular favorite patterns and those might change over the years. If the clouser is yours, I'm not hating on that. Currently, I simply like other patterns better.
I may go to the 8' place this winter and rig up a rod with the floating line long fluorocarbon leader weighted fly combination and another set up with a fast rod with the Teeny TS 250, short leader, un-weighted pattern and see how they do side by side, providing the fish are there and willing that particular day. There's another spot that the fish are in typically 4-6 feet and if they are there, they are in big numbers of solid 2.5-4 plus pound type of fish. It would be another spot to test the sinking line/un-weighted fly/short leader versus the floating line/ weighted pattern/ long leader approach.