Gulf Gator Trout Tips

How to catch big sea trout in the Gulf of Mexico.

December 11, 2014

Where to Find Them

Over time, I’ve learned that when winter sets in you can always rely on fishing deeper water. That’s where you find trout ­seeking the comfort of warmer-water thermoclines.
Artificials that mimic mullet flip the switch on large winter trout.

Stealth Afoot

While a Louisiana and a Texas guide might disagree on the exact ­definition of muddy bottom, both concur that it is the place to land a trout of a lifetime and that wading is the right modus operandi.

Weather determines where you’ll find them

Seatrout stage at the passes, near bayou outlets, in coves and along shorelines where the bottom is a mixture of mud and sand. Barring periods of excessive rainfall, cold, calm nights usually make for clear water conditions. Trophy-size fish — often called gator trout — seek shallow zones where the sun warms up the bottom and bait gathers.

Depth is Critical

During winter, hefty seatrout, like this impressive pair, are often caught in ankle- to waist-deep water.

Choose Lures to Match Conditions

When it comes to lures, favors mullet imitations and various ­suspending baits in different sizes and shapes. Capt. Rowsey will not leave port without a healthy supply of 5-inch Bass Assassins. He likes to rig them with 1⁄16-ounce jig heads and small short-shank hooks.

Carry a Variety of Lures

1. MirrOlure Paul Brown’s ­Floating ­Fatboy and 2. MirrOdine; 3. 5-inch Bass ­Assassins in black and pearl, chartreuse and pearl, or pink; B & L Bait Company soft plastics.

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