Gulf Gator Trout Tips

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

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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.
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Artificials that mimic mullet flip the switch on large winter trout.
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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.
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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.
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Depth is Critical

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