Specks No Longer “Hard to Catch” in Texas Saltwater

| November 21, 2023

One of the attractions I have had to speckled trout was the fact they were a distinctly different fish to catch on the Texas Gulf Coast. Harder to find, and harder to see, the speckled trout is not one of the fish you will be “sight casting” for from the deck of a skiff very often, if at all.

Signals and Signs

Sometimes the speckled trout only shows you a feeding slick, and the saltwater trout requires more study, signs and instinct than any redfish ever could or would. Often times, what we see, in the case of those gator trout (aka. bigguns) is a silver torpedo exiting post-haste from the area you were casting blindly around. No second chances, they’re gone.

On the other hand, my latest time spent in the Lower Laguna Madre and elsewhere before that – along the Texas Gulf Coast, tells me the population of small specked trout, at one-time keepers, is beyond your imagination. The younger trout are ABUNDANT on the Texas Gulf Coast these days.

Of course we all mostly agree that the TPWD should engage in deep thoughts about their regulations, and I have no intent of altering anyone’s thinking with this story, BUT I also have changed my thinking about the challenge of catching a Texas speckled trout versus catching a Texas Gulf Coast redfish on the fly.

The Seek and the Find

Seeking speckled trout on the Texas Gulf Coast has not, in my recent experience, ever been any easier than it is today. Why is that? Just name the factor, and every one of those is right to some extent. Conservation, in my opinion, is mostly responsible, but the difficulty that used to be a part of chasing trout? That took significant pressure off the fish as well.


Meanwhile it raised the already immense pressure on the redfish population. A more resilient fish when it comes to deep freezes, the redfish is a much more easily sighted and acquired target – in every way by everyone. Redfish offer that rarest of rare – a visual target, with a low IQ and millions of stocker fish up-and-down the Texas Gulf Coast and even in a few “freshwater” lakes.

But with that new shift in emphasis on reds, slight but significant, they are now harder to find than before. Whether it is the higher water water levels in Port O’Connor (1), or the incredible pressure of the Lower Laguna Madre (2), redfish are a challenge – to find. Reds are plentiful, but just like most gamefish, they respond to pressure. Central coast water levels? I have yet to hear anyone explain that one with any sense of logic – that I can comprehend. Reds are further back and in than you will ever imagine. And it’s not just anybody that can get there (see Chittum Skiffs)!

Last Word

I can honestly tell you that dink speckled trout can almost become a bit annoying these days on the Texas Gulf Coast, at least in the Lower Laguna Madre. I have had dink specks mingled in pods of redfish, and take an eat away from a red – more than once – and blow that pod. It’s easier than ever to understand why redfish are pulling farther ahead – as the leading pursuit on the fly in Texas salt. Reds are becoming so much harder to get to, to even find and then have them settle in for an eat of a fly.

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Category: Fly Fishing for Redfish, Fly Fishing for Trout, Texas Gulf Coast

About the Author ()

https://www.shannondrawe.com is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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