“Speckled” Sea Trout

trout fishing pate


Average Size: 16 inches, 1.5 pounds;

South Carolina State Record: 11 pounds, 13 ounces (1976)
Best Season: May-Dec
a picture of “Speckled” Sea Trout with Carolina Guide Service

Speckled Trout Fishing South Carolina

How to fish for Speckled Trout?

Since Speckled trout average 15-17inces, we prefer to use light to medium action spinning gear, spooled with 20lb braided line and 15-20 floro leaders. The size and length of leader is generally dictated by the water clarity and temp. The cleaner the water, the lighter the leader is a general rule of thumb when fishing for trout in South Carolina.  Live shrimp are the preferred meal for trout but they are often fooled by various artificial baits.  Soft Plastic paddletail grubs with a 1/4 jig heads, topwater plugs, DOA Shrimp rigged under a popping cork, and suspending hard baits are all effective lures for speckled trout.

When is the best time of year to catch Speckled Trout in South Carolina?

While we catch Speckled Trout year around, the best time to catch trout are in the late fall and early Winter when the water cools and water clarity improves. While Fall/Winter may be the best time to catch numbers of trout, I always catch the biggest trout of the year in the Spring when the larger female trout are coming in to spawn.

Where are good areas to catch Speckled Trout?

Trout are generally a schooling fish so it is common to catch more than one in a certain area. I look for areas with moving water with current rips or eddy’s along oyster lined banks. Oyster points and creek mouths are also good spots to find schooling trout. During the coldest part of the year, trout tend to become lethargic and will hole up in the deepest parts of the creek. A slow retrieve along the bottom will often entice lethargic sea trout.

Are Speckled Trout good eating fish?

While we encourage catch and release for all species of fish, Speckled trout are excellent eating fish and the population seems to be strong, therefore we allow a boat limit of 20 fish per day and we release any fish over 20in. Your captain will clean any fish should you decide to bring some home.