With cold fronts coming through at a rapid rate thanks to our friend El Nino, it's usually not the ideal time to fish. Unless you like targeting big trout as cold fronts come through.
It's widely known that trout love overcast and rainy weather. It seems like the worse the weather is, the better they will bite. Through the warm fall and early winter, many anglers wondered just where all the trout seemed to be. They were tough to find and harder to catch. Now they are showing up for anglers, and big ones at that.
On Friday in a cold north breeze, Capt. Chris Wiggins landed three over 25 inches with one nearly 30 inches. Those are trophy-sized trout. Wiggins likes to fish dock lines with medium-sized shrimp and a small split shot above the hook. He works the shrimp like a lure, slowly twitching them along the bottom. By the end of the day, his clients had landed 30 trout.
Fishing for big trout might mean you are looking for a single or small group of fish. On colder days when the sun is out, they might be up in shallow 1-2 feet of water where it will warm up quicker, rarely expending energy. During pre-front days, they'll be on the move, actively looking for their next meal.
Artificial lures like top waters that can "walk-the-dog" or suspending baits like MirroDines could entice bigger fish to bite. This can occur on the edge of deeper grass flats where they wait for their next meal. In shallow water or at low tide, a single gator trout could be sitting in a sand hole the size of a bucket or as large as a basketball court.
Small trout tend to await prey in similar areas, but you may find that when you're catching schools of trout they tend to all be a similar size. When the bite is on, it's not uncommon to catch a few dozen or more trout in the same spot.
For these sized fish, jigs and soft plastics can entice a hot bite. Bring a dehooker or pair of pliers to unhook and handle small trout as little as possible.
I don't always advise heading out when the conditions turn poor, but if you've got a sense of adventure and want to bend a rod, it can lead to fish that really want to eat.
Changing conditions mean fish are on the move. Fish on the move mean energy expelled, and energy expelled means feeding time to replenish. The week ahead could push two cold fronts through our area on Wednesday and Friday. With that rapidly changing weather, trout should be a good bet to be eating.