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Sea Trout

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Fly Fishing for Sea Trout

Catching Spotted Sea Trout While Fly Fishing

Thursday February 22, 2018

The Indian River Lagoon was once touted as the World's best sea trout fishing and while there's plenty of competition in the southeast United States for that title we still hold many of the world records for sizeable fish and legendary fishing habitat. Sea Trout have varied names and sub-species from croakers to white, silver and even gold sea trout, but the coveted Spotted Sea Trout is the king of sea trout and what keeps anglers coming to the Indian River Lagoon and it's inshore waterways for more.

Sea Trout Fly the Seaducer

Spotted Sea Trout Flies

Flies for spotted sea trout and opinions are as varied as the spots on the backs of these beautiful gamefish. I'm always cautious about suggesting any particular fly pattern for these Florida gamefish because they seem to be open to just about any suggestion at times and others they remain elusive and uncooperative. I'm going to make some suggestions for anglers below and categorize trout into two specific categories... Shallow water gator trout and deeper water grassflats or dropoff trout.

  • Dropoff Deepwater Sea Trout - As children we made days of catching dozens of small spotted sea trout. The size limit in the 1970's was 12 inches and there were no limits to the amounts of fish you could keep. Typically you could cast small jigs in the deeper grassflats of 3-4 or more feet and use topwaters and other lures to catch numerous fish each outting. Popping corks and shrimp were popular with anglers too. For fly fisherman a simple Clouser or small popper should catch you as many small trout as you care to when you locate them. Vary the colors and retrieves to increase your success. These trout are not as finicky and often compete for the same fly readily.
  • Shallow Water Gator Trout - Later in life I started to notice that larger trout liked shallower water and were often difficult to approach and had much different feeding habits than the immuature deeper dwelling dinks. The difference in the way they feed, behave and the habitat is astounding when you really think about it. Fish with baitfish immitations and shrimp patterns and learn to make long cast as larger trout are often as skittish as bonefish when it comes to being spooky. Make sure you use a weedgaurd when needed and be extra quiet around bigger trout in the shallow water shorelines and sandbars...

Fall and Spring are the prime times for Spotted Sea Trout in Central Florida so book your fishing trip well in advance to reserve your spot with Lagooner Fishing Guides!

East Central Florida is home to the largest spotted seatrout in the world. After entanglement netting was constitutionally banned in Florida, seatrout have rebounded back to healthy numbers and sizes that we haven't seen since the early 1980's. Seatrout are an aggressive fish that will strike anything from topwater artificials, spoons, jigs, livebait and various fly patterns.

INSHORE and/or NEARSHORE over grass, sand and sandy bottoms. Winter time fishing in deeper waters with well defined thermoclines produce plentiful numbers of fish. We find that seatrout stage close to their winter holes on the flats between cold spells. Live bait works great for winter trout as they are usually less aggressive and want to test the baits a lot before they commit to a strike. Recent winters have produced many trout in excess of 30 inches and we are looking forward to many more successful trout seasons ahead.


Seatrout are often referred to as gator trout when they are large (over 6 pounds). Lagooner charters specialize in finding and catching large seatrout in shallow water areas. Here are some facts about these gamefish:

Matures during first or second year and spawns INSHORE from March through November; often in association with seagrass beds; lives mainly in estuaries and moves only short distances; adults feed mainly on shrimp and small fish.

Some Trout Pictures:

Sebastian Inlet Gator Trout
Girl with Stringer of Trout
Seatrout On Fly
Banana River Trout
Indian River Gator Trout
Stringer of Big Seatrout
Florida Sea Trout
Mosquito Lagoon Sea Trout
Banana River Sea Trout
Gator Trout in the Banana Lagoon


Not less than 15" or more than 20" (statewide) except one fish over 20" per person. 4 per harvester per day South Region 5 per harvester per day N.E. and N.W. Regions.
Season Closure: Nov. & Dec. S. Region / Feb. N.E. and N.W.

State Record

15lb., 6 ozs.

Fly Fishing For Spotted Sea Trout

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: November 08 2016 11:48:33.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

February - 2018 Fishing Report

Every February seems to be different and this one is no different.

Fishing Forecast

February - 2018 Fishing Forecast

There's not a better way to spend a Valentines day with your sweetie than out in the boat catching the winter sun and a few nice fish. If the weather this February stays nice, look for some fun and rewarding fishing into the central Florida spring break period. Fish get hungry as spring approaches and the cold winter grip releases. I KNOW... I KNOW... IT's Florida! How can Florida get cold? Well, it can often drop into the 40° mark over night and be in the 70's during the day, so plan a late morning trip on the lagoon and you should be safe in Februay and into March.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
Cocoa Beach's premier saltwater fishing guide with over 25 years of charter fishing experience in his native waters.
Telephone: 321-868-4953

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Cocoa Beach, FL

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Review / Trip Advisor

Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing near Orlando and Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

Lagooner Fishing Guides - Our experience with Lagooner Fishing Guides was top notch. While booking the trip Captain Gina was very patient and answered all of my questions (even after calling 2-3 times). It is worth noting the communication from Lagooner after booking and before the trip was first class and on time. Fishing with Captain Richard was a great experience. I had my 11 year old son with me and Captain Richard wasted no time engaging him in an effort to make my son comfortable. The time spent on the boat was pleasant and conversation flowed freely. It was obvious after a few minutes Captain Richard was very experienced and was extremely knowledgeable of the area we were fishing. Captain Richard worked very hard to ensure we had a good time fishing. When I go back again there is no question who I will be fishing with.
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on May 9, 2016

5 / 5 stars 5 star rating

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