Try Live Baits to Target Gator Trout

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There’s no doubt that one of the most popular game fish from the Carolina Outer Banks to the Gulf Coast of Texas is the spotted seatrout.

One of the crowned jewels of light tackle angling is landing and releasing a trout over 28-inches, known as gator trout for their stocky build and large fangs.

But targeting these larger trout — fish in the 15- to 18-inch range are generally known as eaters and perfect for the grill — requires different tactics. Science tells us that as trout leave the smaller eater range and enter the gator class, they switch from eating shrimp and crabs and move almost entirely to a diet of finfish. And while elephants may eat peanuts, trophy gator trout prefer big live baits. And one of their favorite prey items throughout their range are finger mullet in 7- to 9-inch range. Live croakers and pigfish also are favorites — particularly on the Indian River Lagoon or Texas’ Laguna Madre.

Regardless of where you are fishing, target key spots like oyster bars or undercut mangroves with moderate current are great places to start. If slowly drifting across a flat, target potholes that may be just a little deeper than the surrounding flat — perfect ambush points for big trout. It’s often difficult to make a stealthy approach with larger baits, but it is possible. The best way to avoid spooking trophy trout is to cast far beyond them, then slowly retrieve the large bait towards and through their suspected ambush point.

the DLX-Series flat-bottom skiffs are stable, durable and fuel efficient, allowing anglers to carry more weight shallower and further while using less horsepower. The DLX-Series’ patented hull design with bow splash guards keeps you dry from bow overspray and positive tracking keels on the running surface keeping the DLX tracking true while maneuvering without the typical flat-bottom slide. Each DLX can also be outfitted with electric trolling motors and motorized anchor systems like the Talon or PowerPole.

In addition, this versatile series of boats features all-composite, no-wood construction and an industry-leading warranty against hull delamination and deck separation for five years.

To learn more about the DLX series or the entire family of nearly 60 boats from Carolina Skiff, visit www.carolinaskiff.com. And start your gator trout adventure with a bang!