Spotted seatrout, also known as speckled trout, are the most accessible and targeted fish species along the Nature Coast. Often confused with their cousins the weakfish and silver trout, speckled trout can be identified by the dark gray or green portions of their bodies closest to their lateral lines. The individual black spots on their backs, dorsal fins, and tail, are also unique to this species as weakfish have connecting spots and silver trout have none at all.
Throughout the fall, winter, and spring months speckled trout can be found patrolling oyster bars and eel grass flats in search of their favorite prey brown shrimp and pinfish. During the summer months it’s not uncommon for these fish to travel great distances offshore in search of a more consistent water temperature.
For those anglers looking to catch a speckled trout, it’s important to return them to the water immediately if their not going to be harvested. Speckled trout are extremely delicate and can be easily harmed. Wetting your hands before handling them is extremely important especially during the summer months.