To catch sea trout in cold Gulf waters, anglers should use natural heated areas like mangrove keys and limestone rock bars. Poling and using a glow jerk bait can help find fish in shallow water. A 3/0 live bait hook and loop knot can also be effective.
Winter Sea Trout - William Toney
Cold Gulf waters can make catching sea trout a challenge, but these are some tips that can help an angler be more successful during the late winter early spring conditions. Natural heated areas are key to finding biting fish in cold waters. Mangrove keys that run east and west can block north winds and at the same time receive the suns heat on the south side. Most of the time the back side of these keys are a dark mud bottom that also collects heat.
One of the best areas that I find some of the largest trout of the year are limestone rock bars. Scattered up and down the west coast of Florida these rock bars on low tide will gather the suns heat. As the tide rolls in and covers the rocks trout will school up on top of the rocks to sun. Poling your boat is best because trout are very spooky in clear shallow water. When you get within casting range quietly anchor down. The fish can be competitive and I've caught limits at anchor when you use the stealthy approach.
A glow jerk bait made by D.O.A. can be fished very shallow, when rigged through the nose of the bait with a 3/0 live bait hook and loop knot this bait has a action that fish cannot resist. The nose hook works well because as soon as the strike happens you can set the exposed hook. Putting fish to the boat is as easy as finding the heat.
Watch sea trout videos https://inthespread.com/saltwater/sea-troutCaptain William Toney In The Spread, Instructor