by Capt. Adam Jaynes
In all sports there are things one can do to increase the odds of being successful. Fishing is no exception. There is a multitude of ways to increase the odds of not only getting fish to bite but landing those fish as well. I could type about ways of increasing those odds until this laptop ran out of ink but will just discuss a few of them that in my opinion are most notable for wintertime speckled trout fishing.
First and foremost, get out of the boat. Yes, that's right. I know you love your brand new $60k plus rig that you just bought but now it's time to use the Power-Pole and hop out of it. I prefer wade fishing for trout during the winter for many, in my mind, logical reasons. Wading affords the opportunity to fish an area much more thoroughly and in a stealthier manner. Wading in itself increases the odds of presenting a lure in front of a lurking trout. It allows an angler to make many casts to an area instead of drifting through it and prevents an angler from spooking fish due to wave action reverberating off a boat.
I recently converted my dad into a wade fisherman, he's catching more trout this winter than he ever has before
Secondly, I highly recommend using braided line. It took me a while before totally buying into braid, a few years as a matter of fact, but the advantages of braid over monofilament are unwavering. Granted it does take a while to get used to casting and fishing braid but when you do you'll be glad you did. I specifically prefer FINS 30lb test Windtamer. In my opinion the greatest advantage of braid over monofilament is the heightened sensitivity. Braided line literally allows the angler to feel more bites and catch more fish. This increased sensitivity is a huge advantage for trout fishing during the winter. The increased strength of braid and casting distance over monofilament are added bonuses. I do recommend using either a 20lb or 30lb monofilament leader of about 4' in length connected to the braid using a uni-to-uni knot.
This is why we wade...
As we continue to put the puzzle together we get to arguably the most important piece of equipment in terms of increasing your odds of catching fish, the rod. A lightweight, high quality graphite rod with premium components can go a long way in increasing your chances of catching that trophy trout that you've been after. There are many rod builders and companies to choose from but for me I go with Sarge Custom Rods. He offers an assortment of high end, lightweight blanks to choose from. Coupled with high-end components the finished product is usually only around 2.5ozs! There are two huge advantages to using these high-end rods. They are extremely light which decreases fatigue and increases usability and they are extremely sensitive. The heightened sensitivity of a Sarge Customs Rod used in conjunction with FINS Windtamer is a deadly combination.
Sarge letting a big one go
Running out of daylight but when they're biting you can't leave!
Continuing with the Cliff's notes per say, remember it is important to use your time on the water wisely and more importantly to be in the right spot at the right time. In my opinion this is one of the variables that separate the really good fishermen apart from the rest of the pack. The guys that catch trout all of the time, most notably good trout, aren't just catching them because they're lucky. They catch them because they know where to be, when to be there, and what the heck to do when they're there. Technology has definitely made the decision making part of the equation much easier. With websites and apps showing hour-by-hour wind direction and speed, tides, and major and minor feeding periods the angler has a great advantage. I downloaded an app on my iPhone called "Fishing Times" that has been very convenient and easy to use as well as beneficial. I can't remember how much it cost but it wasn't much. There is a lot to take into account before deciding on where to fish. Being on the water frequently is a huge advantage but if you can't do that, then what? Hiring a fishing guide can be very beneficial but it's not for everybody. Using the resources that are available, especially those that are on the Internet can help to eliminate a lot of water before you ever even launch the boat.
We were in the right place at the right time
Continue to study fishing by reading articles, watching fishing shows, and gaining as much knowledge as you can from other anglers. The Houston Boat Show, which is going on now through January 11, is a good opportunity to increase fishing knowledge as well as view some incredible boats whether you're in the market for a new one or not. Also the Fishing Show at the beginning of March is another great opportunity to gain knowledge and become a better fisherman. Be sure to swing by and visit with Sarge and check out some of his rods. He has a booth at the Houston Boat Show and will also be at the Fishing Show in March. He's a great guy and a heck of a fisherman whose tools have been helping anglers like myself catch fish up and down the gulf coast.
Another great fish that was released after a quick photo