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Colder water trout

I am going to be fishing Keaton Beach mid November.  If water stays warm (upper 60s or above) i pretty much know where to go, but not if water cools down significantly. 
With no rivers close by, do trout just move out to deeper water (say 6 - 8 feet or deeper) or do they make a bigger move?
Any help appreciated.


  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 13,227 AG
    20-30' is the norm when the water chills down
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Posts: 2,790 Captain
    They seem to do two different things when the water cools way down in the Big Bend.  Most head up into the creeks and cuts in the backcountry while another group moves out to 20-30 ft.  They are a lot easier to target in the backcountry. The offshore winter catches are incidental when fishing for other species.
  • capt louiecapt louie Posts: 10,937 Moderator
    From the look of things you will be fine. Still pretty warm.
    BTW , Welcome aboard Trimkiller2  !!
    "You'll get your weather"
  • redeye76redeye76 Posts: 510 Officer
    Dec 2012 I fished with a local at KB. Water temp 57 to 59. Spitting rain and air temp in high 50s.  We used his 16 ft tunnel drive to get in close to shore in about 14 to 16 inches of water. Grass about 12 inches long--just below the surface. Dark bottom where you could see it.  Trout were thick. Limited out in about an hour and released another two limits or more. All caught on 6 inch salt water assassins in ghost pattern fished on 7/0 circle hooks. Hooked the assassins thru the nose and dead sticked them.  Trout were holding there as water would get warmer in the afternoon with some swamp runout on dropping tide.
  • Interesting  redeye...
    I'm working on this Big Bend Trout thing still a bit. Bought a Kayak and will be Far Creek Backcountry this late winter. Got a Skiff for the deeper offshore. 
    Caught a bunch this Summer..I know Temps are changing.
    Just trying to follow the fish.
    Wish they got 50 pounds
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Sixth GenerationSixth Generation Posts: 910 Officer
    I have fished the creeks up there in winter.  The trout do stack up in the deeper holes in the creeks and rivers.  I have never fished for them in 20-30 foot.  In the creeks find where there is a 4-5' deep hole and fish slowly.  You can really catch a limit fast once you find them.  TT Mirrowlures, Mirrodines and gulp shrimp is what we use.  I havent fished KB, but we fish Steinhatchee, Rocky Creek, Cow Creek, and down towards Horseshoe, Johnsons Creek.  One thing I also learned up there is once you filet the trout, cut the backbone off the head and fry the backbone just like the filets.  I couldn't believe how much meat is actually on the backbone.  I have wasted a lot of good eating in my life!  There is also the crunchy tail.  Eats like a potato chip!
  • tankeredtankered Posts: 1,750 Captain

    Hmmm I thought trout only went out and deep in the dog days of summer.

    I learned something new today!

  • Sixth GenerationSixth Generation Posts: 910 Officer
    tankered, I was talking about cold water winter trout fishing.  I haven't fished for them offshore in winter that was earlier in the thread.
  • Sixth GenerationSixth Generation Posts: 910 Officer
    My bad.  I re read what you were saying...  I was like you and thought they only went deep in summer as well...
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Posts: 2,790 Captain
    I've caught them in 30-35 ft in January during cold periods while fishing for grouper many years back.  This was not common and we never got more than 1 per trip.  We boxed 3 on one trip while fishing for sheepshead in 10-25 ft of water in February a few years ago.  We also got a few on a 7 ft ledge on another trip along with some sheepies and drum.  All the ones caught offshore were good-sized fish.  Not huge, but upper slot.
  • redeye76redeye76 Posts: 510 Officer
    Sixth Generation, Interesting on frying the backbones. Got a friend in Satsuma that stops by the local fish camp when the locals are catching piles of crappie and cleaning at the one camp. He gathers all the back bones and fries them. Says he gets lots of good meat doing that.

    Back to KB. That area may have the best trout fishing on the West Coast and maybe even the East Coast. While the marina was still open I would spend at least 4 weeks a year up there. Never got skunked and usually limited out. Couple of the locals I got to fish with knew that area like the backs of their hands and knew where to go regardless of current weather. I fished out of 20 foot Carolina Skiff and there were several places I could not get to, but locals in 15 to 16 foot tunnel drives could go real skinny and find trout, especially in the cooler months. Key was falling tide bringing warmer water out of the pine swamps.

  • Sixth GenerationSixth Generation Posts: 910 Officer
    redeye,  yeah my cousin has an aluminum tunnel hull with a jack plate.  We try to start fishing right at high tide, and also watch out and do not fish all the way to low tide because you are not leaving if you wait too long.  We also started taking a gun with us because we see so many hogs out on the marsh when we are trout fishing in the cold.  My cousin is the one who taught me also about the frying the backbone.  All the rib bones are gone and there is a surprising amount of meat on them.
  • tankeredtankered Posts: 1,750 Captain

    I have friends with jet drives, they make chasing fish in the winter so much less stressful.

    Not saying you can't wear out your welcome on an outgoing, but they are much more forgiving.

  • The Couple Creeks I'm looking at run slap into the Cypress / Pine / Salt Marsh interface, then under the small bridges way back in the woods.
    You can get within 100 yards or so close to the treeline. Couple 6/8 ft. deep holes but their pretty skinny Creeks.
    Went up one this summer and slayed the Reds...about 14 to 16 inches long , couple dinky Trout as well.
    It was fun but bigger fish is always good.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • tankeredtankered Posts: 1,750 Captain
    It is not at all uncommon to find a school of rat reds in this area.
  • Trimkiller2Trimkiller2 Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    Appreciate all the info. Boat to big to get real skinny and too small to go way out so I'm hoping it stays seasonally warm.  
    May check back in for Intel a couple of days before the trip.
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