Cynoscion nebulosus, common name Speckled or Spotted Sea Trout (or ‘seatrout’), lives in the warm coastal and estuarine waters around the Gulf of Mexico and along the western Atlantic coast. It has a number of other names including spotted weakfish, spotted sea teague, simon trout, salmon trout, winter trout, spec trout etc. Large fish have also been dubbed ‘gator trout’.
Spotted seatrouts are very popular with anglers. According to information from sources such as the Cape Coral fishing guide, they’re one of the top 10 recreational fishing species in the US. Blue Line Fishing Charters LLC runs customized Cape Coral fishing charters for anglers keen to do a spot of spotted seatrout fishing.
About The Spotted Sea Trout
Despite their name, spotted seatrout are not trouts. Rather they belong to the Sciaenidae or drum family, which gets its name from the ‘drumming’ sound males make during breeding season to attract females. Their green or greyish back, and dorsal and ventral fins are covered in small dark spots or speckles, hence the name. The underbelly is silvery white and they have a couple of canine teeth on the tip of their upper jaw.
The Spotted Seatrout’s Favorite Environment
Cape Coral’s waterways are a particularly inviting habitat and spawning ground for spotted seatrout. The shallow waters and seagrass beds of these estuarine systems are home to their preferred prey, particularly over spring and summer. During fall and winter, seatrout generally move out into deeper waters where temperatures remain more consistent.
Seatrout spawning also takes place over spring and summer. Females can spawn several times during a single breeding season. Older females typically produce around a million eggs each season whilst younger, smaller females produce about a tenth of that number. They normally spawn during the night, and in protected shallow, grassy estuarine and lagoon environments like Cape Coral. These give the eggs and newly hatched larvae their best chance of survival.
After hatching, the tiny larva takes about two weeks to grow to around ¼ inch long. By 7 months, they’re usually 6 to 7 inches long. During this time, they feed on small crustaceans that live in the grassy estuarine seabeds. By 12 months of age, the juvenile seatrouts are approximately 10 inches long and have moved onto eating small fish and shrimp. They are also sexually mature at this age and able to start reproducing.
The young fish will continue to grow as they age. They reach 12 inches around 2 years of age, and by 3 years most have hit 16 inches. By this time, they’re exclusively eating other fish, preferably greenbacks. As they get bigger the size of their prey will likewise get bigger. As with other fish species, female spotted sea trout are bigger than males. Mature females max out around 25 inches in length while males are about 19 inches.
Spotted Seatrout Fishing Trips
Spotted sea trout fishing is excellent fun. This hardy marine fish is also a canny adversary, one reason it makes the top 10 list of recreational fishing species in the US. At Blue Line Fishing Charters we know where the local sea trout populations are, how to get to them and, importantly, how to catch them. We also organize all required permits and licenses for you. All you have to do is show up ready for a great day of fishing! Contact us for the best Cape Coral fishing trip you’ll never forget.