Trophy Trout Tactics Explained

Trophy Trout Tactics Explained

Understanding how to utilize the big trout baits, find big trout haunts, employ trophy tactics and how to read the water.

Story and photography by Danno Wise

February is known to be “big trout season” along the Texas coast. In the weeks surrounding Valentine’s Day anglers will hear the same, familiar phrases repeated “they’re hitting slow-sinkers”, “throwing big baits for big fish”, “work it slow”, “they’re on the mud”, etc. But, what do those things actually mean?

In order for anglers to effectively utilize the best big trout baits, find big trout haunts or employ the top trophy trout tactics, they have to actually know what and how they are supposed to do it and where and what they are looking for when on the water. Hopefully, the information contained in this article will clarify that at least somewhat.


Mud and shell bottom areas are traditionally thought of as big trout winter terrain on the Texas coast. There is definitely something to be said for that, as mud soaks up heat resulting in the water over those areas holding a bit warmer. But, there are more variables, considerations and options to finding trophy trout that that.

“Most big trout are caught in really shallow water in our bay,” said Port Mansfield guide Capt. Steve “JR” Ellis of Getaway Lodge, referring to his home waters of the Lower Laguna Madre. “They tend to like areas with ‘covey’ shorelines – areas that have little indentions and coves, not just a straight shoreline. Basically, you are always looking for something different that might attract fish – looking for irregular bottom, irregular shoreline, irregular bars coming off the shore. Anything different is going to be more likely to hold fish.

“Spoil islands and shorelines can always be good, but you want to work windward side if the wind is blowing. We have a lot of areas along the Intracoastal Waterway where you can work either side of the spoils depending on the conditions. Those old submerged spoil islands are also always good.

To read more, click here to SUBSCRIBE