Although they are not as structure-oriented as bass, speckled trout do not shy away from the stuff, and it helps Capt. Kris Robert catch more fish this time of year.

There are plenty of cold days in December, and Robert loves fishing the MRGO rocks, which provide both structure and warmth for the fish.

“Those fish kind of jam up in that deeper water, and then once the sun starts to warm the water, they’ll move up on the flats to feed for a couple hours,” he said. 

The rocks hold heat in, so the fish feel more comfortable. As the sun heats up the rocks during the day, the fish are able to feed heavily.

When fishing the rocks, Robert said it’s extremely important to cover a lot of water on your cast.

“I’ve seen it where the fish will be tucked up tight to the rocks,” he said. “Sometimes, they’ll be right on the ledge where it drops off to like 12 feet.

“You want to position your boat in about 12 feet of water, and then make the longest cast you can to get the bait as close to the rocks as you can without getting snagged.”

Robert uses a Matrix Shad soft plastic lure threaded on ¼-ounce jigheads. He also uses the Matrix Minnow, and knowing how to work a jerkbait is critical there.

“When the bait hits the water, you want to rip it to get it down between that 2 to 3 feet of water,” he said. “You want to rip it two or three times and give it a pause ­— because most of your bites are going to come on the pause.”

The Matrix Minnow is a small, light jerkbait, which makes it difficult to use on baitcasting gear, so Robert recommends spinning gear.