There is no question speckled trout have to eat during the winter, but that doesn't mean they eat the same way they do during the summer.

And anglers who desire to come home handsomely rewarded for their time spent in the cold shouldn't fish the same way, either.

Big Lake Guide Service Capt. Nick Poe said trout aren't nearly as aggressive in cold water as they are in warm water. Therefore, he makes sure his bait moves as slowly as everything else in the water.

"I would say crawling your bait is probably a good idea," Poe advised. "And I don't mean crawling your bait with a heavy lead head. Crawling your bait slowly on a light head is an even better idea."

As tedious as it might be, Poe fishes soft plastics on a 1/8-ounce leadhead in water as deep as 25 feet during the winter as long as the tide and wind allows him to get away with it.

"It takes a while," he said, "but I catch a lot of good fish like this. There's something about this presentation during the winter that they just can't stand."

Poe believes that what entices trout to bite his slow-crawled plastic is that it allows him to put a bait right in front of their faces and leave it there.

"You put a 3/8-ounce head on there and you're on bottom in 25 feet of water before you can even count to five," Poe pointed out. "Then you jig it once and it's immediately back on bottom. Fish that are slowed down like these don't feel like chasing something moving that fast. They might bite it, but they don't want to move all that much."

The 1/8-ounce head hesitates a second right in front of the fish as it falls, and Poe knows sluggish trout are more likely to eat it this way than if it were falling really fast in front of them.

As far as baits go, Poe said he's going to keep throwing the MirrOlure Lil John until they quit biting it.

"And that hasn't happened yet," he said. "The chicken-on-the-chain color that I've been using may be on the shelves by December. I've been catching a lot of fish on that one and the salt-and-pepper color."