While Away Charters’ Rykert Toledano Jr. loves to fish for speckled trout at night during August and September, the hottest time of the year.
Here are his top nighttime fishing tips:
- Try to fish on a moonlit night.
- Tidal movement is critical. No tide — no fish.
- If you plan to fish under platform lights, move until you see bait species on top of the water.
- When lots of bait is on the water’s surface, work a popping cork strongly to excite the speckled trout.
- Use live shrimp to get the bite started, and then shift to artificials.
- Match the hatch. Use minnow imitations when they are feeding on minnows; use shrimp for shrimp.
- Position the boat on the upcurrent side of the rig, where the bait is being pushed into the rig.
- Often, bigger speckled trout feed in the shadows at the edge of the light’s reach rather than in direct light.
- Always position submerged lights in areas that have shell bottoms. But if a spot isn’t productive in the day, it won’t be productive at night.
- If the trout aren’t on one side of the rig, try the other sides before leaving.
- Sometimes you have to wait them out if you are fishing on a good tide and not catching. Speckled trout don’t feed 24 hours a day.
- Don’t park the boat where the bait activity will be happening in the boat’s shadow.
- Take your time running the boat at night. Be careful. Have a competent person on lookout when running the boat. All risk factors increase at night. One of the great mistakes people make is that they assume every obstruction is lighted.
- Keep deck spaces clear. Bring as few tackle boxes as possible.
- Bring flashlights or, best of all, rig your boat with deck lights.