Often anglers complain that all of the trout they catch are “schoolies” or small school trout that congregate and that there aren’t any larger trout. The reality is that small trout are more widely distributed in the bay system and have different feeding habits than large trout.
Speckled trout are opportunistic feeders that eat a variety of foods. That variety changes as they get older. Young trout feed primarily on small crustaceans with shrimp being the primary fare. As they grow, their focus turns to shrimp and small fish such as finger mullet.
The largest speckled trout along the Texas Coastal Bend will primarily ambush larger fish such as mullet, pinfish, croaker and piggy perch. Mullet is the preferred diet of the largest of speckled trout, often attacking a mullet that is half or even 2/3 its own size.
If you are looking for excellent table fare, use shrimp, small fish or artificial baits that mimic them and catch a mess of small to medium sized trout. If you are looking for large trout, stick with large baits such as mullet or lures that imitate larger fish. Your day will be slower with fewer hook ups, but the odds of catching that trophy trout will go up exponentially.