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Speckled Trout

North East Florida is blessed with some of the most consistently beautiful weather in the US. Our changing clime attract tourists, but also hoards of fish year-round. No matter what the season, there is always something worth catching in the waters surrounding North East Florida.

The speckled trout fisherman that hit the surf and shallow rigs or fishing the adult population and therefore catch speckled trout of a much larger size on average than the marsh speck chasers.

Speckled trout usually start there spawning runs in May. This is when they move to the beach and passes where the actual spawning occurs.
Smaller seatrout feed heavily on shrimp where as the larger spotted seatrout prefer small fish.
Speckled trout caught in the surf will commonly run from 2 to 4 pounds, you can often walk to the back side of the same island and start catching smaller 1 pound specks.
A favorite technique is to fish at night under bright lights.
May is usually the best month to catch the trophy specks because this is when they hit the beaches fat with roe.
The Sisters Creek area, Fort George Island and Nassau Sound or some of the best areas that consistently produce trophy specks.
Speckled trout often can be found below bird that are diving on small fish or shrimp as the specks hammer them from below.

Speckled Trout Recipes

Baked Speckled Trout in Herbs

1 serving

2 ea onion, chopped

2 ea celery stalks, chopped

1 c mushrooms, sliced

2 tb parsley, chopped

1/4 ts thyme, dried

1/4 ts rosemary, dried

1/4 ts tarragon, dried

6 tb butter, melted

1 ea speckled trout, 3-4 lb

3 tb parmesan cheese, grated

Mix together onions, celery, mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, tarragon and butter. Spread half of mixture in a greased baking dish and add the scaled and cleaned speckled trout. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, top with remaining vegetable mixture. Bake 35-45 minutes at 375 degrees F or until tender and flaky, basting 3-4 times with melted butter or chicken broth. Use 1 tsp herb type if fresh chopped Also for: Any tasty fish.

Stuffed Speckled Trout Fillets

4 servings

1 hour 30 min prep

8 slices thinly sliced bacon

1/3 cup chopped onions

1/3 cup chopped green bell peppers

1/3 cup chopped celery

2 cups diced mushrooms

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

2/3 cup breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Cajun seafood seasoning

8 (6-8 ounce) speckled trout fillets (6-8oz each)

2 teaspoons salt and black pepper, as desired

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch green onions, blanched

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

paprika, for garnish

Place bacon on a shallow baking pan and bake at 375F for about 15 minutes or until bacon looks crispy. Remove bacon from pan and set aside on paper towel to drain.

Add about half of the bacon drippings from the baking pan into a sauté pan. Sauté your veggies, and mushrooms on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and let cook until the veggies wilt and the mushrooms soften.

Begin stirring in just enough bread crumbs to create a stuffing (you don't want it wet and pasty, but not dry and crumbly either). When the consistency is right, stir in the garlic, parsley, and seafood seasoning. Set the mixture aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 400°F

Place fillets on a cutting board, parallel to your body. Then using a sharp knife, slice them horizontally in equal parts so that you create an upper and lower half; leave the top half still attached to the bottom half at the end of the cut, giving you a "flap" which can be raised, up and over. Between the flaps is where the stuffing goes. Now lay the flap on each fillet open, sprinkle on a little seasoned salt and pepper, drizzle on some olive oil, and spoon in a couple of tablespoons of the mushroom stuffing. Then top with the strips of bacon and close the fillets.

Tie each stuffed fillet shut with strips of the blanched green onions. Then place in a shallow baking pan, splash on a little wine, top with a pinch or two of Parmesan cheese, and slide them into the oven. In 12 to 15 minutes the trout should cook to perfection.

Speckled Trout Amandine

What You Need:

Vegetable oil for deep frying

2 eggs

1 cup unsifted flour

6 four-ounce speckled trout or weakfish fillets, skinned

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

½ pound butter, cut into ½-inch bits

1 cup finely chopped blanched almonds

¼ cup strained fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, preferably the flat-leaf Italian variety

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

How to Cook:

1. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting. At the same time, line a large shallow baking dish with a double thickness of paper towels and place it on the middle shelf of the oven.

2. Pour vegetable oil into a deep fryer or large heavy saucepan to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat the oil until it reaches a temperature of 360° on a deep-frying thermometer.

3. Meanwhile, break the eggs into a shallow bowl and beat them to froth with a fork or wire whisk. Spread the flour out on wax paper.

4. Pat the fish fillets completely dry with paper towels and season them with the salt and white pepper. Roll one fillet at a time in the flour, immerse it in the beaten eggs, and then roll it in the flour again to coat it evenly. Shake the fillet to remove the excess flour and set it aside on a plate.

5. Deep-fry the fillets, two or three at a time, for about 6 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden on both sides. As they brown, transfer the fillets to the paper-lined pan and keep them warm in the oven while you deep-fry the rest.

6. When all the fillets are cooked, prepare the sauce in the following manner: In a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet, melt the butter bits over moderate heat, stirring frequently so that the butter melts completely without burning.

7. As soon as the butter begins to brown, add the almonds and toss them about with a spoon to moisten them evenly. Stir in the lemon juice, parsley and Worcestershire sauce, and taste the sauce for seasoning.

8. to serve, arrange the fillets attractively on a heated platter or individual serving plates and pour the sauce over them.

To Serve: 6

Batter Fried Speckled Trout

1/4 cup yellow corn meal

1/2 cup regular flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt pepper (Optional)

1 cup of ice cold water

Peanut oil

Cut trout fillets (12-15) into small pieces or strips.

Mix corn meal, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, water, and egg. Blend well. Combine fish with batter; let soak if possible. Cook in about 1 inch of peanut oil until golden brown.

YIELD: 4 servings

This batter is delicious on shrimp also!!!

Speckled Trout Marguery

What You Need:

2 tablespoons butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons butter, cut into ½-inch bits

¼ pound firm fresh mushrooms, trimmed, wiped with a dampened towel and cut lengthwise, including the stems, into ¼-inch-thick slices

¼ cup thinly sliced scallions, including 3 inches of the green tops

4 eight-ounce speckled trout or weakfish fillets, skinned

1½ teaspoons salt

½ cup dry white wine

12 medium-sized uncooked shrimp (about ½ pound)

1 cup hollandaise sauce

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped black truffles

1/8 teaspoon ground hot red pepper (cayenne)

How to Cook:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. With a pastry brush, spread 1 tablespoon of the softened butter on the bottom of a flameproof baking pan large enough to hold the fish fillets in one layer.

2. Cut a piece of wax paper to fit snugly inside the pan and spread one side of the paper with the remaining tablespoon of softened butter.

3. Scatter the mushrooms and scallions over the bottom of the pan and lay the fish fillets over them, side by side. Sprinkle the tops with 1 teaspoon of the salt and pour in the wine.

4. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove, cover the fish with the wax paper, buttered side down, and poach the fish in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the fillets are firm to the touch.

5. Meanwhile, shell the shrimp. Devein them by making a shallow incision down their backs with a small sharp knife and lifting out the black or white intestinal vein with the point of the knife.

6. Wash the shrimp briefly in a colander set under cold running water spread them on paper towels to drain and pat them completely dry with fresh paper towels.

7. In a heavy 6- to 8-inch skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter bits over moderate heat. When the foam begins to subside, add the shrimp and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are pink and firm to the touch. Set the skillet aside off the heat, and prepare the hollandaise sauce.

8. when the fillets have cooked the allotted time, use a slotted spatula to transfer them to an ovenproof platter. Strain the poaching liquid through a fine sieve into a small enameled saucepan and boil it over high heat until it has reduced to 2 tablespoons.

9. with a wire whisk beat the liquid into the hollandaise. Stir in the truffles, the red pepper and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, and taste the sauce for seasoning.

10. Preheat the broiler to its highest setting. To assemble the "Speckled Trout Marguery", place three shrimp on each fillet and spoon the sauce over the top, masking the fish completely. Slide the platter under the broiler for 30 seconds, or until the sauce is lightly browned. Serve at once. To Serve: 4

Baked Speckled Trout in Herbs


2 Onion, chopped

2 Celery stalks, chopped

1 c Mushrooms, sliced

2 tb Parsley, chopped

1/4 ts Thyme, dried

1/4 ts Rosemary, dried

1/4 ts Tarragon, dried

6 tb Butter, melted

1 Speckled trout, 3-4 lb

3 tb Parmesan cheese, grated

Mix together onions, celery, mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, tarragon and butter. Spread half of mixture in a greased baking dish and add the scaled and cleaned speckled trout. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, top with remaining vegetable mixture. Bake 35-45 minutes at 375 degrees F or until tender and flaky, basting 3-4 times with melted butter or chicken broth.

Use 1 tsp herb each if fresh chopped



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