John's Journal...


Spike-It for Speckled Trout

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Captain Dave Sutton of Homestead, Florida, a fishing guide in the Everglades National Park, Biscayne Bay National Park and the Upper Florida Keys, takes anglers to permit, tarpon, redfish, snook, speckled trout, dolphin, wahoo, grouper and snapper. Sutton, who has fished these waters for 16 years and has guided for the last 6 years, has discovered that using the new Spike-It products for these saltwater fish pays off for him.

Many of my charters are families, and often dads want to take their sons or daughters with them. I really enjoy those kinds of trips. On this particular day, I had a father and daughter fishing together who wanted to catch speckled trout. Speckled trout are really good eating and are very common in our area. Many of our anglers like to target these fish because they know when they go out to catch Click to enlargespeckled trout, they'll usually catch numbers of them. The father had told me, "Make sure you bring plenty of live shrimp." So I brought 6 dozen live shrimp for his and his daughter's fishing.

We went out into a little basin just outside the Everglades National Park, and I rigged the dad and his daughter up with popping corks, circle hooks and live shrimp. The father looked at me and asked, "Aren't you going to fish?" I replied, "Okay, I'll cast a few times." Now, the man and his daughter were catching 15- to 17-inch trout on almost every cast. I finally picked up my spinning rod with a Spike-It Opening Night-colored jerkbait on it, which is kind of white, but a little Click to enlargecloudy. About 18 inches up the line, I'd pinched on a 1/8-ounce bullet-head sinker. Then when I twitched the bait, I could drop my rod tip, and the bait would fall. I cast and immediately started catching trout. Instead of catching 15- to 17-inch fish like the father and his daughter were catching, the trout I was catching on the Spike-It Opening Night jerkbait were all 19- to 22-inch speckled trout that would weigh 3-1/2- to 4 pounds each, which were really nice-sized specks for our region of the country.

Finally the little girl looked at her dad and said, "Gee, Dad. Can I use one of those lures like Captain Dave is using?" I handed my rod to the little girl and showed her how to fish the Spike-It jerkbait. She quickly began catching big trout - much bigger trout than her dad was catching on the live shrimp. After she'd caught three or four really-nice trout, the dad looked at me and said, "Okay, Captain. Give me a bait like my daughter's using. Rig me up like she's fishing. I want to catch some of those big trout, too." I rigged him up, butClick to enlarge instead of putting an Opening Night jerkbait on his line, I tied on a 4-inch Boottail Minnow. Instantly he began to catch the bigger trout too. After we had culled our fish, both of them had their limits of speckled trout with all the fish over 19-inches long. I learned on that day that yes, you could catch speckled trout on live shrimp. However, in a side-by-side comparison, we caught bigger trout with the Spike-It bait than we did on the live shrimp.

For more information on how you can fish with Captain Dave Sutton, contact him at or go to To learn more about Spike-It's top-quality lures, paints and other fishing products and the Color-C-Lector, go to


Check back each day this week for more about CAPTAIN DAVE SUTTON ON SALTWATER FISHING WITH SPIKE-IT

Day 1: Dolphin on Spike-It Soft Plastics
Day 2: Jerkbaits for Jack Crevalle
Day 3: Redfish and Snook on Spike-It Products
Day 4: Spike-It for Speckled Trout
Day 5: Tarpon with Spike-It



Entry 303, Day 4