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John's Journal... Entry 95, Day 1

Catching Speckled Trout and Wearing TrekLite

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Mark Nichols, the president of DOA (Deadly On Anything) lures, knows the Palm City area of Florida about 40 minutes north of West Palm Beach on the Atlantic Ocean like the back of his hand. He's learned how to take speckled trout, redfish, tarpon and snook. His tactics also will produce these species anywhere you fish with his lures. This week we'll look at how, where and why Nichols, one of the first anglers to bring Mossy Oak into the saltwater arena, uses the techniques he does to catch these inshore species. Nichols enjoys wearing Mossy Oak Apparel's TrekLite shirts, pants and shorts for saltwater fishing. As Nichols says, "I'm not wearing TrekLite clothes to hide from the fish. These clothes are just lightweight, comfortable and cool, they dry fast and they define me as an outdoorsman. What most hunters don't know is that TrekLite clothing is appropriate for hunting and saltwater fishing."

Question: What's the biggest speckled trout you've ever caught?
Answer: Last year, I caught a 34-inch 14-pound speckled trout on a 3-1/2-inch, 1/4-ounce DOA Glow shrimp.

click to enlargeQuestion: What's the best day of fishing you've ever had?
Nichols: During the spring of 2000, a partner and I caught 24 fish that weighed over 7-pounds each in one day. The second day we went back to the same spot and caught 24-more trout that were over 7-1/2-pounds each. Those days were the most fantastic ones of trout fishing I've ever had.

Question: Where were you fishing?
Answer: We were fishing in the Fort Pierce, Florida, area, less than 2 miles from where the world's-record speckled trout that weighed over 17 pounds was caught.

Question: Where's your favorite area to fish?
Answer: I enjoy fishing the south end of the Indian River Lagoon, which is 40-miles north of West Palm Beach and south of Fort Pierce, Florida.

Question: Why are there so many big trout in this section of Florida?
Answer: This part of Florida has warm water from the ocean's pumping warm water into these bays, lagoons and rivers for 12 months of the year. These inshore fish don't become lethargic like they do in colder climates and stop feeding. Our fish in this region can feed for 12 months out of the year.

click to enlargeQuestion: How do you fish the DOA Glow shrimp, a rubber shrimp, to catch these big trout?
I tell people to fish this artificial shrimp the same way they do a live shrimp. Cast the bait out. Just keep enough tension in the line to feel the bait as it moves along the bottom with the current. I fish this bait on braided, non-stretch line. I can twitch my rod tip, and the shrimp will hop on the bottom when I twitch this line because the line doesn't have a bow in it. Since the DOA rubber shrimp has a lead in its belly, the lead causes the shrimp to drop straight down instead of head-first like most other lures do and present a natural-looking shrimp to the fish.

Question: What colors of the DOA rubber shrimp do you prefer?
Without question, my favorite color is Glow-in-the-Dark, which is color #305 -- a kind of creme color. This bait is extremely productive in crystal-clear water in the middle of the day and will catch any fish that swims. I've even used this shrimp to sight fish for bonefish in crystal-clear water.

click to enlargeQuestion: What line are you using?
Answer: If I'm fishing braided line, I prefer to fish with Power Pro Braid with a breaking strength of 10 pounds because you can cast this line very long distances on spinning reels. But on the longest point of your cast, if you get a bite from a 12-inch trout, you can set the hook and catch the fish.

Question: Mark, you field-tested Mossy Oak Apparel's TrekLite clothing while wade fishing in salt water. What did you think about it in the saltwater environment?
Answer: I thought wearing camouflage while fishing in saltwater would be goofy, but I learned that TrekLite was very comfortable and very well-made. I fished in it all day long and found out it dried quickly and kept me cool. I particularly liked the shorts with the liner. I think that salt water fishermen are missing a good thing if they don't suit up with TrekLite.

For more information on DOA lures, call (877) DOA-LURE (362-5873), or visit the website at www.doalures.com. To learn more about Mossy Oak Apparel's TrekLite clothing for hunting and fishing, go to www.mossyoak.com.

TOMORROW: Fishing For Tarpon




Check back each day this week for more about How To Catch Fish Inshore ...

Day 1 -Catching Speckled Trout and Wearing TrekLite
Day 2 -Fishing For Tarpon
Day 3 -Catching Redfish
Day 4 -How To Fish for Snook
Day 5 -How to Take Trophy speckled Trout Anywhere

John's Journal