Best Times & Seasons to Catch Seatrout in Florida

Today we discuss the Best Times & Seasons to Catch Seatrout in Florida. Welcome to our comprehensive guide on catching seats in the beautiful state of Florida!

In this blog post, we will delve into the best times and seasons to target seatrout, providing you with valuable insights and tips to maximize your chances of a successful fishing trip.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, this guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to reel in that prized seatrout. So, grab your fishing gear, and let’s dive in!

Understanding Seatrout:

Before we jump into discussing the best times and seasons for catching seatrout, let’s take a moment to understand the species itself.

Seatrout, also known as spotted seatrout or speckled trout, are highly sought-after game fish found in the coastal waters of Florida.

They are known for their beautiful silver-gray coloration and distinct black spots scattered across their back, dorsal fin, and tail.

Seatrouts are predominantly ambush predators, often found lurking near oyster bars, grass flats, and other structures where they can hide and wait for their prey.

They primarily feed on shrimp, small fish, and crustaceans, making them susceptible to a variety of fishing techniques.

Factors Affecting Seatrout Activity:

To understand the best times and seasons to catch seatrout in Florida, it’s crucial to consider the various factors that influence their activity patterns. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Water Temperature:

Water temperature plays a significant role in seatrout behavior. They are most active in water temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. As the water temperature drops below or rises above this range, seatrout tend to become less active and seek shelter in deeper waters.


Tidal movements greatly influence seatrout feeding behavior. The best times to target seatrout are during incoming tides when the water is moving towards the shore. During this time, baitfish and other prey are swept towards the shallows, attracting hungry seatrout.

Moon Phases:

Moon phases can also impact seatrout feeding habits. Many anglers believe that seatrout are more active during the new moon and full moon phases. However, it’s essential to remember that other factors such as weather conditions and tidal movements can override the influence of moon phases.

Weather Conditions:

Weather conditions, particularly barometric pressure and cloud cover, can significantly affect seatrout activity. Seatrouts tend to be more active during overcast days when they feel safer and have more cover for ambushing prey. Additionally, a stable or falling barometric pressure can trigger feeding frenzies.

Best Times & Seasons to Catch Seatrout in Florida:

Now that we’ve covered the essential factors influencing seatrout activity let’s explore the best times and seasons to catch seatrout in Florida.

Spring (March – May):

Spring is a fantastic time for seatrout fishing in Florida. As water temperatures rise after the winter months, seatrout becomes more active and moves towards shallower areas.

Look for seattings around grass flats, oyster bars, and mangrove shorelines during this season. Early mornings and late afternoons are generally productive times as the water warms up.

Summer (June – August):

Summer can be a challenging season for seatrout fishing due to the warmer water temperatures.

However, early mornings and late evenings can still yield excellent results, especially when fishing near deeper drop-offs or channels where cooler water can be found.

During hot summer days, focus on fishing during incoming tides or target shaded areas near the structure.

Fall (September – November):

Fall is considered one of the best seasons for seattun fishing in Florida. As water temperatures begin to drop slightly, seattops become more active and aggressive in their feeding behaviors.

Look for them around seagrass beds, oyster bars, and near inlets where baitfish congregate. Early mornings and late afternoons remain prime fishing times during this season.

Winter (December – February):

Winter can be an excellent time for targeting trophy-sized seatroots in Florida.

While seattops may be less active due to colder water temperatures, they tend to gather in deeper holes and channels where they seek warmer waters.

Slow-moving lures or live bait fished near these areas can entice strikes from larger trout.

Recommended Fishing Techniques:

Now that you know the best times and seasons to catch seatrout let’s explore some recommended fishing techniques to increase your chances of success:

Artificial Lures:

Artificial lures such as soft plastics, topwater plugs, spoons, and jigs are popular choices among seatrout anglers.

Opt for lures that mimic the natural prey of seatrout like shrimp or small baitfish. Vary your retrieve speed and experiment with different colors until you find what works best on a given day.

Live Bait:

Live bait can be highly effective when targeting seatrout. Shrimp, finger mullet, pilchards, and pinfish are all excellent choices.

Use a float rig or free-line your bait near structures or grass flats where seatroots are likely to be lurking. Remember to match your hook size to the baitfish for a natural presentation.

Fly Fishing:

Fly fishing for seat trout is a thrilling experience that requires some skill and finesse. Opt for lightweight rods (5-8 weight) with floating or intermediate sinking lines.

Use small shrimp or baitfish patterns and vary your retrieve speed to entice strikes from these elusive fish.

Legal Regulations & Catch Limits:

Before heading out on your seatrout fishing adventure, it’s vital to familiarize yourself with the legal regulations and catch limits imposed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). These regulations ensure the sustainability of seatrout populations and protect the species for future generations of anglers.

As of 2021, recreational anglers in most areas of Florida can keep up to 4 seats per person per day, with a slot limit of 15-20 inches in total length. However, it’s crucial to check for any specific regulations or seasonal closures in your target fishing area.


Catching seatroots in Florida can be an exciting and rewarding experience for anglers of all levels. By understanding the factors that influence their activity patterns and following our guide on the best times and seasons, you’ll significantly increase your chances of success on your next fishing trip. Remember to always practice ethical angling practices by releasing undersized fish and adhering to legal regulations. So grab your gear, head out to the coastal waters of Florida, and get ready for an unforgettable seatrout fishing adventure!

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