|Common: to 4 pounds
Closed Season: Nov & Dec
Size Limit: 15″ – 20″ pinched tail
Bag Limit: 4 per person, 1 over 20″
Florida Record: 15lbs., 6ozs.
|Dark gray or green above, with sky-blue tinges shading to silvery and white below: numerous distinct round black spots on back, extending to the dorsal fins and tail; black margin on posterior of tail; no barbels; no scales on the soft dorsal fin; one or two prominent canine teeth usually present at tip of upper jaw.Game Qualities: These fish are excellent fighters, and give numerous head shakes. They are another one of the most sought after fish in Tampa Bay. These fish are extremely vulnerable to red tide, and have one of the highest mortality rates due to it.
Fishing Tips: These fish are mainly found on grass flats near mangroves. Baits include shrimp, greenbacks, but the big gator trout love to eat grunts. Be careful when landing these fish because they have a thin slime layer that is vital to the fish’s survival.
Food Value: These fish are extremely good if cooked right.
You’ve Gotta Try Captain Danny’s Grilled Trout: To prevent fish from breaking up, it is best to cook them in a greased wire basket made for grilling fish. Sprinkle the inside cavity of the fish with garlic powder. Rub or brush the cavity and skin with vegetable oil. Place in the greased wire basket and grill about 6 inches from coals for 7 minutes on each side. If not using a basket, cover head and tail of fish with foil. (This prevents drying out and makes them easier to turn.) Place directly on the greased grill. Use a greased spatula for turning. Prepare the lemon-onion butter by stirring the butter with 1 tbsp. lemon juice, peel, onion and seasonings. Serve along with the grilled fish.