Here’s What you Need for Finicky Trout

FISH WITH C.A. Richardson’s gear


written by staff writer

Paper or plastic? In this case, it’s plastic or ElaZtech for Capt. C. A. Richardson.

Fishing near Port Richey, Florida, for gator trout in winter, Richardson used the ZMan baits made with proprietary technology that distinguishes these baits from plastic ones.

With colder water making fish less active and with “finicky” appetites, Richardson said the 3-inch ZMan minnowz and the 4-inch scented jerk shad were effective in drawing strikes.

Even in the coldest water temps, which typically subdue the action of plastic baits, the ZMan ElaZtech swims beautifully.
— C. A. Richardson

And it’s not just specific baits you need for winter trout fishing. Richardson likes the 7-foot Falcon coastal clear water rod. Calling it “ideal” for trout fishing in these conditions, he said the medium-light rod acts like a shock absorber.

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When you’re fishing for trout, you need that type of forgiveness for landing the fish, especially without a net.
You can manipulate the bait better with that kind of action.
— C. A. Richardson

He also used 10-lb. braid on the spinning outfit and 20-lb. on the casting outfit. For the 24-inch leader, he used 20-lb. fluorocarbon, instead of monofilament, for its lower visibility.

So, winter and trout aren’t mutually exclusive. Sometimes you just need to think beyond plastic baits and try something new.

See the use of these techniques in Flats Class S13:E3, “Sports Coast Trout,” where C.A. & Capt. Greg DeVault fish the Sports Coast near Port Richey, FL for winter-time gator trout.

S13:E3 - “Sports Coast Trout”