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Searching Out the Speckled Trout

By Jonathan Bowman

Photos by Jonathan Bowman

On a recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina, I decided to do some last-minute fishing. I was looking to catch something to bring home, so it being edible/legal to keep were my only stipulations.

After getting lots of “We’re full this week” responses, and understandably so given the last-minute nature of my request, I came in contact with an outfitter with an opening.

The outfitter was from Charleston, and it looked to me like he could probably navigate the water in his sleep. He told me we would be targeting speckled trout, much to my delight. I absolutely love trout. I love not having to deal with scales and I love their taste, but I had yet to enjoy a speckled trout.

We used live minnows on bobbers and had an absolute blast reeling in trout after trout. I took the legal-sized ones back to the hotel and began thinking of recipes. Pro-tip: bring a bag-style cooler if you are staying in a hotel without a fridge and use the ice machines on your floor to keep things cool. Just remember to drain the water each day so that the fish is only sitting on ice (in a plastic bag).

As expected, speckled trout is absolutely delicious, and I would be happy to eat them any day that ends in the letter Y. Lots of speckled trout can be found along the East Coast, including Virginia. Note that speckled trout, as a saltwater fish, is regulated by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and requires a saltwater fishing license.

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Jonathan Bowman lives in Amelia County, where he spends as much time as possible hunting, fishing, and cooking. Jonathan loves sharing his passions with others, and is determined to one day convince his wife to join him on a turkey hunt.

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  • August 11, 2022