Capt. Matt Lamb of Chasin’ Tails Outdoors in Atlantic Beach said that offshore fishing has been great, and despite some dirty water caused by runoff, flounder and sheepshead are biting. But the big surprise is how well speckled trout are dealing with all the runoff.

“The specks are here and biting,” Lamb said. “I am genuinely surprised and excited. I went fishing with a friend last week for redfish and hoped I might find a few trout to have tacos for dinner that night. “We found specks, and not just a few to pick at, but a lot of specks. Counting the shorts and barely legal ones we released, we must have caught at least 20. We didn’t have any huge trout, but we didn’t keep anything less than 16 inches and we kept our limits.”

Lamb said when he reached his first spot that day, he was worried the water was too dirty and too fresh for the trout – which prefer clean, high-salinity water. But he barely had three rods out with mud minnows and Gulp! Shrimp under popping corks before the specks hit. 

“I was glad to see the specks biting so well, especially this early in the year and with mud minnows for bait,” Lamb said. “They often won’t hit mud minnows until the shrimp and other baits are gone. I’m guessing all the rain has flushed a bunch of mud minnows out of the drains and smaller creeks, and the trout are hungry and eating them. They sure were following the sound from the popping corks to them and chowing down.”