Under The Lights

Continuing my initiation into the world of Speckled Trout fishing, on a cool March night, my Dad and I met Dub Middleton at a non descript, bait camp, near Matagorda, Texas, near where the Colorado River empties into the Gulf of Mexico. We were going to fish for Specks at night under some bright, flood lights. The principle was that the reflection of the lights on the water drew small fish and shrimp in to feed on the minute sea life and the abundance of small bait drew the larger predators, the Specks. The action can be fast and furious, and it was!

Starting about 8:30 PM, the three of us beat the water to a froth and to show for the effort, had caught and released 4 small ones. Dub and I choose to take a nap on the couches inside the bait camp and two hours later, my Dad woke both of us exclaiming, “Get up quick and come see all the fish!”

“All the fish” was right. The tide was coming in and with it, bringing in stained, almost sandy, water, and in the reflection of the large lights, the water was dimpled by hundreds of Specks slashing through the thousands of bait fish that had been carried in with the tide!

Savoring the spectacle for maybe 5 seconds, our primal urges kicked in, and we began casting into the melee. Using a Tony Acetta #5, silver spoon, with a yellow buck tail attached, every one of my casts resulted in a hard hit and a spirited fight and resulted in a 1 to 2 pound Trout flopping on the dock.


Above is my old Tony Acetta, #5, silver spoon, with the original, yellow, buck tail. This spoon is lighter than a Dixie Jet, and has a better flash. It was a perfect imitation of the bail fish the Specks were feeding on. Over the years, the hook has been replaced several times. This spoon is over 50 years old and has been used countless times, just be sure and wash them thoroughly, and they will last a long time.

This action continued for nearly 30 minutes. Then, the tide changed heading back out to the Gulf and with the change of the water movement, the bait and predator fish followed. As hot as the action was, it was all over now. Nothing remained except for us to ice down the fish, collect our tackle, bid adieu to the camp operator and start our two hour drive back to West University.

At the time, my family didn’t have a freezer, so all of our friends and relatives enjoyed the fish we happily gave to them.