Description: A popular pier fish that while it is not commonly the target of most fishermen it is a quite tasty and plentiful fish. The sand trout is distinguished from the speckled trout by its absence of spots, and a pinkish or yellowish sheen on the upper sides. It has one or two canine teeth on the point of the upper jaw. When sand seatrout grow larger than a pound, they develop a beautiful iridescent lavender cast on their heads and the front part of their bodies. It closely resembles the Gulf sand trout, or silver seatrout, which achieves a larger size. The best way to distinguish between these two species is to count the anal rays. The silver trout has eight to nine and the sand trout has 11. This is an elongated fish with a mouthful of teeth. Usually 1 or 2 extra-large teeth are located in the front of the upper jaw.
Where found: Sand seatrout, or sand trout, is common in the Texas bays and its range extends to the lower Atlantic coast. It is a major sport species in the Galveston Bay area. The maximum size is less than two pounds.
Tips to Catch & Tackle:It feeds on small fish and crustaceans. The best bait type is cut fish or shrimp fished on or near the bottom. They are attracted to light and many fishermen have success using jigs under lights, so plan on a little night fishing at the pier for the best hulls. The time to catch this species of fish is during the cold month as it migrates into the Gulf . One experienced fisherman suggested, “Using corks with about 6 inches of line underneath and then a hook baited with shrimp”.
Size: They usually average under 1 pound in bays and estuaries, but fish of 3-5 pounds can be caught in deep inshore holes and in offshore waters.
Season: The spring and summer months are prime time for anglers to find this tasty species on the pier. The Sand trout will migrate to the Gulf deep waters in the colder months.