Speckled trout love overcast weather, but why? Let’s dive in and take a look at this unique behavior.
First of all, everybody knows that a great speckled trout bite is dependent upon more than one condition to happen.
You may have your favorite, which could be one of the following:
But if there is one condition that should give you a lot of confidence, it's overcast weather.
My best speckled trout trips had this condition, just like in the video below.
Take time to think about your own, and you may realize this has been the case for your best speckled trout trips as well!
Why Do Speckled Trout Love Overcast Weather So Much?
It's a good question for which I have several theories you may enjoy.
Let's go over them one at a time, saving the most plausible for last.
Theory #1: Summertime Heat
Summer can be a tough season for speckled trout.
This is because water temperature rises to a level that is an extreme for a trout's metabolism.
After all, they're cold-blooded creatures, and their body temperature matches that of their environment.
So when the sun warms the water they become sluggish and less active, and will even take a break from feeding if needed.
Think about it:
Imagine standing in a large parking lot in the dead of July. The sun is beating down on the black asphalt around you as sweat is clouding your eyes and soaking your shirt.
Would you want to eat a hamburger right then and there? Yeah, didn't think so!
That feeling is pretty much the same thing for speckled trout during summer.
But what if it became overcast?
The sun couldn't warm the water, and water temps would stay down.
This can prolong a speckled trout bite well past the morning, like what happened on this June fishing trip in the video below.
WARNING: Please excuse any language in the video, as everyone was very excited.
Typical summertime trout trips see an early launch, putting you at your first spot as early as 5:30am!
But on that day we didn't launch the boat until about 8am, and didn't find biting trout until about 1pm.
Perhaps the overcast weather kept the trout biting!
Theory #2: Bad Weather Indicator
Buck Perry (the father of structure fishing) theorizes that fish know when a cold front is coming not because of changes in barometric pressure, but because of changes in light conditions.
Yes! This flies in the face of conventional knowledge, but when you listen to what the man has to say, it all makes a lot of sense.
Buck claims that fish can tell a cold front is about to come because of the overcast weather.
According to him, fish really can't tell the difference between high and low air pressure (no more than we can), so instead they know a cold front is coming when preceding overcast weather dims the ambient light.
It's time to eat up!
Once the cold front has swept through, the "blue bird" skies signal for fish to seek deep water in order to recover from unstable temperature and dropping water levels.
Theory #3: They Can See Better
The two previous theories are plausible, but this third one is my favorite (and may become yours as well).
I believe speckled trout love overcast weather because it allows them to see their prey easier.
Try This Simple Exercise
On a bright and sunny day, with no hat or sunglasses, go outside, hold your eyelids open with your fingers and look up at the sky.
Hurt, didn't it?
It's tough to see when the sun is glaring in your eyes!
But we humans wouldn't know, because we spend most of our time indoors.
And even when we are outside, we are usually looking at the horizon or down at our hands, most often with a hat and sunglasses on.
But speckled trout don't have these luxuries.
They are almost always on the bottom of the water column, where it's safe and comfortable, and won't leave unless they can see their prey 100%.
So, if you did my exercise, it's easy to understand how a bright sky could make for tough feeding.
Overcast Weather Is A Different Story
Try the exercise when it's super cloudy and you'll experience the obvious difference: it's easy to look up.
I feel this is the same experience for speckled trout, and that overcast weather makes it easier to see their prey and more comfortable to feed.
In fact, overcast weather has become such an important factor to my trout fishing that I'm not as optimistic on bright "blue bird" days.
This doesn't mean trout are uncatchable, it just means the best action of my life all came on overcast days.
What do you think? Comment below!