The Top 10 Tips to Catch Big Trout in the Surf [With Kayaking Kennedy]


Have you ever caught a big trout in the surf off of the beach?

I’ve heard people in the Gulf states talking about one of their favorite ways to fish — fishing the beach for big speckled trout. After hearing about this, I was intrigued.

I wanted to learn more about catching big trout in the surf, where you could do it and what the best tactics are for this type of fishing.

I decided to talk to an expert about this and sat down with Captain Scott Kennedy — aka Kayaking Kennedy — of Whistlin Waters Outdoors to discuss catching trout in the surf.

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Captain Scott: Kayaking Kennedy

Kayak fishing for cobia

Scott was born in Orange Beach, Alabama and grew up fishing all around the Mobile Bay area. His dad and grandpa were big trout fishermen and taught Scott to love fishing from an early age.

He spent his childhood fishing with them and wade fishing until he was old enough to drive.

Once he had a car and was a little more mobile, he started going all around the area mostly wade fishing.

He says he really fell in love with kayak fishing right after high school.

Scott was working at a marina and seeing people catch fish all day every day. It made him want to get out on the water and to go beyond what he could do wade fishing.

He got himself a little Pelican kayak and almost instantly started catching more and bigger fish every time he went fishing after work.

Kayak fishing was ideal for Scott because he loved how quiet and stealthy he could be in a kayak when fishing shallow water for redfish and trout.

He started filming his fishing endeavors and created a YouTube channel called Kayaking_Kennedy, which has nearly 1700 subscribers.

Trout in the Surf

Trout in the Surf in Alabama

Today, Scott is a full-time kayak fishing charter captain for Whistlin Waters Outdoors and fishes six times a week with clients. His job is guiding clients and creating awesome fishing content for his YouTube channel.

He also spends a ton of time fishing straight from the beach targeting trout in the surf.

Check out Scott catching a big redfish and multiple trout in the surf in the video below:

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In this podcast episode, we talk to Scott about:

  • The top tips for catching big trout in the surf
  • The best lures to throw at trout off the beach
  • The biggest challenges to making fishing your full-time job

Do you catch trout off the beach? Have any questions about this podcast episode?

Let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page!

Note: Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the Fish Strong podcast on iTunes or Google Play.

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Captain Scott Kennedy on the Fish Strong Podcast

trout in the salt marsh

Click the play button to listen right here on our site or click either button below to go directly to iTunes or Stitcher to download the episode.

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Note: Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the Fish Strong podcast on iTunes or Google Play.

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Top 10 Tips to Catch Trout in the Surf

top 10 fishing tips for trout in the surf

In this section, we go over Scott’s top 10 tips for catching trout in the surf — which are:

1. Fish a Good Outgoing Tide

Tide movement is key to catch trout in the surf. Scott’s preference is a strong outgoing tide where there is good water movement.

2.  Looks for Sand-points, Whirlpools and Distinct Current Movement

You want to look for spots on the beach where the water is moving in a unique way. This is usually an indication of sandbars and bottom that create a good flow of water that beach trout like to sit in to wait for prey.

3. Early Morning and Late Evening are the Best Times for Trout in the Surf

Low-light conditions are the best times to target trout off the beach. You want to target trout in the morning until about two hours after sunrise and in the evening two hours before and up to sunset. The low-light conditions make the trout more aggressive toward lures they might otherwise turn away during high visibility times.

4. Summertime Fishery

Summertime is definitely the best time of year to target trout off the beach. There is lots of bait off the beaches in the summertime — aka a lot of food for trout cruising the surf.

5. Light Overcast Skies are Great Times to Fish

Light overcast skies create lower light conditions that the trout on the beach love to feed during. These conditions make the trout more likely to take your lure and will also extend the time the trout are biting off the beach.

6. Find Clean Water

You want to find nice clean water to target trout in the surf. The trout are more likely to congregate in nicer water and see your offering when you cast it in front of them. Clear water also gives you the chance to sight fish trout cruising just a couple feet off the sand.

7. Fish Near Passes and Inlets

Passes and inlets give an extra bump to tidal movements in the area. Trout use these areas near inlets and passes to look for bait schools being swept away by the added current.

8. Target Trout Near the Shallows in the Early Morning

Look for spots on the beach where the first sandbar is within casting distance. Fish will cruise the trough between the shoreline and sandbar. The trout will come just mere feet from the water’s edge on both sides of the trough in the early morning.

9. Fish Deeper Spots as the Sun Gets Higher

As the sun gets higher in the sky, start working the deeper areas off the beach. Trout move to deeper depths as the sun gets higher in the sky.

10. Use the Right Lures

Scott likes to change his choice of lure depending on the time of day and where the trout are. If the trout are cruising the shallows in the early morning, Scott will throw a topwater lure with a walk-the-dog motion. As they begin to move deeper, he’ll switch to a MirrOlure MirrOdine. If the trout are deep on the bottom, he’ll switch over to a jig to bounce on the bottom. Scott also says don’t be afraid to throw big baits to catch big trout.

How to Catch Trout in the Surf Video Tutorial

Check out the video below where Scott shows you what to look for on the beach when targeting trout in the surf (and catches a fat trout).

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gator trout in the surf

Catching trout in the surf is an exciting and unconventional way to get after this favorite species.

If you’re looking to catch big trout in the surf, book a kayaking fishing trip on the Alabama Gulf Coast with Captain Scott by going to his charter website here. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to Scott’s YouTube Channel and check out his Instagram page.

What did you think of this episode? Do you have any beach trout fishing tips we didn’t touch on?

Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about the Insider Fishing Club, click here now.

P.S. – To see all of the past podcast episodes, click here now.

Tight lines!

Related Posts:

1. Kayak Fishing for Bull Reds, Red Snapper and Offshore Fish [With Brandon Barton]

2. 3 Shortcuts For Catching Spotted Seatrout In Florida

3. How To Identify Ideal Speckled Trout Feeding Zones [VIDEO]

Related Course:

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Bradley Campbell
5 years ago

Joe and Scott. New member here. Excited to see the Alabama coast represented. I am actually headed to the Mobile area next week to explore wade fishing. Going to try out the surf off Ft. Morgan as well. Really great info for me because this will be a first. Usually I am out in the legendary Chandeleur Islands fishing from a skiff.

Joseph Pack
5 years ago

Great video, lots of good info packed in there. Love surf fishing in general and really haven’t explored using jigs and topwater. I’ve mainly just used live bait and big surf rods. This is good stuff!


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