We shot this segment of North American Fisherman-TV, which airs during the week of May 12 on NBCSports Network, The Pursuit Channel and Destination America, during the month of March—prime time for gator-size trout in the shallows. This is for a couple reasons:
First and foremost is water temperature. Shallow flats heat up much quicker than deeper channels drawing these fish in from the cooler depths. Wherever the water is closest to their preferred temperature zone of 66-72 degrees, that's where they'll be. Jumping mullet on a shallow flat is always a great indicator of where trout will be this time of year since they prefer similar temperature ranges. There is also an abundance of bait in these shallow grassy areas for the fish to feed on so they never need to leave.
The reason few smaller trout venture into these same areas seems to be due to predation. Small trout have plenty of predators in deeper areas, but in the shallows they become even easier targets for birds. Instinctively, trout seem to know when they hit 18 inches in length, or so, they are too big for ospreys and pelicans to pick them off. And once large trout move into the super skinny water, sharks, dolphins and large fish have no chance at reaching.
Find a grassflat with warmer water than surrounding areas with plenty of bait and you'll find trophy-class seatrout.