Introducing the Gray Seatrout

Also known as the weakfish, the gray seatrout (Cynoscion regalis) is not as frail as the name suggests. The fact is the gray sea trout often struggle when caught up in a hook. The nickname weakfish was given because their mouth is weaker compared to other fish, but if you’re too aggressive in pulling it in the hook could rip through. If you want to get some weakfish, powerful tackle from Eat My Tackle will help, but some information is also going to be beneficial.


Gray seatrout is located throughout the mid Atlantic coastal waters and is known for being very prolific. The gray seatrout is related to the spotted seatrout and are both sought after as game fish. The weakfish is also notable for the drum-like sound they generate, a noise that is brought about by its abdominal muscles contracting against their air bladder.

Weakfish can be also found between northern Florida and Nova Scotia, and you will frequently see them in large estuaries, inlets and they’re also found along beaches. Throughout the fall, the weakfish go south in search of warmer waters.

Baits for Gray Seatrout

Gray seatrout are predators and their prey usually consists of forage fish and invertebrate like small crabs, squid, shrimps, sandworms, herring and scup. You can use any of these as bait and the odds are good you’ll make a catch. Most weakfish weigh 10 lbs. or less but the big ones can reach up to 20 lbs.

As for the tackle the best option is light to medium, and you will want to use spinning gear as it is less likely to cause backlash or snags. A fluorocarbon leader is necessary but don’t use more weight than what is required. There are a lot of options as far as hooks go but a 5/0 shank hook is usually more than enough when you’re using natural baits.

Live and Artificial Lures

The above mentioned prey – sand worms, crabs and shrimps – are the most ideal bait, but unless you’re going to catch these they can cost a bit to stock up on. In this case you’re better off with artificial lures and baits. When used properly they can simulate the effects of live bait and be just as effective.

Hard baits and metal spoons are effective when it comes to making gray seatrout strike, as are soft plastic baits. You can use different colors for baits but pink seems to work best. 5 to 7 inch eel shaped baits are also effective especially if the lead head is long. There are also scented artificial lures available now, and they also simulate the movements of live and natural baits.

You can also use sandworms if you’re on a boat and a 3-way swivel accompanied by a 4 ft. leader and sinker also works. Another option is to chum off a boat with shrimps. As far as places are concerned, your best bets are night drifting off bridges and piers, and when you find a good location, keep an eye on it as weakfish move in packs. And look around for any cluster of birds as there could be a feeding frenzy going on.

1 comment

Scott Olson

Scott Olson

Dudes. The picture is a brown trout. It’s in the salmonid family. Your article is about a weakfish. It’s in the drum family. Not even close. While searun browns are often called sea trout, and weakfish are often referred to by the same name, they are NOT closely related.

Leave a comment