Recently a friend of ours gave us some fresh caught Sea Trout that he caught off Fort Myers Beach. He is a master at fishing and can keep his family fed with fresh Florida fish and generously gave us some beautiful filets a couple of times.
I quickly learned that Sea Trout is in the grass beds in the back bays and this is a one of the most popular game fish here on FMB.  I was told that this fish can come on with a  quick, strong force and most people would want to set that hook hard. It would seem that would be a natural reaction to a hard strike. But don’t give in to your impulse because Sea Trout have soft mouths and the hook can tear the lip. Set the hook gently.
In our area, the fish must be over 15″ in length and less than 20″. Also, we are limited to taking 4 fish per day.  If you have any questions, you can call the Florida Marine Patrol at 941-332-6971
I have been told that Sea Trout doesn’t freeze well but I have some pointers that I have used for other fish, so it might work for Sea Trout as well.
I have always put fresh fillets in a Ziploc bag and fill the bag with cool, salty water. Put a couple ice cubes in it to cool it down quickly. Lay the filets flat and never fold them. The water will keep the filets from getting freezer burn and will not let them be exposed to air.
To defrost, put the bag under running water and the filets will easily slide out.
My favorite way to cook fish, any fish is to cover a baking sheet with foil. Then, spray the foil with Pam to avoid sticking. Then I lay out the filets and generously cover with Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seafood Magic or Blacked Redfish Magic. I bake at 400 degrees until fish is slightly browned. Fish is done when you can flake it with a fork. (Publix sells it for $4.99 per bottle)
Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasoning Blends Seafood Magic -- 2 oz
This is the easiest way to cook the fish and clean up is a breeze.
Always remember to practice responsible fishing so we can preserve our fish stock for the future.