8 best baits for speckled trout right now

8 best baits for speckled trout right now

Alright, I’m often asked, “What are your favorite baits? What lures do you like to use to catch speckled trout?” And, of course, that changes by the season. But really, a more important question is,
“Where do you like to find speckled trout?” Because, think about it: You could use the
exact right lure in the wrong area, and it’s not going to catch a fish. You’ve got to find feeding fish first. More important than anything, but definitely once you find those feeding fish, you want to have the right bait tied onto
the end of your line for that situation, and in the winter time, it’s perhaps more
important than than any other season. Other seasons of the year, by and large, speckled trout are feeding aggressively. Summertime, maybe they’re only feeding aggressively in the morning and in the evening. Springtime and fall, of course, they’re feeding aggressively almost all day. But in the winter, they may not feed aggressively the entire day — maybe for a week at a time they might not. You’ve really got to inspire them to eat, so here are my eight favorite lures for catching speckled trout in the wintertime, and really these are probably, in all actuality, the only
baits I even use in the wintertime. OK, the first, obviously, the bait I use
more than any other is a paddletail soft-plastic. That’s not exactly
earth-shattering, but these are a couple of my favorites. One is the holy Joely
Matrix Shad. It’s clear with green, blue and silver glitter. This bait really
shines in clean water and, of course, in the wintertime, you really want to find
clean water. It’s more important this time of year than any other time, and
this bait just, boy, it does really well. Now what I like about this bait, other
than the color, is the tail action. Look at that tail. When you see this thing
running through the water, that tail is always moving, and there’s just something about it that really inspires speckled trout to feed. They see that tail and, boy,
they just got to hit it. Now, very important: When you rig this bait, pull the hook out of the flat side not the belly. You want the bait running like this, not like this. Throwing it like this, that tail is going to tend to want to kick down; it
doesn’t look natural. Running like this, the tail’s going to want to kick up. Also,
another bait I really like is a Wedgetail This bait does better in dirtier water,
and the reason is you can tell when you’re retrieving this bait how much
tail action it has. It really just vibrates. You can feel it. If you fish
braided line, you can definitely feel it, and it puts off a lot of vibration that
those fish can feel with their lateral lines, and they’ll come in and just tag
it. I’m not saying this bait doesn’t work in clean water — it definitely does — but it
really shines in off-colored water. Now, pink. I really like these pink Wedgetails in green-colored water that has a little bit of stain to it. It’s my
favorite bait for that situation. Now, some other baits — some other themes of baits — that I fish this time of year are twitch baits — hard-plastic twitch
baits. They shine when the marshes don’t have a whole lot of shrimp. Probably my
No. 1 favorite is a Rapala X-Rap. Here in our marshes where we have a
little bit of salinity the bait does tend to rise, but it rises very, very
slowly, so it’s almost like a suspending lure. If you were to fish this
bait in pure fresh water, it would suspend and maybe even sink just a little
bit. The way I fish it is to twitch, twitch and pause. Almost always, those
fish will hit this bait on the pause. You’ll go to twitch it again, and he’ll
nail it. Boy, they just rip the rod out of your hands. Really, really like this bait. Another one I like is the Matrix Minnow. Now, this baits obviously a much smaller
profile than the X-Rap. X-Rap’s a good bit bigger, but this bait sinks much more
than the X-Rap does. It really gets down for deeper presentations. Maybe if you’re
fishing 7 to 9 feet of water, something like that, and you want
something to get closer to that bottom, this is a really, really good bait. It
sinks like a stone, not to mention the fact it’s got a pretty sizable bill on
it, so it’s going to go down and it’s not really going to float back up. It’s going to
keep going down. Obviously, you’ve got the rod with the line tied to the other
side, so that’s going to keep you from going down too much, but this is just a very,
very good bait. This is an old standby. I’ve been fishing this bait for
years; it’s a MirrOlure 52MR. The ‘R’ means that it’s a rattling bait, but they
also make a 52M that does not rattle, but this thing has been catching speckled trout here in South Louisiana for, I don’t know, probably 40, 50 years. I don’t know how
long, but a long time. This is just the right time for this bait. Anywhere from
about Jan. 1 through about mid-March, this thing just really, really
shines. You want to fish this bait with water temps of about 62 degrees or lower. Definitely you want to find clean water for this. It does not work nearly as well in
dirty water The way you fish it — same thing. You cast it out; this bait has no suspension at all It’s just sinking like a stone, and you
twitch it, twitch it and it kind of goes like this and jerks up a little bit and
then begins to fall, and it just, man, it delivers some some really nice speckled
trout. I’ve caught some gorillas on this bait this time of year. Again, they really,
really rip the rod out of your hands when they hit this. Now very, very
important for fishing stick baits — you want to fish them on a light- or medium
light-powered rod. It makes a world of difference. As we all know, people talk
about it all the time: Look at this bait. It’s got nine hooks on it. It’s got three
treble hooks and nine total hooks, and they have an incredible ability to throw
this bait. Not just this one — any type of stick bait — so you really want something
that’s gonna have a lot of give in it when that big speckled trout — believe me,
you can catch some really big trout on these baits. When he hits, you want
something that’s going to give, and a light- and a medium light-powered rod is
something that’s going to give Next theme of baits is topwater plugs. Now, conventional wisdom is “topwater? You don’t throw topwater in winter. That’s the
most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard!” Well, believe me, let everybody else think
that while you go and catch big speckled trout, your biggest speckled trout of the
year in the wintertime. Can’t do it when water temperature is below 62 degrees or
so but when it warms up and you get those kind of Indian summer days in late January, February and early March, I throw topwater all the time. That’s when I catch my biggest trout of the year, bar none. Now, two I really like:
One is a MirrOlure SheDog. You fish this bait and walk-the-dog fashion. It really does
well in rough-water conditions. It doesn’t have to be whitecaps or
anything like that, but you want at least a little bit of ripple on the water
because it’s really loud. It’s a loud bait. You want something to get their
attention when the surface is rough. Flat-calm day — let’s face it, we don’t have a whole lot of flat-calm days this time of year. Flat-calm day, you probably want to go with a HeDog or a TopDog Jr. rather
than the SheDog, but any type of ripple on the water, throw this SheDog. Now, the key to this bait: You want to fish this when you see
three things. You’ve got to have three things: mullet, grass and clean water. That’s the trifecta; you get those three, you get water temperatures above 62
degrees, particularly a rising tide over flats, throw this thing and you will
catch big ,big speckled trout. I love this thing. Secondarily. I also like this Pop-R. This is a much more subtle presentation, very good when speckled
trout are feeding on glass minnows. Glass minnows and mullet, that’s pretty much all they’ve got to eat this time of year When you see them feeding on those glass minnows, you want to throw this bait. Now, the way you fish this, you just kind of
pop, pop and hold. The key to this bait is the lulls, just the pause. That’s when those
fish come up and crush it. They just can’t stand it. A lot of people fish it
way too fast. Some people walk the dog with this.
Certainly that can work when fish are really aggressive, but wintertime what I
like to do with this bait — pop, pop, pause. Every pause should be significantly
longer than the pops. This is a bait you want to fish on a calmer day. If you’ve
got a really, really rough situation, maybe even whitecaps in a pond or
something like that, go with the SheDog. You don’t want to fish this bait. It’s
going to get blown around, your line’s going to have a big belly in it, etc. Go with
something different other than this. But a calm day, you see any glass minnows with speckled trout feeding on them, this is a great bait. Now finally this is a Corky
Fat Boy. Well, I’m sorry, the proper name is a Paul Brown’s Original Fat Boy, Paul
Brown was the originator of the Corky, and the Corky has caught tens of thousands,
if not hundreds of thousands, of speckled trout — trophy speckled trout — over the
years. Very, very productive bait. This one actually has a flexible tail that allows
you to manipulate the twitch, and that’s how you fish this bait. It is a
twitch bait. You want to basically just twitch it and pull it and twitch it. It’s
going to jerk up, it’s going to fall, and the speckled trout will come up and nail it. There are several great things about this bait, but one of which is the bait is
soft. It looks like a hard bait, but it’s actually a soft bait, so it doesn’t feel
as offensive to a trout when he hits it. It feels kind of more natural. They’re going to hold onto it a little bit longer. This bait you really want to fish
it over flats. It doesn’t get down very deep. You fish in any deep water — anything
deeper than I’d say about 5 feet — you want to go with something different, but
throw this on flats, particularly over grass beds. What you definitely want to do
with this bait, if you fish on a very very windy day and you’re throwing this,
you want to throw it directly downwind. Position yourself so you can throw this
directly downwind because you don’t want a belly in your line. Throwing this
crosswind you’re going to have a big belly. That wind’s going to be blowing your line and
it’s going to be pulling the bait, and it’s not going to look as natural. You really
want that twitch, twitch, pause and let that thing fall. That’s actually true with a
lot of stick baits this time of year. MirrOlure MirrOdines, that type of bait. You’ve got to cast it directly downwind. Well, that’s it. These
eight baits, if you had nothing other than these in your tackle box, believe me,
you would catch plenty of speckled trout this time of year, again assuming you
take the time to figure out where fish are feeding. Even these baits won’t
produce for you if you throw them in the wrong areas. Hopefully you enjoyed today’s video. If you did, be sure to subscribe to Marsh Man Masson on YouTube, and give
the video a thumbs-up. Until next time, if we don’t see you in the marsh, we
will definitely see you right here on Marsh Man Masson. Good luck out there!


16 thoughts on “8 best baits for speckled trout right now”

  • Hey Todd after seeing how much you and Jon Miller liked the x-rap, I went to Academy to get one the same color and size as yours. Academy did not have one with the bill on the front. They had the size and color at least. Is it going to make a big difference without the bill? Is there a different technique to use? I've never caught a trout or red on these hard baits, only bass on the small floating pop like in you're video.Thanks for the videos. And I read you're article on NOLA where people commented "People hear call them flat boats not Jon boats". Born and raised here, my dad's side of the family grew up in the 9th ward way back, and my mom's side all from here as well. My grandma and uncles had such thick New Orleans accents, Dear Gawd, use the terlet, and they all said JON BOAT or with their accent "Jawwn" boat. I wanted to comment but I don't have Facebook. Sorry for the long reply!

  • Good stuff. The only twitch baits I’ve fished is the 52mr and a mirror dine I’ve had some success on them not a lot though just don’t have a ton of confidence in them

  • The Crappie Hurt Locker says:

    This actually helps me out. Grew up a crappie fisherman but living on the mississippi gulfcoast I fish alot of brackish water. Figure I will start targeting reds and specks!

  • I enjoy all of your vids and can always learn something, this one however was one of the best for the "why's" and "where's" to use which bait. Always enjoy your IG posts as well. Message me if you find yourself over towards Mobile wanting to fish.

  • 52-M…. When you think you're reeling slowly enough, reel SLOWER.
    I like the productivity of the Corkey but the hooks are weak and the body breaks down so I don't use it.
    I only throw Mirodine 27 (bigger hooks and casts futher than the 17), 52-M, Top Dog/She-Dog (They're the same in my book)…. Sometimes on really cold days in deeper than 8' I'll use a 72-M. It's a bigger version than 52-M but was discontinued so you'll have to search to find them. Strike Zone Jacksonville FL still sells them.
    All of these Mirrolures are tuff tuff tuff. I have caught over 100 trout on the same 52-M multiple times. When that happens, it's cool to check out the scars. These Mirrolures also heavy. So they cast far and well on windy days. And they're cheap. Now days lures can be north of $15-$20????
    I don't like light lures. I want to cast far. And I don't like soft plastic. Replacing bodies gets old.
    Nope….. Only heavy (1/2 oz) hard plastic for me.
    Reds and flounder….. I'll break my rule and use a Strike King Redfish Magic spinner bait…. But I also get a lot of reds on 27-M…
    Lastly…..I always clamp my barbs down. With that 52-M which has 9 points plus a 5 pound trout going nutzo???? I want safety. I rarely lose fish because of it. It is MUCH easier on the fish you release but mostly it comes out of you, your cloths, your friend, the net, when the hook splits the braided line, etc….. Just a really good idea to go barbless.

  • General_Buttcrack _Naked says:

    I fish on the jetties and this bitch ass fish only hits live shrimp.

    I tried so many artificials and it wont bite it, watched so many vids on how to use the artificials and still no luck

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