Speckled trout are tenacious and have eyes more extensive than their appetite in most instances. Still, they have proven to be extremely popular with recreational anglers due to their ease of being caught and the exciting explosions on artificial and live baits. Trout are relatively abundant in most regions and are caught using a slew of different rigs and lures. One of the more popular rigs/methods is shrimp on a popping cork. I use a Cajun Thunder popping cork, with 2 feet of 20lb fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 circle hook. The cork's noise and commotion attract the fish, and once they hone in on the shrimp or baitfish, you will usually get an exciting display of competition between the trout. Freelining is always a great alternative; natural presentation performs well in most scenarios, for most game fish. Just remove the cork from the equation and allow the bait to do the work for you.
My favorite way to target trout is with artificial. I love arriving at my fishing location before the sun rises, low light on a calm morning to throw the Zara Spook Jr. or Puppy. They hit the lure so hard it will often fly a couple of feet out of the water. Tie the lure to your leader using a loop knot so that you get the full action and attract the most strikes. There is something about the rattle along with the injured zig-zag motion that sets fish off. You will frequently catch reds in the mix as well. Once the sun starts to rise, change up to subsurface, MirrOdine lures are notorious trout catchers; if you get stuck with a lot of surface grass, then try a soft plastic with a light jig head. Gulp and D.O.A make irresistible scents in great color patterns. Allow the jig to sink, gradually bumping it off the bottom. Vary your retrieval speeds to see what the fish are responding to best. Using these simple trout rigs along with the recommended lures, you will be on your way to grilling up a delicate but yet delicious trout fillet in no time. Be sure to catch what you need and quickly release the others to fight another day. Trout are susceptible fish and don't do well when they are flopped on the boat deck and handle care, so future generations can continue to enjoy them.
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