Noise — at least the right noise — can attract speckled trout and give your bait or lure a better chance at being eaten. Popping corks are great noisemakers, and they add an extra or sound to live bait or artificial lures equally, as long as they are used as more than just strike indicators.
But popping corks aren’t the only way to attract trout with noise. Many lures come with built-in noisemakers that can draw attention to themselves. Some of them are topwater lures, some work just under the surface and some on the bottom.
Egret Baits makes a rattling version of the popular Vudu shrimp, which is designed to be worked on the bottom. Numerous companies — Heddon, LIVETARGET and MirrOlure to name a few — make topwater plugs with cupped faces that cause water to splash, creating noise. Many walk-the-dog plugs also incorporate rattles, and the ones that don’t also make noise on the surface as the bait works left and right, causing subtle noises.
Rat-L-Trap is one of the most well-known rattling lures; saltwater and even floating versions are available. The floating versions are great to work over submerged oyster rakes, as anglers get the full effect of the rattles without fear of hanging up in the shells.
The Bomber Badonk-A-Donk SS is a slow-sinking lure that gives anglers the ability to walk-the-dog just under the surface. This lure is made with rattles and is available in high-pitch or low-pitch version.
Livingston Lures takes things even further. Instead of a generic rattling noise, this company’s lures contain a small chip that, when wet, emits the sounds of baitfish. This makes it, according to pro staffer Jess Haynes of Redfish Charters in Hilton Head, the only artificial lure that makes noise while sitting still.
Even when using soft-plastic lures along the bottom, such as Norton Sand eels, Z-Man Trout Tricks or Billy Bay Halo Shad, noise can easily be added by using a jighead from Rockport Rattler. These jigheads come in a variety of colors and sizes and have a built-in rattle chamber on the head that has no impact on the action of the lure.