Survey a handful of trout fishermen about their favorite lures for specks, and you’re liable to see several answers repeated a number of times: topwaters, soft-plastic shrimp under a popping cork, soft-plastic grubs on jigheads.

Ask those same fishermen which lures are No. 2 on their list, and you’re likely to have quite a few of them say MirrOlures. You won’t find many fishermen who don’t have at least a handful of MirrOlures in their tackle boxes; they’re go-to baits when trout, for one reason or another, won’t bite on the old favorites.

They’re in there, according to guide Lewis Emery of Tails Up Charters in Carolina Beach, N.C., because they’ll catch trout when other lures won’t.

“If it’s real sunny, it’s hard to catch trout on topwater lures, except for early in the morning, under low-light conditions. That’s when you go to a MirrOlure,” he said. “The other thing is, you can fish them fast and cover a lot of water.”

Which you can’t do with a popping cork and shrimp.

Emery likes to go with the smaller 17MR and 18MR MirrOlures early in the summer, when specks first show up and when small menhaden are the primary baitfish in the marshes around his Cape Fear stomping grounds. Later in the summer, when larger mullet show up, he’ll go more with a larger, 52M size.

“When the mullet get in, if they’re not hitting topwaters, then you go to a 52M,” Emery said. “It’s a bigger bait that resembles a mullet.”

Emery works both sizes with the same kind of retrieve, letting them sink for a second or two after casting, then working them back with a rip, pause, twitch, pause, rip retrieve that keeps the bait within a foot or so of the surface. Trout that won’t commit to striking a lure at the surface will usually hit a bait suspended above their heads, darting back and forth like it’s trying to escape.

Emery isn’t shy about switching back and forth between different colors; he’ll usually have several MirrOlures tied on and counts on fish showing which is their favorite on a particular day.

“I really like the red/white and the electric chicken colors,” he said.