Cameron Wayne of Beaufort, S.C., grew up in Tennessee, where he became pretty good at catching largemouth bass with artificial lures. When he moved to the coast, he thought he’d have just as much luck with inshore fish, but even though he was rarely skunked, he struggled to find the same level of success fishing lures in saltwater.
On the verge of switching over to live bait, Wayne decided to try adding some lure enhancers to the soft-plastic shrimp and Z-Man Trout Tricks of which he’d grown fond.
“I was in a tackle store and ready to buy some live shrimp when I saw a rack that had some lure-enhancer products. It had some FishSticks Lure Enhancer, some spray-on products that are similar to what I’d used when bass fishing, and it also had some little plastic trailers called Trout Trailers. I decided to skip the live bait and give these products a try,” he said.
“I’ve just never been one to use live bait, so this was my last-ditch effort at staying true to my bass-fishing roots. I was optimistically skeptical, but I figured it was worth a try,” he said. “I bought some of each product.”
Wayne immediately noticed a positive difference in his catch ratio once he started using the lure enhancers. He was surprised at the change and wondered why he hadn’t tried them sooner.
“But I really didn’t know anyone who used these types of products for saltwater fishing. I used sprays when bass fishing a lot, but making the switch to saltwater fishing, I just never heard of anyone using such products,” he said.
“The FishSticks and the spray work good, but you have to keep adding them constantly, plus I think it breaks down the material on some of the lures I use. Overall, I like the Trout Trailers the best. They add smell, but unlike the other two, they also add motion and size. They’re about 2½ inches long, so when you add it to something like a soft plastic shrimp or a Trout Trick, it definitely changes the look of it and adds the smell, too.”
Trout Trailers look like very thin worms, made in what their parent company, Crappie Psychic LLC, calls a “diamond square shape,” with four distinct edges that run the length of the trailers. The head end is shaped like a ball, then the lure tapers to a very thin tail. When it sinks, it shimmies and sways as it drops through the water column. The company’s proprietary Psychic Sauce adds a unique smell.
“Even my favorite soft-plastic lures don’t move quite like the Trout Trailer, so adding it to the lures offers a different look. It doesn’t stop the lures from giving their own action, but it adds to them,” Wayne said. “The lures still have their own movement, and these enhancers have a different one. So both actions are happening at the same time. It really makes the fish look at it differently, and the added smell gets them to bite and hang on.
“In the bass-fishing world, many anglers are convinced that bass get used to seeing the same lures repeatedly, and after they’ve been caught on certain lures a few times, they learn to avoid them,” he said. “The ocean is a much bigger place, so I’m not sure the same can be said for redfish and trout, but surely some of them grow cautious of the same lures. Adding a Trout Trailer instantly changes the look and also changes the smell. I can’t think of many other products that give you that kind of ability while still allowing you to use your favorite lures.”
Wayne also likes the fact that the lure enhancers are available in five different colors.
“Their White Glow color is my favorite, but mainly, I want to use a color that is different than the color of my lure. I’ve had my best luck on a Z-Man Trout Trick in opening night with a chartreuse Trout Trailer, but the D.O.A shrimp in gold glitter with a purple kraze Trout Trick has been a close second,” he said.
Wayne always keeps a rod rigged with a lure without a Trout Trailer.
“I alternate until I see what is working best, then I stick with that until the bite slows,” he said.