Allen Jernigan launched his 18-foot tunnel-hull skiff and pointed the bow into the channel of a coastal river. The wind was calm, the water slick. Within minutes, he turned out of the main channel and headed into a shallow bay.
“The weatherman said a cold front is coming,” Jernigan said. “When a cold front hits, the fishing can be epic or it might be a flop. You never know unless you go.”
Jernigan dropped his a trolling motor and began cruising along the bank. From the bow, he could see the propeller whirling scant inches above the sandy bottom.
“I am looking for a ledge or drop-off that falls 2 to 4 feet,” he said. “That’s where you find speckled trout ahead of a front.”
Jernigan found a likely looking spot, and he also saw something disturbing the water just under the surface, which made it look even better. He began casting a MirrOlure MR17 MirrOdine suspending twitchbait, allowing the lure to sink for a few seconds before beginning his retrieve, the rhythm of which consisted of a few turns of the reel handle to take up the slack followed by a pause to let the lure stop, dead still. Then he twitched it gently before taking up the slack again.
“You have to fish the lure all the way to the boat,” he said. “Sometimes a speck will nail it right as you are taking it out of the water. You also have to vary the retrieve until you find the sequence that works best.
“You can fish right beside your buddy, using the same lure, and you are catching all the fish while he is not catching anything. The smallest difference in your retrieve makes all the difference in the