It’s time for topwater specks at Murrells Inlet

Spring is a great time to go after speckled trout with topwater lures.

Small surface lures fool plenty of spring trout

Every month, anglers look for ways to make things happen on the water. But in certain months and seasons, a specific technique can produce whopper catches and personal bests.

Speckled trout junkies at Murrells Inlet, S.C. know spring means topwater, and good chances to land a true, gator trout.

Capt. J Baisch of Fishful Thinking Guide Service and has specks on top of his hit list. Especially during the spring when gators are lurking. When Baisch isn’t on the water, you’ll find him at Baisch Boys Bait and Tackle Shop in Murrells Inlet. Baisch Boys is currently open for curb-side service only, so call ahead at 843-651-1915 for all your bait and tackle needs.

“We have some big females around in April and May, and a topwater plug is a good way to get them to bite,” said Baisch (843-902-0356). “The key to making it happen is to fish the higher tides along grass edges and just on top of oyster beds.”

Some speckled trout overwinter in deep, coastal estuaries. But speckled trout in Murrells Inlet typically move into the ocean for the cold months. And as soon as the weather warms and the bait starts moving back in, specks begin to patrol the area looking to feed. Big females are some of the first ones to arrive back inside, making big moves under spring conditions.

Edges of structure are good spots to ambush specks

Speckled trout will begin scouting for places to begin their annual spawning ritual, and trout like to spawn near deep channels. But they will still stay close to a solid food source. That makes structure edges good places to hover around.

“I like to fish along grass edges and on top of oyster beds on higher, moving water,” said Baisch. He points to glass minnows as trout’s primary food source for specks in spring, which points him to small topwater baits.

“I like the small Whopper Plopper. It has a prop on the rear of the bait that has been deadly for trout over the last couple of years,” said Baisch. He also likes Heddon Super Spooks in the smaller, Spook Junior size.

“I consistently do well on bone-colored topwaters with or without rattles. The bone color is my favorite,” he said.

Baisch prefers smaller lures, but he uses larger ones, too.

“There will be a few finger mullet left over, and other baitfish moving in, where a big topwater lure will also get some attention because bigger fish can eat a bigger bait,” he said.

Unfortunately, the topwater bite will sometimes last only 30 to 45 minutes right at dawn, unless cloudy, overcast conditions are available to extend the bite out longer.

After cold-stun events in January 2017, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources asked anglers not to keep specks through September of 2018 to bolster spawning stocks. It looks like that worked well. The trout population is strong, and they’re biting.

About Jeff Burleson 1312 Articles
Jeff Burleson is a native of Lumberton, N.C., who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences and is a certified biologist and professional forester for Southern Palmetto Environmental Consulting.

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