Five shrimp tricks to try on trout

shrimp

Specks love trout, and you’ll love these tricks

Speckled trout eat shrimp throughout their lives, starting as fry and continuing through the gator years. That’s what makes it such a great bait to use either live or imitation. Here are five shrimp-tastic tactics you need to try this month.

• Float a popping cork. A popping cork, is by definition, meant to make noise and attract attention to the bait dangling beneath, which can either be live or artificial. Most corks feature beads, balls or clackers to mimic the sound of shrimp “clicking” when the cork is popped. Guide John Ward suggests “popping” the cork more aggressively during the fall to mimic the sound of trout feeding.

• Free-line shrimp. According to guide John Koonce of Johns Island, S.C., (843-425-2939) free-lining is the most natural, lifelike, realistic presentation of a shrimp you can get. Hook a live shrimp either through the tail or under the horn on a hook and lob the bait to the fish. This tactic shines when trout are in clear water, close conditions, or are especially spooky. You can downsize hook and line to match these conditions. In areas with current, lob the bait upstream of the fish’s holding area. Then follow the bait through the current on a semi-tight line.

• Stand-up jig. Guide Jay Baisch of Murrells Inlet, S.C., (843-902-0356) uses a stand-up jighead to hop artificial plastics across the bottom for flounder, but said the tactic also works well for trout. The shape of the head keeps the hook riding high, free of obstacles as well as mimicking the movement of a shrimp when it is startled by hopping up of the bottom.

• Free-line D.O.A. Shrimp. Similar to the live shrimp guide Jeff Yates of Mount Pleasant, S.C., is a master at free-lining artificial D.O.A. Shrimp. The build of the bait helps it ride upright, while Yates (843-270-89560) merely casts upcurrent and follows the bait with his rod tip as it sinks slowly through the water column and moves along the bottom. Any deviation in the line is reason to set the hook.

• Buoyant baits. Guide Justin Carter of Charleston (843-277-5255) got an idea for catching trout from watching redfish feed. It’s much easier to sneak up on redfish with their head down, feeding, so he uses a buoyant bait like the Z-Man ShrimpZ on a light jighead. He crawls the bait across the bottom like it’s feeding, head-down, tail-up. When trout see this, they think they bait isn’t paying attention, and it triggers a reaction strike.

About Phillip Gentry 823 Articles
Phillip Gentry of Waterloo, S.C., is an avid outdoorsman and said if it swims, flies, hops or crawls, he's usually not too far behind.

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