Take trout on topwater or on the fly

A weighted fly fished on sinking, shooting-head line, is a great choice for fly-rod fishermen who want to target speckled trout.

Many saltwater anglers also fish freshwater for bass and love throwing hard-bodied plugs and soft plastics, especially those that work on or very near the surface and draw splashy, exciting strikes.

Although trout most often feed well below the surface, large “gator” trout can be enticed to smash a topwater plug being “walked” through their domain.  Some favorite plugs include saltwater versions of the venerable Zara Spook and MirrOure’s myriad of saltwater surface plugs, twitch baits and suspending jerkbaits. Favorite colors generally are bright chrome or very light hues.

Fly fishermen target redfish on the flats all year with 8- or 9-weight fly rods and occasionally run into schools of hungry trout that hit their flies. Since trout favor slightly deeper water, if you run into a school, it’s a good idea to switch to a weighted deep Clouser fly. An even better idea when targeting specks is switching to a 6-weight rod with a 250-grain sinking, shooting-head line that will better work the more productive 2- to 4-foot depths where trout feed.

Clousers, Lefty’s deceivers or Half-and- Half flies work well. When you find a feeding school on a good trout “drop”, a fly fisherman can actually out-fish the cork and bait guys just based on the amount of time they spend re-baiting hooks, plus, the fight is a blast on a 6-weight.

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