The right tackle for catching more trout and reds
There have been a gazillion lures made over the past several decades that are designed specifically to catch speckled trout and redfish, but there are a few that stand out like a sore thumb and have the ability to catch these very popular game fish on any given day at any given time. Here are a few of the very best lures that have proved their worth time and again.
Topping the list is the Heddon Super Spook. The magic of this lure is the classic “walk-the-dog” action from its torpedo-like design. Many lures have been created over the past few decades to mimic that distinctive action. But it’s an extremely rare day when you’ll find an experienced saltwater angler without some sort of Spook handy and ready to fish.
The two most popular Super Spook sizes are 5 and 3-1/2 inches. The original Spook was the 5-incher. It was followed up by the 3-1/2-incher. The overwhelming favorite Spook along the Texas coast is the 3-1/2 inch Super Spook Jr. This is a compact lure with a seemingly magic action in the water. Best colors are bone, blue/chrome, pink/bone, spectrum and white/red head.
Another topwater favorite is the Rebel Saltwater Minnow, with a plastic lip. It’s got a slim design and is built to fish anywhere from the surface and down to about 2 to 3 feet. The silver/black and silver/blue color combinations have fooled enough trout and reds to sink an aircraft carrier. The 5-1/2 incher is the best producer.
Just recently I fished the Laguna Madre out of Port Mansfield for three days with a group of top-notch anglers. The top two lures were the new Super Spook XT and Rebel Saltwater Minnow. The new XT Spook is 4-1/2 inches long, a version that’s between the original and junior. It’s also built with stout hardware from line ties to hooks. Best colors were the ham bone flash and bone in the Spook XT. Top color pattern for the Rebel Minnow was the silver/black back.
A popular jerk bait for reds and trout is the Bomber Long A. Along the coast, the jointed Long A is one of my go-to lures. The silver flash with a red head is a killer. Ditto that for one in silver and chartreuse. What makes this lure so good is that it looks just like a struggling mullet. Trout and reds feed heavily on mullet. The Long A is the perfect mullet imitation. It floats, and with a slight twitch will dive. You can fish it fast or slow. Usually a faster retrieve is best during the warm water months.
The Jumpin’ Minnow is another great plug to keep handy for trout and reds. This is a lure that when twitched will glide from side to side. It’s got a lead rattle inside. On a fast retrieve, it’ll dart from side to side and dive a couple of inches under water. It’s got a unique movement that summertime trout will attack with a vengeance. The 4-1/2-incher in bone or copper/black/orange belly are good color combinations.
Day in and day out, soft plastics are the go-to lures for both reds and trout anywhere along the Texas coast. Over the past few years, fishing soft jigs under a rattle float has been a favorite tactic for thousands of Lone Star anglers. Among the most popular floats is the Paradise Popper Xtreme. They are made in oval or popper faced designs. Rattle floats are made to make a lot of surface racket that draws the attention of reds and trout. When they come to the float, they see the jig and eat it. It’s that simple. They can be worked fast or slow. Some of the best soft plastics include the Bomber Saltwater Grade Mud Minnow with either a paddle tail or curl tail in red/white, chartreuse/silver flake and root beer with a chartreuse tail.
Soft plastics come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Don’t forget to carry along some fork and rattail jigs. And by all means, load up on jig heads in 1/16, 1/8 and 1/4 ounce. Best jig head colors are white, chartreuse, red and yellow.
Other lures that you’ll want to stuff a tackle box with include silver and gold spoons in 1/8 and 1/4 ounce. The slow sinking mullet-imitation lures like a Badonk-A-Donk SS are always good to have in the box. The 2-1/2 inch Badonk-A-Donk in red/yellow/flash, electric chicken and natural mullet are good color combinations.
Don’t forget to load the tackle box up with leader material, black barrel swivels, line clippers, an extra spool of fishing line and plenty of sunscreen.
Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.