Here’s the understatement of the century - slow sink suspend baits are exceptional for speckled trout. To be clear, I’m mainly talking about the myriad of products produced by MirrOlure, particularly Corky Fatboys, Softdines and the increasingly popular MirrOdine. Unfortunately for me though it wasn’t a purchase and produce bait.
TIME BEHIND THE BAIT
One of the main topics I get during Corky Season (Nov – Apr) is the extreme love/hate relationship anglers have with slow sink suspend baits. Often fisherman get a glimpse of their potential by the absurd numbers of large trout produced by legends like Jay Watkins, Kevin Cochran and David Rowsey. Rarely do anglers comprehend the hours they spend driving this bait in every corner of the Laguna Madre. My encouragement is, “I was once that way.” As a born and raised trout angler from the New Orleans area, Corky’s and other suspend style baits were better suited for the glossy pages of a Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine and not in the bays that surrounded the Louisiana Delta. Fortunately, my dad decided to buy a few during my teenage years and in an attempt to emulate Texas success, I failed miserably. I stuck with it though, and that’s what separates most anglers. I couldn’t help but know its potential, and as a result I kept throwing and changing cadence till one day a beautiful trout committed suicide and struck my offering. Since that time, I’ve refined my approach and trout have rewarded my dedication. So if you’re in the slow sink “hate corner” I’d tell you that you’re probably a good angler, but fine tuning these style baits makes you a great angler, and that only happens with practice. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s a lot.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY AND SOMETIMES BOTH
“I’d rather catch 10 quality trout on topwater, than 25 dinks on a jig.” Lord knows how many times my pops has uttered these words, and for the most part he’s right. Using a larger profile offering that requires a reaction strike from a predator actively hunting a larger meal will produce better than normal fish. He’s also right that bites from those larger specimens can be few and far between. Here’s my caveat though – using larger profile slow sink suspend baits, like a Fatboy or MirrOdine XL, can bridge the two extremes. Let’s face it, getting a fish to strike a topwater is fairly uncommon - that why we love it. But twitching a bait at the right depth that exudes a “dying shad effect” – that can produce quality and quantity. I encourage anyone reading this looking to make slow sinks a part of their arsenal to watch a Fat Boy and MirrOdine sink in a pool. After the first descent, it’ll be clear that the wobble of both baits, Fatboy (more pronounced) and MirrOdine (subtle but present), allows both baits to hunt up and down the water column – thus provoking strikes from more and better fish. Having said that though, cadence is key which goes back to the aforementioned time behind the bait.
Speckled Trout fishing is incredible, at least it is to me. These fish have a tendency to test our proficiency and intellect and reward effort and understanding. In the case of the Corky, intangibles like knowing when and where are key, but tangibles like presentation and cadence are a must - unfortunately, the latter takes practice. But if you’re a serious trout angler who's experienced the ebb and flows of this fabled trial and error, you’ll testify that slow sink suspend baits are exceptional for speckled trout. Until then and before you raid Academy, I encourage you to visit my page and read with more detail both Part I: Choosing the Right Corky and Part II: Working a Corky – both can be found on my website.
If your looking for an interesting story about speckled trout, check out this article about The "Hole in the Head" Speckled Trout Mystery by my friends at Waist Deep. Give us your thoughts on what's going on with this trout!
Until next month, tight lines and God Bless!