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Bait

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What’s your favorite summertime bait for speckled trout? Personally I go armed with soft plastics under cork (typically Matrix line of plastics) and live bait ( typically shrimp, sometimes croakers for bigger fish). First thing in the morning I’ll try top waters if conditions warrant. No matter what artificial I throw in the summertime, live bait will usually trump everything else for me and consistently fill my box with trout. That’s my experience. I’d love to hear others. What fills your box with trout in the summertime?
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Last Cast,
Agreed on the top water first thing in the morning, fished Delacroix Monday Evening ( 12 Trout 3 Reds all on plastic Gulps White and Chartreuse) and Tuesday Morning 34 Trout 1 Red Mix was 80% on White Gulps and 20 % on live shrimp, Usually throw Matrix and keep an abundance of colors, suspending baits are usually in the mix if conditions are right, but live bait when it starts heating up and shrimp move in is the top producers, we have had conditions where you get the fish to fire off on live bait and switch to plastic for a bit with some success, on reds they'll hit almost anything when there hungry.
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LastCast : Early morning bite always a skitter walker, followed by a wake bait in mullet or chicken on a chain , when sun comes up I?ll switch to a twitch bait , favorite colors white chartreuse and modified electric chicken color I?ve repainted, as for reds a gold spoon, or a gold wake bait that I?ve cut the bill shorter so it runs just under the water, a real killer on reds in the grass , When the dog days of summer arrives, I go to my grass beds and try my fly rod out with some flies I?ve tied myself, a real blast with bass and bronze backs. Each to their own : I?m more of a purist I don?t use any type of bait , had to grab a cup of joe , almost forgot, when fishing in deeper water my go too soft bait will be anything in Blue Moon , if you can find the original DD big Blue Moon rat tails, grab them, I’ve caught some really big trout in turns in bayous when tide is falling in May , a lot of folks don’t realize that there’s some big white shrimp still in the marsh in May and big trout will seek them out, you can ask Mandevillian ,Buddy or John C. Good luck fishing. 🧙‍♂️🎣
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Summertime it’s going to be a root beer colored vudu shrimp under a green Cajun thunder slip cork probably 90% of the time. The other 10% will be dead shrimp on a pink jig head, and that’s only if they won’t hit the vudu.
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Great responses. Keep them coming.
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Guess I consider myself somewhat of a purist and do not use live bait but typically try to match what is getting smashed by the fish.TheWizard7 showed me a few choice spots where specks were smashing live shrimp and Tsunamai Glow under Versamax Bolt hard to beat and have used Vudu quite successfully(works especially well in Grand Isle,reel em in slowly,pop dat cork and hang on).Like baits dat others do not toss(never could figure why folks do not step outta comfort zone)like Lunker City Shakers(named perfectly as mated up to their angular jig heads and jigged properly,entire body shakes,head and tail typically in opposite directions-way more life-like than other soft plastics) and Lake P veteran turned me onto MirroDine series-this is about the prime time for them as you could toss em to Rocks,let em sink a tad and twitch and hang on.When certain Lady P sections turn on,folks gonna be more than amazed at size and quality of specks getting nabbed!Got plenty hard plastics,like Skitter walks,Catch 2000's,etc and joke with my buddies that I am like 'Academy on de water' know John C is same as me with way more lures than each of us could possibly EVER use!!!Biggest speck I have ever caught a 25inch 5 lb caught on de Wiz's Blue Moon DD!!Most of the time,if ya patient and present lure properly,live bait not needed.One of the oldest adages in de book is what I live by,'Big baits,big fish'.Can't wait for two things-decent water conditions locally and tide and favorable winds coinciding for return trip(s)to Hopedale to practice what I preach!!Rocks only gonna get better with cleaner water.

Mandevillian
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I love discussing the issue of bait types/techniques with different groups of people. I discuss this all the time with the circle of fishing buddies I run with. What I find is consistently the same is that nothing is consistent, even for the same individual over time. What I mean is think back 5-10 years ago, what was your go to bait or style of fishing back then. Go back 20 years ago and so on. Personally, I went through an artificial only phase about 25 years ago. I mostly used mirrolure hard baits and salt water assassin soft plastics, specifically electric chicken. I caught many many fish over a couple year period using only those baits in Delacroix year round and would swear by those baits up and down. Then my style of fishing changed and so did my go to baits.
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Yep some folks WON’T leave de dock without “fishing insurance” while others toss antique lures like beetles and routinely whack and stack em. I never fish looking for limits but wanna catch some to eat and if we do happen to nail bunch give lotta fish away. I am awaiting some incredibly well-detailed 3.5 and 4.0 inch open pour swimbait molds,have just about everything I need to start making custom lures not necessarily for sale but to entice fish to attack em and right now headed cross de Big Pond and water not looking all dat bad might get me some grassy shoreline fishing in with lagniappe fat Lady P crabs 🦀 Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there. De Wiz texted me wishing Wifey Happy Mother’s Day and I wished Honey Happy Mother’s Day as well.

Mandevillian
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Now a days I don’t leave the dock in summer with out “insurance” And believe me it’s anything but guaranteed, just another tool in the summertime arsenal. No different than having different types or colors of artificial. If live bait were that easy we’d all limit out every time. Would be foolish to head out with one single lure in a single color and expect it to work all the time, right? And let’s be honest nobody plans trip after trip with the hope that they only catch a few fish. I’m not saying everyone wants or needs to limit all the time. But don’t we go fishing to catch fish? For me I’m trying to do whatever I can to maximize my chances, not limit them
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Guess ya mighta misunderstood the premise of my report regarding use of bait as I go with a guy or few guys that almost always take live bait and I do not use any just fish next to them tossing whatever soft or hard plastic I think will work. I have never been big fan of live bait and those instances where I did use it I typically caught plenty of trash fish and that rarely happens with hard or soft plastics. Yep I travel with plenty of choices and can’t count the times when what I was using easily outfished live bait plus I was not constantly re-stocking my hook with live bait. It does not hurt my chances when my fishing partners tossing livies getting fish all worked up. My buddy got 100 live
shrimp and know full well his live well was working but we made a tremendous haul into interior Biloxi Marsh and when we got back to try N side of Dam,he had live well full of dead shrimp,unfortunately😬

Mandevillian
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LastCast : I wanna say that just getting out doors on the water is a plus for me , don’t care if I catch anything , I know that I can go back out the next day and maybe or not catch some fish , it’s all in the beauty of a sun rise , a cloudy day, or a rainy day I’ll still enjoy it, plenty of times I’ve caught trout that were released so that they can fight another day for someone else, and yes I’ll use the same few baits that mentioned, every time I go back , I don’t wanna fill up a ice chest anymore , l probably could, but have more fun looking for a new place to try 🧙‍♂️🎣
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And that's what I love about fishing, a successful trip means something different to everyone. And what lure/bait/technique works for one may not work for another and vice versa. I personally don't think there is any right or wrong way, it only matters what works for you and what you want to get out of it. On a side note, it's never fun having a live well full of shrimp die on you. Fishing with and keeping bait alive is an art in and of itself but is an entirely different subject and could be debated endlessly.
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Amen Wizard!
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Double Amen, Wiz!!!! Dat's the whole point!!!
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Gonna go clean my catch from today,happens to be a limit of nice reds,NO BAIT required and had a blast and the ONLY reason I wanted to get a limit was because I want to give away some fine,cleaned redfish filets and gonna post a separate report,was extremely gratifying not only using a spinnerbait I made from a kit but sight-casted to handful of these reds,close to home and think I burned about same amount of gas in tow vehicle as boat!!!

Mandevillian
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Wiz, yes, we all love being in the great outdoors but we can do that without fishing right? We'd save lots of money if we were just out there to enjoy nature and not fish. I'm not on these forums looking for reports of sunrises or how pretty the water looked or what the marsh smelled like on a low tide. No, we post pictures of fish and look for reports of how others did because we all love fishing. Maybe its because we just love everything about fishing, maybe we're looking for a new edge or technique to catch fish. Or maybe its to brag about a big fish or a limit that was caught. Not to single you out, but why do you post pics of trout you catch with plastics in their mouth? It's not to talk about the scenery you experienced that day. Its to show people you caught fish and how you did it. Point is, no matter how you look at it, it is about catching fish. Everything else just goes along with it. I'm not at a point in my life where I don't care about catching fish. Nor do I get to go often enough to have the luxury of saying it doesn't matter if I catch anything or not. I spend the money I do and plan and prepare as best I can because of one goal, catch fish. Look, I'm not trying to be argumentative, that's just my view on the whole thing. Tight lines and good luck.
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LastCast : Gee I didn’t think my post and pics would get you upset, just let me know and I’ll stop posting them 🧙‍♂️🎣 FYI got a call from buddy who read your last post and called me to check it out
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Wiz,I have to personally thank ya for pointing us in de right direction about a year or so ago and like you,I love nothing more than enticing a fish to smash a lure,be is hard or soft plastic and my latest lil gem is destroying reds in Lady P and it would do likewise ANYWHERE I toss it.Kinda like ya rope lures,gives a certain sense of pride making something and actually catching fish with it.Buddy and I chatted today and he was ecstatic as I sent he and Dane pics of today's fish.I must have seen 6 pairs of wood ducks,had doggone gator swim off with one of my nets and saw at least 3 big ole stingrays plus I failed to mention HUGE red that I tried,in vain,to get to chase spinnerbait.It is a shear joy being out there(typically solo)and where I have been fishing is so dang close to home,hard to argue with a trip to grassbeds and who knows,once salinity gets somewhat back to normal,might start smashing decent specks on nothing more exotic than Catch 2000's,MirroDines,Rapala's,etc.Got tremendous arsenal and I could probably stock Puglia's with all dem lures I never seem to wanna pass up!!!Wifey did me HUGE favor and categorized bunch of hard and soft plastics and gonna get few more rust-proof containers to store em in.Buddy busy tomorrow or else he mighta jumped aboard.Got E winds and even better tide range(leaving crab nets at home!!)I personally like reading ya reports and I was actually with Last Cast when we met by happenstance!!!

Mandevillian
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Look at Wizard showing his face. So used to seeing only a hand holding one of those pretty trout.
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Yep he mighty proud of dem huge fish caught without bait other than hard/soft plastic. Kinda comical how the reds in ole Lady P been smashing my Jann’s Netcraft spinnerbait. Just shot text to CCAguns hope we get chance along with GB3 to stalk down some maurading reds in shallow grassbeds🎩🐠🎣🧙‍♂️

Mandevillian
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