When the speckled trout bite is on, you need to be on your game! That includes knowing what the best saltwater lures for trout are and how to use them. After hours of on-the-water testing, we’ve determined that the following 5 lures are indeed the best for catching sea trout.
Best Lures for Catching Sea Trout
Speckled trout are found in high numbers throughout the inshore waters of Gulf Coast states as well as up the Atlantic coast as far north as Cape Cod. You’ll generally find them hanging around oyster beds, grass edges, mangrove shorelines, or schooled up in deep channels.
No matter where they are, you can bet that speckled trout will be chowing down on baitfish like mullets and croakers, or feasting on shrimp and crabs.
Fishing for speckled trout can be very fast paced and exciting, and the best part is they’re easily caught with artificial lures. Hard baits like topwater plugs and crankbaits do wonders on speckled trout, as do soft plastic baitfish imitations.
There are an overwhelming number of speckled trout lures on the market, so to help you fill up your tackle box with only the best, here are the top five we recommend.
5 Best Saltwater Lures for Trout
1. Berkely Gulp! Alive! Shrimp
Everyone knows that the easiest way to catch a speckled trout is to rig a live shrimp under a popping cork.
But what if you don’t want to fuss with live bait?
The answer is simple: buy a bucket of Berkely Gulp! Alive! shrimp and fish them exactly as you would fish a live shrimp.
Some anglers have completely made the switch from live shrimp to Gulp! Alive! shrimp because they are so incredibly effective and are easier to handle than live shrimp.
Basically, Gulp! Alive! shrimp are soft plastic shrimp imitations that are soaked in a strongly scented liquid attractant. The attractant absorbs into the soft plastic and disperses in the water, drawing trout in for a meal. And after you’ve used a Gulp! Alive! shrimp long enough for the scent to wear off, you can simply drop it back in the bucket to “recharge” it with scent.
Gulp! Alive! shrimp come in a wide variety of natural colors allowing you to match the color of the local shrimp. Plus, there are some colors that feature a “hot spot” tail of brighter colors that can get your bait to stand out in a school of natural shrimp to trigger more strikes.
If you’re a diehard live shrimp fisherman but are tired of trying to keep your bait alive, pick up a bucket of Berkely Gulp! Alive!
Developed to outwit speckled trout and redfish in the coastal marshes and bayous of Louisiana, Matrix Shad made by Dockside Bait & Tackle are some of the deadliest soft plastic swimbaits on the market.
Matrix Shad have incredible action in the water that could be described as “beyond lifelike.” They have very soft, wiggly bodies and a paddle tail that pulsates in the water whether you let it fall through the water column, bounce it along the bottom, or simply reel it in straight.
The most effective way to rig and fish a Matrix Shad is on a jig head in the 1/8th to 1/2 ounce range, depending on water depth. You can fish it shallow along grass edges, off the bottom in deeper water, or put it under a popping cork to fish it suspended.
The Matrix Shad is available in 10 different colors from light to dark for use in different water conditions. “Midnight Mullet” is one of the most popular colors for speckled trout and works well in murky water, especially when schools of finger mullet are out and about.
Tsunami Holographic swimbaits are something every inshore angler should have in his tackle box, especially late in the season.
When the water gets cold, everything swimming tends to slow down, and that’s exactly when you want to tie on a Tsunami.
Unlike the Matrix Shad that is super wiggly, Tsunami Holographic swimbaits have harder bodies that are stiffer in the water. While this may seem undesirable, the stiffer, slower action will actually match the action of a natural baitfish more closely when they are in cold water. Plus, Tsunami swimbaits are smaller than your average speckled trout swimbait, and many times a trout is more likely to go for a quick snack than a full-sized meal when water temps drop.
While Tsunami swimbaits have less side-to-side movement when worked in the water, their holographic finish creates a very lifelike appearance that shimmers in the water. They also have 3-dimensional eyes that grab a trout’s attention and entice an aggressive strike.
If the trout are acting skittish and nothing in your tackle box will get the job done, tie on a Tsunami Holographic swimbait. It might just save the day.
For a long time, Bomber was only known for their freshwater lures. But recently, the company made a big appearance in the saltwater lure market.
Taking many of their tried-and-true hard bait lure designs and adapting them to withstand the abuse of saltwater environments, Bomber launched their saltwater grade line of lures, and when it comes to speckled trout, the Super Pogy is one of the best.
The Super Pogy is a lipless crankbait that’s designed to cut through the air while casting, making it perfect for windy days. In the water, the Super Pogy sinks nose-down and can be fished at any depth. You can let it sink all the way to the bottom and bounce it off structure, or you can fish it shallow over oyster beds and sea grass.
If you’re stuck fishing murky or stained water, the Super Pogy has an internal rattle that sends sound waves through the water, helping specks track down your offering. The Super Pogy is available in a high-pitched version that’s better for murky water, and a low-pitched version that creates more of a thumping sound and is better suited for clearer water.
Finally, there’s nothing more exciting than catching speckled trout on a topwater blitz. If you find a school of specks crashing bait on the surface, make sure you have a Yo Zuri Sashimi Pencil on hand.
As a topwater lure, the Sashimi Pencil SW has a lot going for it. The signature Sashimi metallic finish uses a color technology that changes colors every time the lure moves in the water.
Even if the Pencil is sitting dead still in the water, the movement of the water creates a light show beneath the surface that drives trout crazy.
The Sashimi Pencil SW also features Wave-Motion technology that utilizes a ribbed surface to send vibrations through the water that speckled trout can tune in to with their lateral lines. It also has an internal cadence rattle that is perfectly suited for “walk-the-dog” techniques.
In addition to using the Sashimi Pencil to try and catch fish that you know are there, it also makes a great “searching” lure that can be used to cover lots of water and attract fish.
Before you head out on your next inshore trip, be sure to stock up with the best saltwater lures for trout to help you catch your limit. With the five lures we’ve recommended, you’ll be equipped to catch fish anywhere trout are present, no matter what water conditions you’re faced with.