What is the best bait for speckled trout?

Answered by Tom Adger

When it comes to targeting speckled trout, there are a few bait options that have proven to be highly effective. Live bait, such as live shrimp, pinfish, or greenbacks, is commonly used and can produce great results. The natural movement and scent of these live baits are irresistible to speckled trout.

Using live shrimp as bait is a popular choice among anglers targeting speckled trout. These crustaceans are readily available at most bait and tackle shops, and they can be rigged on a variety of hooks, such as a jighead or a Carolina rig. The key is to present the live shrimp in a natural and enticing manner, allowing it to swim freely in the water.

Pinfish, another popular live bait option, is known to attract speckled trout. These small baitfish can be caught using a cast net or purchased at bait shops. When using pinfish as bait, it is important to hook them through the lips or back, allowing them to swim naturally and appear injured, which can entice speckled trout to strike.

Greenbacks, or threadfin herring, are also effective live baits for speckled trout. These small silver baitfish can be rigged on a hook or used with a cast net to catch them fresh. Similar to other live baits, the key is to present the greenbacks in a natural manner, allowing them to swim freely and attract the attention of speckled trout.

While live bait is highly effective, speckled trout are also known to strike artificial lures. This opens up a world of possibilities for anglers who prefer using artificial baits. Soft plastic baits, such as paddle tails, jerkbaits, and shrimp imitations, can be highly effective in enticing speckled trout to strike. These lures can be rigged on a jighead or used with a weedless setup to prevent snagging on grass or other structures.

Another approach that can be successful in targeting speckled trout is fly fishing. These fish are known to be opportunistic and will often strike a well-presented fly. Using a fly rod and reel setup, anglers can use a variety of fly patterns, such as Clouser Minnows, shrimp imitations, or baitfish patterns, to entice speckled trout. It can be a thrilling and rewarding experience to catch these fish on the fly.

The best bait for speckled trout can vary depending on personal preference and fishing conditions. Live bait, such as live shrimp, pinfish, or greenbacks, is a popular choice and can produce great results. However, speckled trout are also willing to strike artificial lures, such as soft plastics, and can even be targeted using fly fishing techniques. Experimenting with different baits and techniques can help determine what works best in your specific fishing situation.