How to Catch Speckled Trout at Night With Artificial Lures.

How To Catch Speckled Trout at NightWith Artificial LuresCatching Speckled Trout at night with artificial lures is fun way to beat the Summer heat. Speck rigs and small soft plastic shad imitations work very well at night. Some nights you’ll be lucky to manage two Specks because they get really finicky. You fish the very next night and witness a feeding frenzy that looks similar to the picture on the left…

Live shrimp, speck rigs and shad imitations work great if shad and shrimp are the only bait trout are feeding on. But what if trout are feeding on some other food source that night? What will you do if your shad imitation lures get ignored?

The answer is to Downsize and Use Small Clear Colored Lures With Small Jig Heads. If you’re having a hard time finding these lures in the store, go to the Freshwater Crappie Section of your local tackle shop (if they have one).

Here are my Top 5 Artificial Lures
To Catch Speckled Trout at Night.

#1. Zoom Tiny Fluke Lures – By far my favorite lure to use at night… I found this lure by mistake one Zoom Tiny Flukenight fishing the old pier at the Texas City Dike. I was catching a few undersized trout with live shrimp, when I noticed every trout that I brought up was regurgitating water. (“Or what I thought was water…”)

On closer inspection, I looked down at the pier and saw dozens of Glass Minnows littering the area around me. It was hard to see because the standing area wasn’t as luminescent as the water below. When I looked down – I noticed my tackle box was TRASHED from a previous trout flopping against it.

I went to close my tackle box and noticed I had freshwater lures left over from converting a freshwater tackle box to salt. I saw one of my zoom lures at the bottom of my tackle box looked exactly like the glass minnows littering the dock…. *A STAR WAS BORN!*Glass Minnows

Rig this lure tandem rigged and rub a little scented Pro Cure to add for smell on SUPER slow nights. Use the lightest but strongest jig head you can find. Even though the lures are small and made for crappie, BIG fish will hammer these lures under the lights at night. Any colors work ok but the closer you get to CLEAR, the better.

I fish these tandem rigged because I usually catch two at a time while the trout are in a feeding frenzy in the light. Next time you use this setup, set the hook on a fish and hold your reel high. Make sure not to reel in right away and just put steady pressure on the fish…  

Wait for about 8 seconds for another hard tug before you begin to reel the fish in. This second tug is usually another trout hitting the remaining lure on your tandem rig. 

The Tiny Fluke Lures comes in multiple sizes and colors. I like to fish with the smallest fluke lure in length. I usually throw Clear, Glow and Chartreuse colors at night. Most glass minnows are shorter than 3 inches. You want to make sure your lures are near the same size. Remember: Fish this lure through the light as slow as possible with a few small twitches every now and then…

The next artificial lure on the list is another lure that’s hard to beat at night…

#2. Yo-Zuri 3D Crystal Minnow The 3D Crystal Minnow by Yo-Zuri  is perfect in design for Yo-Zuri 3D Glass Minnowwhat we’re trying to mimic at night. This lure is DEADLY when retrieving slow through the light with a few twitches every few yards.

Not only does it suspends in the water but it moves very life like when you twitch it. this allows you to stay in the strike zone longer and allows the fish to hit your lure on the fall or while its not moving. The Crystal Minnow doesn’t catch as many as the tandem rigged tiny fluke lures but it catches bigger Speckled Trout and Redfish in the lights.

When I’m throwing the Crystal Minnow, I like to fish it right below the water’s surface where I can see it the entire length of my cast retrieval. I make sure I change my retrieval until I find something that works. Some nights fish want a faster retrieve to entice them to eat NOW. Other nights they just want it slow and steady.

Often times you can see when a fish takes a shot at this lure by looking at the “after wave” created by the tail turning around as the fish swims away from your bait. Or the SILVER FLASH of a trout’s body when it turns away from your lure and the light bounces off his shinny Silver scales… Good Times!

#3. MirrOdine By MirrOlure The MirrOdine is the biggest subsurface MirrOlure MirrOdinebait I’ll throw when night fishing. When I’m trying to hook bigger fish on the edge of the light, I’ll use a bigger bait. The MirrOdine is also a suspending lure that allows me to work an area slower and more thorough at night.

You fish this lure very similar to the Crystal minnow but focus your attention on long cast and working the edges of the light for bigger fish. Allow your lure to sink lower to see if there are any bigger fish below the schoolies that are easily seen swimming and thrashing around near the surface of the water. You don’t get a whole lot of bites at night on the MirrOdine, but when you do. It’s usually a VERY NICE fish.

#4. The Sassy Shad – The Sassy Shad is another small freshwater soft plastic that’s lethal on speckled Mister Twister Sassy Shadtrout at night…

Speckled Trout will often feed on huge schools of shad in the light. The Sassy Shad has the perfect little wiggle at slow speed from the tail. I feel it gives me the best imitation of small shad. 

Just like the Tiny Fluke lure by Zoom, I also Tandem Rig the Sassy Shads to increase the weight of the lure. This allows me to make longer cast and increases my chances of catching speckled trout two at a time. I usually throw Glow in the Dark and Black and Pearl that closely resembles the natural color of a shad.

#5. The Vudu Shrimp By Egret Baits – The best action and most durable artificial shrimp imitation Egret Baits Vudu Shrimplure on the market… (PERIOD)

I fish it under a popping cork for redfish in the marsh, bounce it slowly off the bottom for Flounder and “slow stroll” it through the lights.

I usually start the night off with a shrimp imitation lure before the sun sets. Many times they wont be feeding heavily on Glass minnows until a few hours after the Sun sets.

Some nights you cant tell which they prefer best. SHRIMP? or GLASS MINNOWS? You could run a jig head through a cigarette butt and almost draw a fish to bite some nights. Other nights they wont touch anything that doesn’t closely resemble a Glass Minnow.

The Vudu Shrimp made by Egret Baits comes in 4 sizes. Take a look at the shrimp in the area you’re fishing. Be sure to match the lure size with the size of the bait in the water.

These lures allow you to Match The Hatch, which simply means that your lures need to be the exact size & color that the specks or other gamefish are feeding on. At night trout feed on finger mullet, shad, shrimp, and sometimes really small crab, but the number one food source is Glass Minnows. Crappie soft plastics in clear colors match the glass minnows perfectly.

I personally like to use 1/16oz jig heads on my crappie soft plastics, but any size that fits the small soft plastics mentioned will work fine. The best tackle to use for these lures is spinning tackle for throwing lighter lures further. A medium to small spinning or bait casting reel will work just fine.

You don’t need a HUGE reel. A big fishing reel will wear you down and you’re just using light line so a big capacity reel is not needed. Rod length is really a personal preference but the action is really important. Go with medium, medium-light, or light action for working these lures.

The concept is simple….

The lighter the jig head the lighter the action, the heavier the jig the heavier the action of your rod. The type of line you use is your personal preference. If you like monofilament then use it and if you like braid then fish that. As far as line size goes use the lightest line that you can get away with. I like 15lb test, but if you feel more comfortable with 10lb or 8lb then by all means use it.

You might have to adjust your line size depending on the structure of the area you’re fishing.
Seawolf Park PierA popular night fishing spot that I like to visit frequently is the Seawolf park pier in Galveston. It offers comfortable fishing for family and friends and tons of (usually undersized) trout during the summer time.

The prime area to fish at night on this pier is buy the huge rocks in the water on the left hand side when you first walk on the pier.

(I just made a lot of anglers mad on that HINT)

O well…

Since I already know (from previous experience) there’s a chance of hooking something big and getting thrown in the rocks. I increase my line size and addfluorocarbon leader.

It also helps when heaving a keeper trout 30 feet in the air to land on a pier…

Keep in mind where you are fishing because the more abrasions you have the heavier the line you want to use. Purchase quality line and it will save you major heartache. So please don’t buy that 8lb spool of monofilament for $2.

Cheap line does not equal strong line. Get advice from a local pro or guide on which brand to go with, and also ask a sales associate at your local tackle store. Those associates have (or should have) product knowledge which will make your brand selection easier. Make sure to run your drag loose on the spinning reel.

Anytime you fish light line, you always want your drag to be looser than the maximum rated strength of the line. Too tight of a drag will cause your line to break on a hook-set or fast pull from a big fish. Speckled Trout can swim faster than you can reel if they are swimming full speed towards you.

This same speed is used to pull in the opposite direction from anglers by breaking the line. Or launching themselves 3 feet out the water like a Largemouth Bass just to throw a topwater back at you.

HEARTBREAKING…. I Know…. Just Keep Fishing I Tell Myself….”

Anyway…

The technique is really simple. Cast the lure and immediately begin your retrieve. Constantly twitch your rod tip and mimic a hurt fish. You want the lure imitating a dieing glass minnow. Reel the bait slow and don’t get in a big hurry. This is finesse fishing not power fishing, so SLOOOOOW down and take your time working these lures…

Since Seawolf Park’s SECRET FISHING SPOT will be crowded with fishermen using “My Technique” and “My Spot”…  😉

 

Here’s The BEST Night Fishing Equipment
You’ll Ever Need To Target Speckled Trout, Redfish
And Flounder Along The Texas Coast.

This is the most common, yet effective night fishing setup along the Texas coast for land locked fisherman. I preferably fish this setup along the Texas City Dike. I can pull my truck up to any piece of water and setup shop.

This stage lighting equipment is pulling 1000 watts per light bulb powered by a 3000 Honda Handi generator. By all means find a cheaper generator if you don’t want to spend the money or wait until your finances are a little better. This setup is light weight, quite, powerful and comes with wheels and a handles…

Honda HandiTrust me… A few long nights moving heavy generators and stage lighting into place will take a toll on anyone the next morning. Especially when you’re fishing all throughout the night.

Constantly toting a HEAVY generator and running out of gas during the night and fueling up those LOUD, GAS-GUZZLING generators is not fun. You also don’t want to kill your light source for any period of time while night fishing either. 

Trout and other game fish are very “SPOOK-ISH” at night. I can also get away from the madness of good pier fishing as well.

Another way to experience night fishing is to get a water front home along the thousands of miles of Texas coast. You can install a light right off your dock and fish from the comfort of your own home.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a waterfront home already, you can purchase an underwater light to add an extra flare to your property and bring in thousands of fish every night.

You can look at The Underwater Green Fishing Lights system Here

Finicky Speckled Trout can make for a rewarding & sometimes challenging night. Stay quite and downsize your lures to small clear colored crappie lures with light spinning or casting gear and you’ll bring home a nice cooler full of fish with something to brag to your friends and co-workers about…

Now that I’ve revealed my “Secret Weapons” for catching speckled trout at night…

What are your “Go-To” lures or techniques for catching speckled trout at night?

Ty Wagner

Tight Lines!

 

Ty Wagner

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