Mention croaker and trout in the same sentence and you will certain segments of the fishing community FREAKED OUT.
Apparently croaker are so good for catching big trout they should be banned. Well, that is what some extremely lame people in the industry think but they are a small minority.
I wonder if they would get just as mad about using live mud minnows.
On the Upper Coast, a growing number of anglers are using them for trout and it has been my experience they work extremely well. I rarely use live bait for trout but when I do, it is usually mullet or mud minnows with shad thrown in for good measure.
I saw the single biggest (bay) speckled trout of my life on the end of my Dad’s rod in 1996 when we were drifting live mud minnows over the big reef at Mesquite Point on Sabine Lake. Fished under a popping cork and drifted over shell they are super good at catching trout and they also turn on the redfish.
Have you ever used mud minnows for trout? If so, how did they work for you?
If you’re not sold on mud minnows then check out these live shrimp strategies.
Carolina-Rigged Shrimp: Here is another one for soft plastics that will catch good trout, especially when you need to get down deep. Rig with a ½-oz egg weight above a swivel, attach an 18-24 inch long fluorocarbon leader with something like a DOA Shrimp. This can be great under the birds if you want to see out the big fish below the surface fracas or if you find big trout in deeper water in a channel.
Free-Lined Shrimp: Hook a live shrimp just behind black area on the head on a wide-gapped hook, put a split shot 6-12 inches above it and pitch this against rocky cover like jetties or rip rap. The only drawback (if you call it one) is sheepshead love it too.
Tandem Shrimp: Remember the old “Speck Rigs” that had two lures attached to one lead? Well, you can easily make a tandem shrimp rig with either a soft plastic or live shrimp and drive the fish crazy. You might even catch two at a time. Texas-based Logic Lures has an awesome scented tandem rig that while not exactly a shrimp imitation mimics their shape and movements close enough to make it part of my shrimp buffet arsenal this fall.
Chester Moore, Jr.