This spring expectations were that the state record speckled trout would be caught-either on Sabine Lake or in Lower Laguna Madre probably near Port Mansfield. Others surmised it might come from East Matagorda Bay.
In fact there were several stories floating around that the record actually was caught here on Sabine Lake, however they are not true.
It has been 16 years since Carl “Bud” Rowland caught a 15.6 pound, 37.25 inch monster on a fly rod to break the state record.
That is a long time for a record to stand especially since I have no doubt there are multiple fish in the Texas right now larger than that.
While planning for some forthcoming trout fishing, I got to thinking of what lure might fool the next record trout. As often occurs during these thinking sessions, a list came about.
Here is my look at lure types that stand a strong chance of fooling a huge trout along with some notes for anglers who want to give it a shot.
Topwaters: I would not say topwaters would be my first choice because there are lots of variables that go into hooking a big speck and topwaters have some disadvantages as trout often seem to short strike them or miss strikes altogether. Big sow specks are smart fish and all it usually takes is one contact with something that doesn’t feel natural to give up on it. There is nothing more fun that catching fish on topwaters and they are effective for giant trout but if hunting a record they would not be at the top of my list.
Swimbaits: The biggest trout I caught in the last decade was on a swimbait, a Stanley Wedgetail Mullet to be exact. That made me think a little more about swimbaits and while talking with anglers along the coast from Florida to South Texas, more serious trout anglers are turning to swimbait. They offer a unique advantage, which is the ability to fish slowly but cover a lot of water. Swimbaits can accurately imitate a big trout’s favorite meal of mullet and are something that work in the winter and spring alike which is the prime time to catch a record class speck.
Slow Sinkers: Slow-sinking lures particularly slow-sinking soft plastics like the Corky are the most trusted giant trout hunting lure on the Texas coast. Bar none. They appeal to the semi-lazy nature of big troutand almost seem to draw a genetically programmed response. There is no doubt a well-presented Corky could catch the next Sabine record but there are disadvantages. I recommend these for anglers who have the discipline to fish super slow and with gear capable of detecting soft bites as big trout often just slowly suck these in. They also are not a lure to cover a lot of ground with.
Soft Plastic and Cork: The biggest trout I have seen caught in a decade was a 30 plus incher caught by my friend Mark Davis of Big Water Adventures on a Paradise Popper X-Treme popping cork with a six-inch soft plastic mullet imitation under it.
This might seem like a strange way to catch big fish especially when you consider we were wading a seagrass flat in Port Mansfield. This is a regular big trout catching combo in southeastern Louisiana and I have seen it catch a lot of quality fish.
In my opinion this could be a killer method for anglers to use in May when the big fish get a little more active and spread out throughout the ecosystems. The key is using a large plastic to keep many of the small fish away and to have the stamina to fish it long periods and by covering lots of water.
It might seem like a pipe dream but you could catch the next record trout. Remember fishing has little to do with luck. It is all about thought, preparation, attitude and consistency.
Chester Moore, Jr.