Topwater Trout Fishing Tactics and Tips

From Florida to Texas, walking a topwater bait offer one of the most exciting and effective tactics for nabbing speckled trout. We all have our favorites, but savvy anglers will keep a diverse selection handy to offer not only color options, but also size and sound choices.

When a full-size topwater like the MirrOlure Top Dog or Heddon Super Spook entices a strike, it's usually the trout you want. However, even the big fish occasionally shy away from large baits, so it's important to have a smaller version of the bait that's been working. When increasing sunshine, declining current or boat traffic turn your trout spooky, downsize your topwater bait and you'll often pick up a few more bites. (Examples: follow a Top Dog with a Top Dog Jr. or a more slender MirrOmullet, or replace the Super Spook with a Spook Jr.)

Rattles enhance a topwater bait's appeal, but different designs create different sounds. Essentially, the combination of body material, rattle style and length of rattle chamber combine to create either low pitch or high pitch sounds. The trout's preference can change throughout the day, so this gives you another point of adjustment when the bite slows.

At times, the trout will show only moderate interest in topwaters and you'll get more boils and follows than decisive strikes. This is when a subsurface bait like a soft plastic jerkbait, a DOA shrimp or a 3/16-ounce leadhead with a shad tail can turn lookers into biters.