Captain’s Corner: Topwater plugs a great option as warming trend continues

Published February 10 2018
Updated February 11 2018

Warm weather for the past week has led to an increase in feeding activity for inshore fish species. Speckled trout have been venturing out of deep holes and channels and back into shallow water to feed. This has presented a great opportunity to fish with topwater plugs. When the conditions are right, big trout are crazy about noisy lures that wobble on the surface. Sunlight is the most important factor in determining if plugs are a good option. If the water is clear and the skies are bright, the fish are usually too skittish to rise to the top and chase a plug. If this is the case, try fishing in the very early morning and evening when the angle of the sun is lower. Fog presents one of the best situations. Yes, it can be very tricky and slow to get to your favorite spot, but the fish are very relaxed and feed aggressively. Lure choices vary among fishermen. I prefer a medium-sized plug with rattles inside. A bright color on the top makes the lure easier to see, and since nearly all forage fish have a white belly, that is the color I prefer. A steady twitch-pause-twitch action should make the lure "walk" from side to side. When a fish rises behind the lure, keep working it and avoid the temptation to stop it. Few real baitfish stop and give up when approached by a big trout or redfish. The fish know this and often drop back away if the lure stops. It may take four or five strikes to get a hookup, but for most topwater aficionados, the strike is the best part anyway.

Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at [email protected]