Capt. Adam Jaynes said wade-fishing for the big trout — even when waters remain a bit on the cold side — is what he likes to do most of all when using topwaters and suspending baits.

Jaynes said the prime wade-fishing season begins about mid-November and runs into March, but he also said he enjoys wading for trout about anytime of the year.

"In the cold months, the big trout will school together on mud flats and reefs in Calcasieu Lake," he said. "These are big-bait chasers since they are larger trout, and their primary prey are mullet that will run on or near these reefs and flats."

But why get out of the boat?

"The advantage to wade-fishing has to do with stealth," Jaynes said. "When in a boat and you catch one fish — well, by the time you get it to the boat and unhook it, and then cast again, you've already drifted where you just caught that fish.

"You've messed up that entire school."

Conversely, wading anglers can walk up to the reef and catch that first good fish, and the rest of that school of larger trout will remain there. There is much less noise, and wading anglers can work the waters thoroughly without spooking schools of larger fish.

"I can stand there and maybe catch 30 good fish as compared to two to three in a boat," Jaynes said. "Now, we're talking big, big fish, specifically."

The angler also mentioned that wade-fishing is slowly coming into its own in Calcasieu and Sabine lakes.

"There's not that many anglers doing it here, especially in the winter," said Jaynes. "Of course, wade-fishing for big trout in Texas is widely practiced all along the coastline and bays."

Comparing the use of hard topwaters and suspending plugs to using plastic — or "tail baits," as he calls them — Jaynes said that, on the average, topwaters and suspending plugs will catch larger fish.

"Tail baits will catch large trout on occasion, but the numbers of big fish just don't compare to those taken when using topwaters and suspending plugs," he said. "And it's not unusual for a 12-inch trout to sometimes slap a 5-inch hard bait. But there won't be many of them."

Another advantage of using hard baits for trout is that they are useful locator lures.

"With topwaters, especially, you can work that bait quickly over the water," he said. "Sometimes, and especially with clients, I'll then throw tail baits to catch trout in the area."