Ask a bass angler how to catch a bass, and you’ll get a doctoral dissertation including a host of variables ranging from the pH of the water to the phase of the spawn.
Ask a speckled trout angler how to catch a trout, and you’ll get a much simpler response including only two variables - tide and bait.
While there may be something to the notion that you’ve got to throw a certain color crankbait that dives to 2 1/2 feet rather than 6 feet to get a bass to bite, trying to convince a die-hard trout angler that he or she has to throw a certain color or style of bait to catch fish is futile.
My years of fishing for speckled trout have taught me that it’s more about how a bait is presented — rather than which bait is presented.
That’s why I asked five anglers, whose livelihoods are determined by the presentation decisions they make on the water, which speckled trout techniques they couldn’t fish - or live - without.
Captain Marty LaCoste with Absolute Fishing Charters fishes out of Bayou DuLarge, and he insists fishing a double rig keeps him consistently catching limits of speckled trout.
“Fishing a double rig is kind of a no-brainer,” LaCoste said. “Why in the world would I fish only one soft plastic when I could fish two and double my chances with every throw?”
Simply put, a double rig is nothing more than two jigheads threaded with soft plastics tied onto a doubled-over leader line secured with a loop knot to which you tie your main line.
LaCoste ties or buys double rigs that have the lower jig about 6 to 8 inches below the top one.
“You can tie your own or save yourself a lot of trouble and just buy them already rigged up,” LaCoste said. “I buy 100 pre-made ones at a time with 1/4-ounce jigheads - some chartreuse, some red - then I can just tie one on whenever I need.”
LaCoste fishes Matrix Shad soft plastics on his double rigs, and he says his hottest three colors are green hornet, avocado and purple haze.
“That’s for us,” he said. “You may find the trout where you fish want some different colors. Until you figure it out, I’d suggest trying a different-colored plastic on each jighead until you figure out what they like.”
When fishing a double rig, LaCoste says trout will hit the bottom bait most of the time; however, if you have a different color on top and you notice they’re hitting the top one most of the time, then you can bet they’re favoring that top color more than the bottom one.
“If they’re hitting the top color constantly,” he said, “I’ll put on two of that same color.”
How he fishes double rigs depends on depth and tide.
“When you’re in shallow water fishing reefs from 2 to 5 feet, you don’t want them to sit there because you’ll get hung up on the oysters,” he said. “This is when I make a long cast and just pull them back with a steady reel and a little twitch every now and then.”
However, I’ve been with LaCoste fishing some rigs and watched him never even turn his reel handle.
“If you’re in deeper water and the current is strong, you can just cast them out and let your double rig drift in the current,” he said. “Sometimes when you’re out there on the rigs, they’ll hit it just as soon as it hits the water. Heck, they’ll do that sometimes in shallow water, too.”
For LaCoste, fishing double rigs is all about being able to maximize a finicky trout bite that can turn on and off without warning. When it’s on, he wants to be able to put as many fish in the boat as quickly as possible before they turn back off.
Since there is no difference between throwing a double rig and a single rig, LaCoste believes he can throw a double rig anywhere he would throw a single rig.
“Anywhere along the coast of Louisiana where you throw a single rig, and you get into a frenzy of bites, have a double rig ready to go to see if it will work for you,” he said. “Especially if you fish a lot of beaches and surf.”
Editor’s Note: This is the first article in a weeklong series by Chris Ginn on effective speckled trout fishing techniques to try this month. Tomorrow he’ll highlight the drop-shot rig.