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Trout Question

I have a question. I fish Pointe a la Hache. I fish with old school guys who preach live shrimp under a cork. Todd Masson says that large trout loose their appetite for shrimp and prefer pogies or croakers. The thought being they would prefer one big meal when shrimp are plentiful. I would appreciate any arguments for fishing plastics. My real question is fish the shrimp for numbers or would it be better for other baits for larger trout?
Trout forage foods
Hi Spec Chaser,

Todd Masson is without a doubt one of the premiere authorities on speckled trout fishing. Hopefully, you already have it, but if not, his outstanding book "Specks" is a must read for any serious trout fisherman.

As a general rule (there can always be exceptions!), small trout forage primarily on shrimp, with a relatively small percentage of their diet comprised of finfish. As they get larger, the inverse of that becomes true, when their preference is for finfish.

You definitely can't go wrong if you study Todd's methods!

Good luck!

Steve P.
Spec Chaser and SteveP
You are correct again, SteveP about the feeding habits of the Speckled Trout. If I may add to the reply to Spec Chaser, in my 20+ year career of chasing speckled trout, it has been my arguement over those wonderful years that trout, if approached correctly, and presented plastic correctly will feed on plastic just as good, sometimes better, than live shrimp. Definitely when fishing for bigger trout, those that are in the 18-20 inch and larger range, the big lures will catch them a lot faster than live shrimp. Crokers, on the other hand, may win out if you had to fish, let's say, in a speckled trout tournament for big bucks and could use anything for bait. However, in smaller tournaments I have been privey to over the years, the guides, when they are allowed to fish these tournaments, will usually be all over the leader board and their lure of choice will most always be PLASTIC!
Just my opinion
Only my opinion and trust me I have not fished specks for that long nor that often but when we have the chance to go we have always done better on plastic. Just last weekend the friends that we went speck fishing with drove a total of 150 miles to get some live cacahoes and guess what, we only caught a total of 4 out of 70 specks on the 150 mile bait. All the rest were caught on plastic and they were some very nice sized specks.
Thanks, Capt John L...
Spec Chaser, I would highly recommend that you pay close attention to Capt John L's suggestions. He is definitely one of the trout gurus. And a great guy, too!

Hope you catch a big one!

Steve P.
This time of year and throughout the summer, croakers are the best bet unless you are just after meat then live shrimp will catch enough keepers for the frying pan. Pogies are also excellent for sow trout, but very hard to get and even harder to keep them alive. Biggest trout I caught was on a freelined pogie, she went 7.2lb. Capt C
Least of these
I am the least knowledgeable than the previous commentators - however, that might be my qualification here. Your question depends alot on location and skill. I have been fishing in a location twice a week that is full of live croakers (hundreds per cast net cast) and live shrimp.

I've tried plastics to little or no success while those around me are tearing up trout on live shrimp (not on croakers). Now these champion fishermen may consider an 18 inch trout small but I've caught a handfull of them on shrimp in that location - nearly nothing on plastic.

This is likely in part due to my skill level. But other fishermen around me are also tearing up 16-24 inch trout on shrimp as well.

I've only seen one 4 pounder caught in this spot. It was caght on a tiny plastic beatle by a regular, local fisherman.

Point - buy that book "Specks" read it, listen to these guys too, but every now and then get some live shrimp, put on a cork and catch some trout to keep your spirits up! One day you might catch fish like they do. I suspect they caught lots of little ones first.

Fishing is always fun. Catching fish is more fun. Catching big fish is even better. Get in there somewhere and I say increase your odds.


Thanks to all for the comments. My first trout on shrimp was 25". This I am finding now to be the exception. This info will make for great "while casting" discussions.