The fall and winter months provide some of the best times to target trophy trout with hard baits. Save the soft plastics for the schoolies. Focus on floating hard baits over grassy shorelines in the fall and transition over to hovering them over rocky banks as we move to winter.
In the fall, big trout seem to really use grass edges to their advantage when ambushing prey. In the winter, bait fish, especially mullets, seem to use the warmth from the sun beating on the rocky shorelines to warm the waters up a degree or two where the rocks submerge. Many of the biggest trout I’ve ever caught have been fooled by many styles of hard baits. Whether it was a top water, a suspended jerk bait or a sinking jerk bait, they are all big trout killers.
MatrixShad.com makes a version of all three styles. The Matrix Mullet is a floating topwater and best used at daylight and sunset hours. Next is the Matrix RipShad, which is perfect for hovering over shallow grass beds or shallow rocks. The last of the trio is the Matrix Minnow, which is perfect for targeting hard grass lines meeting drop offs or where rocky shorelines have decent depths near by. Make sure to have one tied on each pole for different situations and make sure to be careful and always use pliers when dealing with these sharp and dangerous treble hooks.
Hard baits seem to be most effective in clean water, providing a lot of flash from the sunlight into the depths attracting big bites from big fish. Make sure to watch all the DockSide TV hard bait episodes, like the one above, to help master the art of hard bait fishing.