This is the time of year to try something new and learn–and that’s throwing artificial baits! There is plenty of bait swimming around the area this time of year. This makes it a little less stressful for the angler wanting to learn how to throw artificial because our three major inshore species are eating everything in sight which will help build not only your technique, but your confidence when throwing plastics and hard baits
There are three major baits I like to use this time of year. The number one is The Slick Lure by Pure Flats. It’s a weedless twitch bait that has a lazy presentation when worked through the water. The best part about it is, it’s a bait for every water column on the flats. There isn’t a depth too shallow or deep. Rig it on an Owner Beast 4/0 weightless or weighted hook and add your favorite bait scent to it. It’s very hard for the big gator trout and redfish to turn down, as the winter negative tides approach and your’re needing a long cast so the fish don’t feel the pressure.
The number two bait of choice is a smaller topwater plug. Either a Skitter Walk or Top Pup. These baits can be deadly first thing in the morning on a low tide worked across an open flat. Slower retrieves work best for the super skinny water. I use 20-pound fluorocarbon leader with my topwater plugs because, once you start getting into the 30-pound plus, it tends to make the bait nose heavy and not perform as it should.
The number three bait would be the mid-sized MirrOdine. Use the natural green and black top colors when it comes to these baits–that way it mimics small whitebait and finger mullet. I use these baits when casting into deep holes where I know fish will be trapped. Let it sit for a couple of seconds before you start your retrieve. Big trout have a hard time turning these baits down in the winter time, and the snook will definitely chew it if it crosses their face
Armed Anglers in Holiday, Florida carries a wide selection of all these products mentioned above. They are open early in the morning and close late at night. Tight lines and good times everyone!