New Trout Techniques

Like most things in life you have to constantly keep learning or fall by the wayside, and fishing is no different. Just like this new computer I have, it has so many new buttons to push I donít know how anybody could remember what all of them do. I guess Gates can but who else?

Anyway back to what I want to talk about in this article and thatís stumbling onto a new technique while fishing for reds last fall. I was fishing a wide gap hook in a 5/0 with a mullet hooked through the nose. We were fishing the bait on the top by reeling fast enough to keep it there with a little small twitch on the retrieve. It made the mullet "walk the dog" in fast motion. The redfish were going bonkers for it pushing water up in a wake behind the bait and slamming the presentation with explosive top water excitement. However the fish were biting so good that we eventually ran out of mullet. We were in the fish and I didnít want to go catch more bait so I decided to try one of these new baits I had bought. It was a four inch New Penny Gulp by Berkley Bait Co. Now I had tried them before on a jig head and the perch were grabbing the tail and pulling the bait down into the bend of the hook. So I was not that impressed with the bait to start with. However I needed something to throw at these fish so I hooked one of the Gulps onto the 5/0 widegap hook through the nose of the artificial and continued fishing. The reds loved it just as much as the real mullet, as we skipped it over the surface and walked the dog with it as well.

In the weeks and months that followed I perfected this technique by going to a Mustad circle hook in a 5/0. The reason behind this was to get a little bit bigger wire diameter so it would not cut through the bait as bad. The really nice thing about it is that now we donít have to "set the hook" as we charter guides were always trying to get the customers to do, all you had to do was start reeling faster and the hook would wrap around the lips of the fish and catch themselves.

In the spring I started trying the trout with this technique but slowing it down and letting it sink into pot holes and along the edges of channels. It worked even better than fishing shrimp. Wow, what had I come up with this time? The nice thing about this bait and the way we fish it is that itís almost weed proof not to mention that 99% of the fish you catch will be hooked in the lips rather than swallowing it into their throats.

A four inch Gulp is needed to be able to cast it any distance so forget about the smaller 3 inchers for this application anyway. When fishing it slow and deep into potholes the perch will run up and grab it with an electrifying vibration, donít set the hook on that type of bite as you might jerk the bait off the hook. Instead reel a little faster and jiggle the bait away from them. Sometimes it helps to have the perch banging on it to add more vibration to the offering. When you feel the "thump thump" thatís a trout bite and you will need to reel fast and pull to get the hook set but donít set it with a fast jerk.

This bait has replaced a lot of lures in my box now. It can be worked fast for reds or slow for trout or even bumped along the bottom for flounder. The weight of the circle hook is all thatís needed to sink the bait in a tantalizing manner which the fish seem to love. I especially like fishing this bait when wading because it wonít have all the extra hooks hanging off of it to snag my leg with.

Skipper Ray is a freelance writer and fishing guide in South Padre Island, Texas
where he owns and operate Island Outfitters. Call: 956-943-2798 or Email


Fishing Articles by Skipper Ray

Blind Casting the Flats
Catching and Handling Numbers of Trout
Fishing Guides Perspective
Fishing-Months
Effective Blind Casting on the Fly
Line Management Techniques
Lures of Choice for the Fall Season
More Tec Tips - King Mackerel
New Trout Techniques
Ready at the Rod
Spring is in the Air
Tarpon Techniques
Tech Tips - "Donít Give Up"
Tech Tips - Itís a Drag
The Ladies Have More Fun
The Chosen One
The "Ibis" Built by Newwater Boatworks
The Old Gold Spoon
Time to Fish Free
It's Red Fishing Time in South Padre
Trout Fishing the Lower Laguna Madre
Trout on Topwater Flies
Wading the Lower Laguna Madre


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