August 27

Best Lures For Dock Light Speckled Trout

Best Inshore Fishing Tackle


What are the best lures for dock light speckled trout? It’s not what you’d normally throw!

Lures for Fishing Dock Lights

Fishing dock lights in Louisiana can be fun!

It’s a great way to beat the summer heat and a chance to catch something after work.

green dock light

But, it’s a different animal that leaves inshore anglers frustrated, especially when they see speckled trout feeding but can’t get them to bite!

Why aren’t the trout biting?

It has a lot to do with the kind of bait they’re feeding on.

That bait is usually small bay anchovies, or glass minnows, attracted to dock lights in the same way bugs are attracted to your porch light.

bay chovies

What’s the best lure to use for dock lights?

Speckled trout are on those dock lights to eat the bay ‘chovies attracted to them.

Not croakers.

Not mullet.

Not pogies.

This doesn’t mean they won’t eat those things, it just means they’re looking, towards the water’s surface, for bay chovies.

[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=””]We saw this same behavior with speckled trout and rafting mullet in this fishing trip. [/thrive_text_block]

The key is to throw a lure that looks and presents itself like a tiny bay ‘chovy.

So it must be small to match the profile, and be light to stay high in the water column.

Lure Recommendations

I think the Matrix Mini is a perfect fit!

Matrix Shad vs Matrix Mini
Matrix Shad vs Matrix Mini for size comparison

It’s a down-sized version of the Matrix Shad and works well for fishing dock lights, because it has a profile and translucent body similar to a bay anchovy.

Plus, the jigheads they sell for the Mini have the right kind of shank so the body doesn’t bulge.

Matrix Mini

These jigheads come in 1/32, 1/16 and 1/8 oz.

speckled trout matrix mini

Lures I Don’t Recommend

I’ve  tried using molded bodies and they just fall apart.

As soon as they do you’re stuck with tying on a new one, since they’re one piece, and not a system like the Matrix Mini and jighead.

small molded body lure

Other Lures

The DOA Shrimp Body Bag is worth noting, since we see a lot of tiny shrimp around these dock lights as well.

DOA Shrimp Body Bag

I rig them onto the same jighead as the Matrix Mini and they work just great!


Fishing at night is fun, but not any less challenging than fishing during the day.

Adapting can be tough, but learn to use these specialty lures and you’ll be hammering speckled trout in no time!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot...

I went night fishing last week and used the same lures you see above, as well as the kind we conventionally use.

The small ones worked well.

But, what's just as important as using the right lure is knowing where to go (or not to go) and how to fish each spot.

This is what I share with Elite members!

I detail my latest fishing trip, targeting dock lights at night, in these sections:

about the author 

Devin Denman

Devin is the founder of Louisiana Fishing Blog and enjoys exploring new fishing spots on Louisiana's coast. He prefers using artificial lures and casting tackle, but won't hesitate to break out a popping cork when the time is right.

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  • Very honored to have Captain Rory commenting here! lol

    Yes, I know what rig you’re talking about and that’s a great idea. It may be easier to cast, too.

    That’s the biggest problem I had fishing these lights. I didn’t want to be an a-hole and get “too close” because you never know how people on the dock will react.

    Most of the time they’re cordial, sometimes you can hold a nice conversation, and a few times I’ve had them completely wig out on me, yelling, throwing tackle and turning off the lights.

    If I didn’t own LAFB I’d test the boundaries a little more, but my face and boat are plastered all over the Internet, so I have to mind my P’s an Q’s.

    Even if I don’t do anything “bad”, perception is still reality.

    So I give folks their space and more, but I cannot cast a 1/16oz jighead 50 yards, either.

    I’d throw a 1/2oz drop shot, but it rarely gets any hits because the trout are feeding right at the surface.

    So it’s a tough nut to crack.

    But, if I am able to get close enough I’ll tear ’em up.

  • Another killer bait to use at night is a Skabiki rig. You know the multiple hook rigs used offshore to catch bait. You have a whole bunch of tiny baits and might end up with a handful of trout on one cast.

    For you fly fishing guys and gals, you can have a blast at night. Those flies are the right size to match the bait around the lights.

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