The 2018 spring trout run in Hopedale has been running strong, and this is exactly how I’ve been catching limits and leaving them biting.
I love this time of year! The days are long, nights are short and it’s finally warm again.
Above all, I love that the trout have begun spawning and are schooled in big numbers, and eating up on all the available live bait.
There’s everything from shrimp, to baby croakers, to finger mullet and, of course, pogies.
My favorite spot to fish for speckled trout is the MRGO Long Rocks, accessible from Hopedale.
I love this area because of its diverse structure: riprap with readily accessible deep water, protected from wind on two sides.
It's a straight shot of saltwater from the Gulf, and does a good job of staying clean, since its as deep as 30ft in some places.
So think of it as a huge highway that marine denizens use to get from the "inside" of the marsh to the "outside" to spawn.
This spot is nothing new and, that it turns on in May, isn't a secret either.
But what is new is how I've fished the area this past week, bringing in limits of fish, tagging some more, then leaving them biting.
Before I can jump into that, let's go over the "conventional" way of fishing the MRGO Long Rocks in the spring.
Typically, boats anchor along the length of the rocks, about a casting distance away, and try their luck by chunking live shrimp under a cork.
Some "tight line" soft plastic lures on a jighead, or use said lures under a cork.
So, for the most part, traditionally fishing the Rocks is all about anchors and popping corks.
While this can work, it isn't the most effective way to put limits of trout in the boat.
Because the majority of trout aren't feeding on shrimp! They are feeding on finfish like finger mullet and croaker.
There is no doubt in my mind they'd love to eat shrimp.
But since they are feeding on baitfish their focus is aimed at the water immediately next to the rocks, where that bait is holding.
Not in open water where shrimp are flowing.
I've taken an approach based on power fishing: using a trolling motor and artificial lures to cover a lot of shoreline.
Here are two combos I've used to catch over 300 trout between four trips.
Watch this video to see how we worked the rocks.
While you do, note these things:
It's kind of hard to see in the video, but we are casting to the rocks and working the bait back to the boat.
When I say "to the rocks", I mean I am literally hitting the rocks with the jighead, swimming it back until it's clear of shallow snags and then begin reeling slowly or jig it back.
Remember, trout are feeding on finfish against the rocks, so that is where they are looking.
Yes, you may catch a trout halfway to the boat, but that fish was probably following the lure before deciding to commit to it.
I really hope you liked this article and learned knowledge that helps you enjoy this amazing spring run we are having!
But if you want to learn it all, you should really check out LAFB Elite, my exclusive membership providing the best know-how for inshore anglers.
Questions? Comments? Scroll down to chime in below!
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