Instead of asking what lure, ask how it was presented, what time of year it was used, what the users hoped to imitate with it, and why they made those lure choices… then make your own lure choice decisions based on that information. Don’t be a follower!
Soft plastic fishing for trout is no different to chasing any other type of fish with these deadly lures. We need to either imitate a food form that’s recognisable and attractive to the fish, and/or incite their curiosity or aggression…. It’s really as simple as that.
Trout mostly eat insects (aquatic and terrestrial), crustaceans (shrimps, yabbies and the like) and small fish (including baby trout, along with gudgeons, goldfish, galaxias, smelt and whitebait). In addition, they are most likely to behave aggressively and become territorial during the pre-spawn and spawning periods, and will chase and attack smaller fish and rival suitors at such times. All of this information provides us with invaluable data when it comes to lure choices: soft or hard.
Modern soft plastics like Squidgies are available to mimic all of the food sources and aggression triggers I’ve just outlined, and they can be cast, jigged or trolled, in both flowing and still waters… As I’m fond of saying: it ain’t rocket science!
Those anglers who haven’t yet thrown soft plastics at trout are in for some big surprises when they do. The biggest single step they still need to make is overcoming the mental hurdle and actually tying one of these lures on to the end of their line, then chucking it into trout-holding water… The fish will do the rest!
The tackle I use when chucking Squidgies for trout is exactly the same gear I choose for casting metal, timber or hard plastic lures at these fish (or at bream). That typically means a 1.9 to 2.2 m Shimano spinning rod with a nice light tip, a 1000 to 2500 size Shimano spinning (threadline) reel and 1 to 3 kg PowerPro braided line with a 1.5 to 2 m leader of 2 to 4 kg breaking strain Ocea fluorocarbon at the business end. This leader is connected to the main line via a Double Uni, Full Blood or Slim Beauty knot.
Yes, you can certainly lure fish for trout (and any other species) using a reel spooled entirely with mono, and many people still choose to go this way. However, once you’ve experienced the benefits of fine braids over mono, it’s very hard to go back! Those benefits can best be summarized as longer casting, greater strength-for-diametre, better “feel”, easier hook-sets and greater line durability.
The actual presentation strategies with plastics are exactly the same as with hard lures. In other words, throw them into the same places and do the same things with them as you would with a spinner, spoon, minnow or winged lure. Remember what I said: it ain’t rocket science!
My final message in this piece is (or should be) a loud, clear, simple one: If you still haven’t tried Squidgies on trout, make this the year that you do. For goodness sake, just get out there and give it a go… Trust me, it works!
In Part 2 of this feature we’ll look in more specific detail at how, when and where to target trout on Squidgies. Until then, Tight Lines!