Best Trout Lures

Seven lures with the “stuff” to take trout on top.

Summer is the time when serious seatrout enthusiasts dig into their tackle boxes and tie on a proven killer. The action and commotion of a topwater surface plug offers several advantages. They are dead ringers for stunned or wounded bait fish and big trout are ambush predators, especially in low-light conditions like dawn and dusk. As an added bonus, there’s nothing more exciting than powerful explosions on the surface.

Classic balsa plugs like the Smithwick Devil’s Horse or original Bagley Jumping Mullet still draw top dollar at auctions and flea markets. But hard and soft plastic is the norm now, with great track records of success. Here are seven with the “stuff” to take trout on top:

MirrOlure Top Dog: Available in different sizes and multiple color patterns, the Top Dog has low frequency rattles while the She Dog emits high frequency noise that draws big trout in. Durable construction and saltwater hardware ensure long service. The Pop A Dog version adds chugging action with the cupped nose. shopmirrolure.comDave Lear
DOA PT-7: With its cylindrical shape and 5/8-ounce heft, this 3-inch weedless plug will snake through floating grass and vegetation with ease. The 7/0 Extra Wide Gap hook provides solid hook-sets and the internal rattle adds to the attraction. Available in several color patterns. doalures.comDave Lear
Heddon Super Spook: This timeless classic continues to “walk the dog.” Whether it’s the standard XT saltwater version with beefed up hardware, the Junior for finesse presentations, the One Knocker for the true “gators” or the Chug’n Spook for spit and splash, this family of topwaters is still getting it done. heddonlures.comDave Lear
Paul Brown’s Soft-Dog: Evolving from the revered Texas suspending plugs, the surface walking Soft-Dog is 3 3/4 inches long and weighs 3/4 ounces. So it casts a Lone Star mile and walks all day like a cattle dog. It is a great search bait available in favorite color combos. shopmirrolures.comDave Lear
Live Target Mullet Walking Bait: It’s hard to top the realism of Live Target’s Mullet Walking Bait. These 4-inch, 1 1/8-ounce plugs look and act like a hapless finger mullet they were designed to imitate. Choose the subspecies of mullet to match the locale and start twitchin’. livetargetlures.comDave Lear
Rapala Skitter Walk: The saltwater version of this rattling stick bait comes with VMC Perma Steel saltwater hooks and large, fish-calling internal ball bearings. The 4 3/8-inch length is enticing for big fish, but plenty of studs have been landed on the smaller 3 1/8-inch pattern in the creeks and back bays. rapala.comDave Lear
Unfair Lures Dawgwalker: This slender and long profile plug from Unfair Lures comes in several enticing colors and features a stainless steel swivel attachment, PvR Turbo-Set hooks for quick penetration and the 3D bleeding gill dressing for added appeal. unfairlures.comDave Lear