May is when everything really begins to come together to produce great trout fishing conditions. Warming weather pushes water temps up. The rivers begin to subside from spring rains and snow melts up north.

And trout respond by feeding aggressively.

Anyone can go out and blindly stumble into some fish with whatever they happen to have in the boat, but there are some baits that just prove themselves year in year out — so much so that the crew at Bowie Outfitters’ has problems keeping them stocked.

Here’s a rundown of what you really need to have in your box when you hit the water:


1) MirrOlure Top Dogs Jrs. — There are myriad topwater choices, but Top Dog Jrs. are pretty much tailor made for speckled trout. They’re easy to walk the dog, and the clunk, clunk, clunk of the ball bearings inside call fish like a dinner  bell calls hungry boys to the table.


2) MirrOlure C-Eye Pro Catch 2000 — When the fish won’t come to the top, a suspending hard-plastic lure like the old Catch 2000 can’t be beat. Just toss it out, count down to your desired depth and twitch the lure to make it come to life. And The C-Eye’s realistic finishes tempt the big trout to feast, while the stainless steel hardware provides the backbone to hold on.


3) MirrOlure MirrOdine — This sinking hard-plastic lure has become standard equipment for spring trout, offering much of the same fish-catching benefits of the Catch 2000 in a smaller size. So when trout are feeding on smaller fish and seem to ignore those larger lures, dance this little number along to pick up bites others miss.


4) Vudu Shrimp — There are a lot of shrimp imitations on the market, but few have made the impact this little lure has had in South Louisiana. The prerigged plastic just comes alive when it’s dangled beneath a cork. The key is the segmented tail that moves just like a swimming shrimp. And the little things are tough, too.


5) Matrix Shad and Deadly Dudleys — These two plastics are all the rage for one reason: They work. They were both perfected by anglers fishing Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain, which is known for being fickle, so they have all the tantilizing action needed to tempt even the most stubborn trout. Tight-line these lures for versatile presentations or hang them beneath your favorite cork.


6) Rockport Rattler jigs — There are many jigs hanging on the shelves of your favorite tackle shop, but the Rockport Rattler isn’t just a leadhead on a hook. No, these jigs add something designed to make it easy for specks to find your lure — a sound chamber. This jig makes a sound that is easily detectable by fish, so they zero in on the bait. And when the bite gets tough, that sound can often be the difference in a fish looking at a bait and swallowing it.