There’s nothing quite like the excitement of seeing trout or redfish explode on a topwater plug. Conversely, there’s nothing quite as frustrating as heaving your bit out, twitching it only to have it drag across the surface, like a snagged branch. Capt. Marty LaCoste has a simple and effective way to keep you from snagging on the hooks; a heavy monofilament leader.

“I like a 25-pound mono leader tied to a swivel because the line is thicker and when it gets in the hooks, it often slips out and doesn’t leave a big mess,” he said.

LaCoste uses Duce rods and a braid main line for working his plugs.

“I don’t know why you’d use anything other than braid if you’ve ever used braid, “he grinned.

This time of year, LaCoste mostly fishes plastics on double rigs when the trout are schooled up and busting shrimp. When they’re on oysters bars and over rock, he uses a single jighead to reduce snags. Regardless of how he’s fishing swimbaits, he prefers Matrix Shad swimbaits (; 985-707-9049) in a handful of colors. He says that these five colors match the hatch for just about everything a trout cares to eat, from shrimp to croakers to mullet and more. See the caption on the photo for the names.