Ambling schools of mullet in the 2- to 3-pound range are pretty common during the fall. In fact the annual migrations bring tremendous action along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. These large, adult fish are often targeted by jumbo redfish, tarpon and giant snook, but there aren’t many speckled trout that can handle a full-sized mullet.

That’s why the juvenile “finger” mullet are such a welcome sign to trout hunters. Plump, meaty and usually found in generous schools; these 4- to 6-inch forage fish make tempting trout entrees that are well within the size range to fit in those big, yellow mouths.

Topwater plugs like a Heddon Saltwater Spook can produce convincing finger mullet imitations when walked enticingly over shallow grass beds, along sea walls or next to the deep end of an oyster bar.

Going subsurface, one of your best options is the Cotton Cordell Red-Fin – a versatile bait that matches the finger mullet profile with three sizes (4-7 inches) and allows anglers to make multiple presentations without changing plugs.

Cast and cranked, the Red-Fin models reach a range of 1 to 3 feet. Slowly wind it and the Red-Fin wakes enticingly at the surface. And if you need a more erratic presentation, a twitching cadence imparts a deadly action that simulates fleeing fish.