Salmon Egg-Fly Pattern 3. Trout are often a challenge to catch as they take patience and skill, and can either be caught using a rod and reel or by fly fishing. It’s best to swap out hoppers after each fish. There are 11 different species of trout in North America, and they all have slightly different behaviors and habitats that mean that different lures work differently depending on the species. If you’d like to learn more about rainbow trout fishing, check out our complete guide to rainbow trout. You can catch your own using minnow bait traps or casting nets. Although you can find natural salmon eggs to use and they are very effective in this instance I actually prefer the artificial versions as they can be kept in a jar for a very long time with out loosing their freshness. For an ultralight rod and line with a rating of between 2 lb and 6 lb you will need a good spinning reel in either a 1000, 2000 or 2500 size. Season: The best time to fish reservoir trout with smelt is during the peak of summer by trolling or jigging. You can also jig smelt through the ice during the winter for good results. They may work during the early fall but returns diminish the cooler the water gets. If you study up a bit on their biology, they love to inhabit structures and stay out of sunlight. Allow your bait to drift with the current and be ready to set the hook if the line stopped suddenly or alters direction. This is primarily true in western rivers where naturally occurring salmon runs take place annually. It is a scented jig with enough weight to fish in deep holes with strong current and water flow. Season: Sculpins would probably work for rainbow trout year-round in streams and rivers. The Lurhr-Jensen ¼ ounce Krocodile spoon is a terrific bait for anglers seeking larger trout. They are inexpensive and very effective. Worms are inexpensive and easy to find at local bait shops. In rivers where salmon have an annual run trout can end up gorging themselves on salmon eggs. One grasshopper may only last you one or two casts before you need to swap out a new one. Shiners can be bought either alive or dead at every bait shop and are inexpensive. Whether it is artificial or real, dead or alive, the next time you head to the trout hole, consider these five baits. I think the best time to fish for trout with sculpins is late spring into mid-summer. Live minnows are one of the best baits for trout but are often difficult to find. I’ll tell you what fly rods, spinning rods, flies, castable fish finders, and waders you need to be more successful than anyone else on the water. Just like salmon eggs. Large reservoir fish dine on smelt as part of their regular diet in many waterways. Corn is cheap too compared to salmon eggs and artificial flies. Best 10 Baits (Natural & Artificial) for Big Rainbow Trout. I think trolling for summer-time trout is your best bet. They are best caught in traps as catching on rod and line can be tricky. How to: You can jig or troll smelt for great rainbow trout action during the summer. Some local and state laws prohibit the use and selling of live shiners. This is especially true of stocked or hatchery-raised trout that grow accustomed to grain-meals. Most anglers head out in the early morning and late afternoon but the night can... Ice Fishing Holes: Diameter, Distance, Patterns, Target Fish. Eggs are cheap to buy; Hardy baits that release great scent into the water; Are able to be carried by the current into jaws of waiting trout; During peak egg availability, salmon roe makes up most of adult rainbow trout’s diet. (Moon Phases, Seasons, Baits), link to Ice Fishing Holes: Diameter, Distance, Patterns, Target Fish, click here for my comprehensive trout fishing gear list. Trout are one of North America’s favorite fish, and with these trout lures you will have no more trouble in catching them.. The more natural your presentation here the better. Either way, when the trout smell food, they come and get it. Cons: Grasshoppers are not very tough. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Will Salmon Bite at Night? The bottom line is that flies are an excellent bait for catching trout of all kinds, including rainbow trout. While still light enough to make the fight enjoyable. Discover the best time of day to catch bass, trout, catfish, panfish, walleye, carp, and many more depending on the season, moon phases, and weather. These warmer waters lend themselves to trout more open-minded to worms passing by. This site is owned and operated by Eric Matechak. The best trout rod to use when looking to target rainbow trout on light gear will have roughly the following specifications: You need a rod length that will match the type of water you intend to fish on. Some large rivers may contain smelt but small mountain streams don’t. Being a natural prey of rainbow trout, small shiners can be a good bait to select. They are a good live bait option to use jigging, drift fishing, and especially trolling for large open-water trout. Worm fishing also tends to produce a lot of gut or throat hooked trout. Season: Small crayfish work best in late spring all the way through mid-summer in moving water. They essentially fish themselves as the kicking and natural action will trigger strikes. Find schools of baitfish and work your bait near the perimeters of these schools. These, in my opinion, are some of the best/ top trout baits out there. Pros: Salmon eggs are arguably the best rainbow trout bait you can use in river systems. Liveones always work best, but even dead ones work in current. This article may contain affiliate links. Cons: Suckers can be tough to acquire. Fish this presentation any later and it will greatly lose its effectiveness as rainbow trout will stop actively hunting for eggs. Season: Suckers work year-round. Best fished with jerk bait type action Length: 2.5 in. It can be either natural or artificial. Season: For sure, fishing grasshoppers during summer is your best bet. Reservoir rainbow trout also hit minnows during the dead of summer. Pros: Baitfish make up a large portion of an adult rainbow trout’s annual diet. Cast upstream of a large pool and allow bait to drift into the middle of the pool. When I fish stocked lakes I will often use sweetcorn as bait. Click here to read. You need be very careful if you decide to use live bait. A reel should match your rod and line in order to get the best casting performance as possible. Pros: Smelt are one of the best baits for lake and reservoir rainbow trout. Smelt are really good used drift fishing, trolling, or jigging both dead and alive. A live fish, like a minnow, is the best bait for trout because no trout can resist a small fry swimming within its reach. Let’s take a closer look into each of these live bait options and give you my breakdown of each…. Sometimes bait can even be more productive the lures. When the bite is tough, these 2-inch floating worms fish well drifted through large holes. There are 7 species of Salmon in North American waterways and they are incredibly valued targets for fishermen. (Moon Phases, Seasons, Baits). Dry Fly 6. It is fairly large and heavy, offering trout a substantial meal. Bait is a food item that is placed on the hook to entice fish. I will admit it. You’ll get a specially curated box of bait mailed to your door every month that you can’t find in stores. You may occasionally find them in larger rivers but never in small streams. Despite their ugly and prickly appearance, they can be incredible rainbow trout bait. Suckers are naturally occurring in rivers and streams as well as in inlet streams that fill into reservoirs. FreshwaterFishingAdvice is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Look under logs, large flat stones and pieces of plastic. They can be kept in a plastic container with some good quality dirt. We used spinning reels with Power Bait, and sat on the lake shore as quietly as we could. For a complete breakdown of everything you need for trout fishing, click here for my comprehensive trout fishing gear list. At this time of year rainbow trout will feed almost exclusively on salmon eggs. In this article I wrote about what I believe to be the best Rainbow Trout flies that will surely catch you more fish the next time you go out! Great for both Brown trout and farmed Rainbow Trout, sweetcorn is a very easy bait to use. The positioning of their face means they can also drown with the added weight of the hook pulling them down. If hooked improperly, they can die very fast or lose their will to kick. Minnows are great bait for trout. They can be caught in small nets or bought prepackages from a bait shop. You can also find them during the day by looking under any type of object that has been placed on the dirt or ground for a few weeks. They may also be a really nice jigging bait for winter ice trout. It is a terrific lure for trolling up a big rainbow trout. They expect bait to drift a similar way just as you expect a feather to float a certain way. Some waterways forbid the use of minnows altogether. Think of how a feather floats through the air. Spinner (Dressed or Undressed) 8. When you are fishing rainbow trout baits chances are you'll be looking to use a light to ultralight spinning setup. The only real downside I can think of the jokes your buddies will throw at you when they see you open up a can of corn on the river. You can also hook one of the arms instead. Don’t forget color and odor Along with moving bait, trout also prefer a lot of color. Although you can catch trout on nothing more than a hook and a nightcrawler, choosing the best rainbow trout bait to suit your venue will give you the best chance of catching something. Corn ca be used on the same hook as a nightcrawler. Once the salmon lay there eggs in the loose gravel and sand a large percentage of them will over time become dislodged and get dragged off down the river by the natural current. The Best 10 Trout Lures -Rainbow, Brown, Brook and Bull Trout. Bait shops almost never carry sculpins as bait sources. Season: Fathead minnows will work best year-round. Again you want a simple setup using either just a hook on smaller waters and light trout fishing gear or on larger waters a bobber setup or some kind of weight or sinker. An all-round classic bait for both Rainbow trout and Brown trout. For most trout, a whole nightcrawler is overkill, half or third of a worm will do just fine. Their soft interior means puncture by a hook will cause great damage to the crayfish which will likely affect its natural action. Though not as in demand as minnows, trout can consume sculpin as part of their regular diet. How to: Hook a single or multiple kernels of corn to a bait hook and allow the bait to drift freely in the current. That’s not natural. Click here to read my full review of Mystery Tackle Box. The power minnow is a great alternative. Pros: Sculpins are small bottom-dwelling fish that can often be found in mountain and lower-elevation streams. Tulsa World outdoors writer Kelly Bostian walks through some basic trout baits and terminal tackle for beginners. One method to collect them is after it rains at night go out into you back yard on the grass with a flash light and you nearly always just pick them up off of the ground. For best results, select minnows in the 2-3 inch range. The best time I think is during the early summer before waters really heat up. The number one trout fishing line on smaller gear will always be monofilament. The reason why it is thought to be so effective for stocked rainbows is that it will resemble the small feed pellets that the fish will have been reared on from a young age. Add a couple of synthetic shot to the line to pull the bait down into the water a bit and you are good to go. Minnows are competent in both still and moving waters, cold, or warm liquids. I'm addicted to having a big bend in my fishing rod, regardless of what I'm using on the other end. Season: I’ve found the best success fishing shiners during late summer but other fishermen catch rainbows in fall and spring-time as well. Minnows and other smaller bait fish are obviously one the most natural baits for rainbow trout that you can use. Monofilament Line In … How to: Hook a 2-4 inch sucker through the upper lip and allow the bait to swim freely. Struggling grasshoppers are arguably the best land-based bait you could use. They can be easy to catch and cheap to buy at bait or pet shops. Cons: Worms will not work in high-altitude waterways like alpine ponds and streams. Suckers are hardy and are attractive to big rainbows. How to: Don’t waste your time trying to fish crayfish to reservoir trout. Make sure there is a few air holes in the top of the container and that the dirt is kept moist, not too dry and definitely not over-watered. Copyright text 2019 by Lake Ontario Outdoors. You can catch some great size Browns and Rainbows using bait … A single grasshopper will not catch you multiple fish. Small Plug or Jerkbait 10. You may be better off using sculpin-pattern flies like muddler minnows than trying to fish with real sculpin. Live Worms - Live worms, such as night crawlers and red worms, are an excellent bait for rainbow trout. Choosing the best Powerbait for trout however is not always and easy task. Best Places To Fish To Increase Your Chances – Locating Rainbow Trout In A Pond. Berkley Powerbait for trout fishing can be an absolute killer for rainbow trout on stocked waters and to a lesser extent can even catch wild trout on natural streams and rivers. Salmon Eggs Pros: Small crayfish can be a great spring and summer rainbow trout bait in river and stream systems. There are boxes for bass, walleye, catfish, trout, panfish, and even inshore saltwater species. You can of always use a small weight or bobber depending on the types of river or lake that you are fishing on. But if I have my mind set on securing the main ingredients of a trout dinner and live bait is the best way to do it, then you'll probably find a worm on the end of my hook. You ca add an artificial scent to you can of corn if you wish and it may help to attract more fish to the bait. The Most Popular Baits for Catching Rainbow Trout. Although it is somewhat out of fashion these days some fishermen will use live minnows as there bait. Select smelt between 2-4 inches in length. Worms release scent that naturally attracts rainbow trout and they can be fished in all bodies of water with some degree of success. Live bait is a better choice because the unpredictable movements small fish and bugs make will attract predators like rainbow trout. Both can be collected with minnow seines or minnowtraps where permitted. Your best bet may to use minnow traps. Anything heavier and you will lose a lot of sensitivity through the rod. Certain areas hold fish better than others and you have to know how. There are several different rigging methods that you can try but I have found the best method is to use a good quality trout hook and hook them through the back. © 2020 Copyright Freshwater Fishing Advice, 10 Best Live Baits to Use Fishing for Rainbow Trout, If you want an unfair advantage over other anglers and to get your hands on some of the best and hardest to acquire baits and lures on the market, you need to check out Mystery Tackle Box. Soft-shelled who have freshly molted are the best options but hard-shelled crayfish can work. It gives the trout some to focus on from a further distance and may increase your strike rate versus just a plain nightcrawler. So what are the best baits for hatchery trout if you want to go out and catch a few of these "farm raised" rainbows? Most bait shops don’t sell them and they can be tough to catch on a fishing line. How to: The best way to fish with salmon eggs is to tie on small roe bags or individual egged threaded on a hook. Several types of bait are commonly used in stock lakes. Power should be light to ultralight. Large reservoir fish dine on smelt as part of their regular diet in many waterways. Using PowerBait for trout is pretty simple to use, just take a small piece out of the tub and form it over your hook. Once they begin to acclimatize to their new environment they will quickly learn what natural foods are available and start to focus on those depending on the time of year. Sculpins are plentiful and make excellent trout bait in the 2-3 inch range. I grew up fishing for anything that swims but really cut my teeth fishing for trout, chain pickerel, bass, and bullheads in my teenage years. Hopefully we can take some of the guess work out of how you approach fishing with this artificial bait. They don’t put up the best fight like your bass, salmon and northern pike, but they sure make up for it in taste. They can be allowed to free swim, jigged, or trolled in both rivers and lakes. Depth: 2-4 ft. Sound: Rattle; Berkley Gulp Floating Trout Worm – Soft-plastics are deadly trout lures that few anglers fish. If you are going to buy these fish at a bait shop, make sure you keep the receipt as game wardens may demand proof these minnows were purchased locally. When bait fishing for trout in lakes, we are using hooks and equipment to set the bait in the water with the hopes that the fish will find our bait and eat it. A single kernel on a small size #12 hook below a bobber or pencil float is all you need. There is no point in using a 7 foot rod on a small stream or creek as it will be too awkward to be usable. Both PowerBait and Pautzke produce artificial salmon eggs that come in a large range of colors and scents. Sculpinsand madtoms also are excellent trout baits, as both those small fish ofteninhabit cold trout waters. Line weight will depend on where you fish and just how big the rainbow trout may grow to in that area. You can buy tubs of nightcrawlers or worms in most local bait and tackle shops. There are a variety of trout such as the brown trout, lake trout, brook trout and probably the most well-known, rainbow trout. Pros: Corn is obviously not a “live bait” but it can be highly effective for rainbow trout. Some large rainbow trout will devour them whereas others may completely ignore them even if hungry. Suspend from a bobber or float, float off the bottom with a marshmallow or other floating bait, drift in the current, or add to a trolled or cast lure. They also don’t work well in lakes and reservoirs for trout. Most ice fishermen don't put a ton of thought towards the diameter of their holes, how much distance is between each, their pattern, or what depth of water they position over. They are also easier to handle and to put directly onto a hook. During the summer, grasshoppers accidentally jump or fall into both ponds and stream-systems. You can ice fish with corn too. You’ll get a specially curated box of bait mailed to your door every month that you can’t find in stores. It is available in a large range of colors and different scents. Pros: Suckers can be a really good trout bait in all water systems. During this window, rainbow trout spend much of their time rummaging through the bottom debris looking for food and a small sculpin is a natural prey they’ll encounter. Smelt can be available at some bait stores alive and can be bought dead as well. How to: Hook sculpin through the upper lip. They stay on a hook well and will naturally attract big rainbow trout. In moving water, grasshoppers may be carried both away from the bank and downstream by the current. How to: You can jig, cast, or troll fathead minnows. They are usually easy to collect yourself from gardens and mulch piles. Here are the 5 best Rainbow Trout flies . Some of the colors even have glitter running through which can help as an added attractor to trout. The biggest key when using live worms as bait for trout is … If you happen to be fishing for stocked trout then PowerBait may well be your first choice. FreshwaterFishingAdvice is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. 1. Many states are now banning the process so always make sure to read your local fishing regulations before using live fish as bait. Regardless of the method you’ll use to fish with them, always hook the minnow through the lip to allow for natural swimming action and minimal damage to the minnow. Krocodile spoons are best used in larger rivers and lakes. Wet Fly 5. 2. I am an avid angler and outdoorsman. Always hook the bait through the lips to ensure it is as healthy and lively as possible. Quite a good number of fly fishermen didn't start that way. Salmon Eggs 2. They want the thrill of the chase, and they’re attracted to the movement. Minnows can be found in many trout waterways so they are naturally going to be a great source. Check your local salmon run time frames. On large rivers and lakes, trolling for trout with suckers can also be effective. To fish for river and stream fish, hook a crayfish between 2-3 inches long through the midsection of the tail. If you can time your fishing with salmon runs, you may also enjoy good success. Anything else will make the rod feel unbalanced. Allow the hopper to kick and swim at the surface. The small white grubs provide a tasty wriggly snack that trout struggle to refuse. Using a simple setup you can drift a salmon egg down and across a river to great effect. Well, since these trout aren't used to eating "natural" forage, but rather are used to being fed small pellets, the answer begins and ends with one word, Powerbait. There are boxes for bass, walleye, catfish, trout, panfish, and even inshore saltwater species. The Most Effective Baits. You may be able to catch some using crayfish during early fall as well. Minnows and other smaller bait fish are obviously one the most natural baits for rainbow trout that you can use. Cast above large pools and let the current carry your bait to waiting trout. As far as tackle is concerned, rainbow trout can be skittish, and thicker lines can make them shy away from bait. During major salmon runs, minnows lose their effectiveness since trout become so focused on consuming eggs while they last. It is an artificial trout bait dough like substance that has a scent infused into it. Want to Know the Best Time of Day to Fish? It will also not be suitable for using with light lines. Cons: Minnows can be tough to acquire if you don’t want to buy them at a bait shop. Season: Corn will work year-round. Smelt may be tough to acquire from bait stores or catching them yourselves. They are also active at night, which helps during dusk or night fishing. Most anglers will choose a spinning reel for trout fishing as there number one choice, baitcasters are rarely used. Hookbaitfish through the lips with a size 4 or 6, thin-wire, short-shanked hook. Smaller fish are the natural prey of most trout as they grow. You can of course use artificial trout fishing lures that imitate small minnows and nymphs instead of bait. Cons: They aren’t useful in the wintertime. Corn is one of the cheapest and readily available bait for rainbow trout. Cons: There aren’t many cons honestly. Rainbows are often stocked into various ponds, lakes and rivers and when they are newly introduced they will tend to feed on what is closed to the foods they were given in the hatchery. However, if you now that the trout are not long out of the hatchery and they are not wild in the water for too long then something like PowerBait or corn may be the best choice to try first. There are several different rigging methods that you can try but I have found the best method is to use a good quality trout hook and hook them through the back. The best bait for Rainbow Trout often starts as Salmon Eggs, and ends in Elk Hair Caddis. Deli shrimp - Cooked deli shrimps are readily available at your local grocery stores. Cons: They can be very hard to acquire unless you are willing to catch your own. This location will ensure optimum health of the grasshopper and keep it from being pulled under the water unless you are using a heavy hook. You may occasionally find them in larger rivers but never in small streams. Any crayfish larger than 3 inches likely will be ignored by trout. Using natural bait for trout has a number of advantages over hardware or flies. Worms are also not a naturally occurring part of a trout’s diet. Smelt is a luxury bait that works great but is tough to come by. How to: Hook medium-to-large grasshoppers through the back behind the head and before the base of the wings. Small Spoon 9. Nightcrawlers are without doubt the all time classic brown trout bait but they are also extremely effective for rainbow trout. You can use this fact to great advantage. Bait fishing for trout may be the best bet for beginner trout fisherman. You can remember this as you begin your search. It seems like just about any fish will consume a worm if presented in the correct way. Always try to match what the trout are feeding on first before you try and use an artificial bait. It’s useless to fish them during the winter. They are also extremely hardy and resilient. Dead shiners are typically allowed but they may not be as effective as living shiners. Rainbow trout chase bait that has a slow and easy drift. How to: Always hook live or dead shiners through the lips for best results. Season: Your best bet to catch rainbow trout with worms or nightcrawlers is during the late spring and summer. Corn is incredibly inexpensive and produces a good trout attracting scent. Streamer (Fly) Let’s break each of these baits down further and learn how to fish with them… 1. The baits can be fished like a jig or suspended in the water column using a bobber or float. The most commonly used line for trout bait fishing is monofilament, with breaking strains between 6-8lb. Spring and fall are good bets. The best spot for rainbow trout is usually around the bank. Conversely on a larger fast flowing river or lake a small rod won't have enough backbone to cast the longer distances. The classic red or orange are the most productive as they imitate the natural eggs that trout are used to feeding on. Smelt are really good used drift fishing, trolling, or jigging both dead and alive. Powerbait from Berkley has to be my number one choice. Canned corn is an effective bait, partly because corn meal is a principal ingredient in the fish food served to trout raised in hatcheries, but also because kernels of corn stay on the hook better than other soft baits. I’ve learned that ice fishing and early fall seem to be some of the best times to fish with minnows. They are also free form your back yard if you are inclined to put in a small bit of effort. You will need a fast action rod that has a lot of tip sensitivity for lighter lures and baits. Rainbow trout aren't huge fish, and using a medium power rod will likely mean that you won't feel the fish fight much. Diverge from this expectation and the trout will reject your lure or bait. Now this is obviously the simplified version of bait fishing. Crayfish are easy to catch and hardy baits. This is because, when fishing specifically from shore, it’s important to realize that these fish have been farm-raised and stocked into the lake. Pros: Grasshoppers are a favorite naturally occurring food source for all species of trout. Pros: Shiners are a readily available food source for many river and reservoir rainbow trout especially in the mountain states. Pros: Worms can be an effective trout bait in most waterways they are found. Since then, I've lived across the country and have really taken that passion for fishing to a new level. Too much weight will drag your lure or bait. Live Worms & Maggots: Perhaps the easiest of the bunch to fish, live worms and maggots are simple to use and deadly on trout. Check with your state fishing regulations on the legality of trapping and using suckers as fishing bait. That being said, the best bait for rainbow trout are: Nightcrawlers. Its use is pretty basic, all you need to do is: 1. Nymph (Fly) 4. Although it is not a natural food item for rainbow trout, they seem to love it! Maggots have been a firm favourite bait for trout anglers for decades. Lake Ontario Outdoors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. It looks pretty similar to a salmon egg when moving through the water. It can either be the fresh smell of a live bait that emanates fear hormones, or the putrid stench of a bashed up small fish that can be carried by the water currents. Some people even think a kernel of corn may trick a rainbow trout into believing it’s a salmon egg. I think the best way to present sculpin to trout is by letting the current carry the bait into deep pools where big trout are likely sitting. 1. Some of the best baits to use when fishing for trout are Powerbait and Eagle Claw Nitro Bait. They can be caught in small nets or bought prepackages from a bait shop. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. For smaller creeks and streams a 2 or 4 lb rated monofilament should be good enough once you move to larger waters then it is time to move up to 6 lb line. Cons: These likely won’t work as rainbow bait in moving water. This minimizes damage to the sculpin and allow it to swim about free. Presented on the right day, maggots can outfish artificial baits. An occasional worm may get swept downstream during a rain event but worms are not actively crawling on the river bottom like crayfish and sculpin are. A slow retrieve with really small twitches of the rod tip will help to add some life to them as they move through the water. Season: Within 1 month following a major salmon run in that river system. These lines provide enough strength to deal with both ledgering and lure fishing tactics. Trout find them irresistible, so anglers should too. For a complete breakdown of everything you need for trout fishing, If you’d like to learn more about rainbow trout fishing, check out our, link to Will Salmon Bite at Night?