Trout Fishing Lures: Tips and Techniques for Catching More Fish

Matt Johnson
Matt JohnsonPublished: March 29, 2023
Trout Fishing Lures: Tips and Techniques for Catching More Fish

Are you tired of coming home empty-handed after a day of fishing? Maybe it's time to switch up your trout fishing lures.

Trout are notoriously picky eaters, so finding the right lure can make all the difference.

Fortunately, we have experts on our staff that will explore the best trout fishing lures and techniques to help you catch more fish.

Understand trout behavior, and you'll catch trout.

Before we dive into the best trout fishing lures, it's important to understand a bit about trout behavior. Trout are cold-blooded fish that prefer cool water temperatures between 50-60°F. They are often found in clear, fast-moving streams and rivers, and they are most active during low-light conditions such as dawn and dusk.

Trout are also known for their keen eyesight, making them highly selective when it comes to food. They will often examine a lure closely before deciding whether to bite or not. With this in mind, it's important to choose lures that look and move like real food.

The best trout lures.

There are literally thousands of different trout lures on the market, so it can be hard to know where to start.

Don't worry; our pro anglers put together their best and favorite trout lures to help you get started. It's worth noting that these aren't in a particular order or for any specific kind of trout. Whether you're after a brown trout or a rainbow trout, there's a good chance you'll get lucky with these.

Spinners

Trout Spinners

Spinners are one of the most popular trout fishing lures, and for good reason. They're an absolute trout magnet! They imitate small fish and insects, and their spinning motion creates a vibration that attracts fish. Since trout feed on small fish and insects, you're essentially fooling trout into thinking it's a meal. Try a Mepps Aglia or a Rooster Tail spinner in gold or silver.

Spoons

Trout Spoons

Spoons are another great trout lure for catching trout. Like their spinner counterparts, spoons mimic small fish or insects and have a wobbling motion that attracts fish. Our experts recommend trying a Blue Fox Vibrax or a Johnson Silver Minnow spoon in gold or silver.

Crankbaits

Trout Crankbait

Crankbaits imitate small fish and have a diving or wobbling action that attracts fish. It's almost like a wounded fish or a dying baitfish. The wary trout sees this, and the trout strikes hoping to make it its next meal. You might want to try a Rapala Original Floating Minnow or a Rebel Crawdad crankbait in natural colors.

Jigs

Trout Jigs

Jigs are versatile lures that can be fished in a variety of ways. They imitate insects, small fish, or crawfish and can be tipped with live bait for added attraction. We really like fishing streams with jigs. Once in the water, give a little rod tip to give the lure some action.

Be ready because you'll probably snag up a big trout. A couple you may want to try includes a marabou jig or a Berkley Gulp! Minnow jig in natural colors.

Flies

Trout Flies

From small streams to lakes with stocked trout, fly fishing is a popular method for trout fishing, and there are countless fly patterns to choose from. These are probably the best trout lures you can use if you're serious about trout. Some popular patterns include the Woolly Bugger, Elk Hair Caddis, and Adams Dry Fly. Some trout anglers even make their own flies. Be sure to use a very light line and a small float to let the trout magnets do the rest.

From pro trout anglers: Techniques for using trout fishing lures.

While we're at it, we had our professional anglers chime in on some of the best techniques to use when fishing with trout lures. If you're new to the game, you might want to try these out, and hopefully, you bring in some big fish. You can't go wrong with these trout fishing techniques.

  • Match the hatch: Pay attention to the insects and other small creatures around the water, and choose a lure that imitates them. This can make all the difference in getting a bite. Remember when we mentioned spinning tackle? This is why.
  • Use a very light line: Trout have sharp eyesight, so using a light line (4-6 lb test) can make your lure look more natural. Stay away from weights that can draw attention to your lines, such as split shot weights. Also, keep the line tight as it reduces the line's visibility in the water.
  • Retrieve slowly: Trout often prefer a slow-moving lure, so reel in your lure slowly and steadily. A steady retrieve will also help you detect any bites.
  • Try different depths: Trout can be found at different depths depending on the time of day and water temperature. Experiment with different depths until you find where the fish are biting.
  • Vary your techniques: We've listed several different lures and techniques for catching trout, but even the biggest trout change their feeding behavior once in a while. Change up your technique every once in a while to see what works best for the fish in that particular body of water. Experiment with different speeds, depths, and retrieves. You never know which will be the one that brings home the big one.
  • Be patient: Trout can be picky eaters, so don't be discouraged if you don't get a bite right away. Keep trying different lures and techniques until you find what works.

If you put those trout fishing techniques to work, you'll definitely increase your catch rate. Pair these with the best trout fishing lures that we listed above and you have a recipe for dominating your next trout fishing trip.

FAQs for trout fishing.

Our experts get a lot of questions about trout fishing, so we decided to put together a few of the most commonly asked questions about trout lures and techniques.

What is the best time of day to fish for trout?

Trout are most active during low light conditions such as dawn and dusk, so early morning or late afternoon/evening is the best time to fish for trout.

What size lures should I use for trout fishing?

It's best to use smaller lures for trout fishing, as they prefer smaller prey. Try lures between 1/16 to 1/4 oz.

Can I use live bait for trout fishing?

Yes, live bait can be very effective for trout fishing. Try using worms, minnows, or crickets. Many anglers will also use a combination of live bait and lures.

What is the best type of rod for trout fishing?

A lightweight rod with fast action is best for trout fishing, as it allows for more control and sensitivity.

How do I know if I'm using the right lure?

Pay attention to the behavior of the fish. If they are ignoring your lure, try switching to a different one or adjusting your technique until you find what works. As we mentioned, you want to try to imitate life around the water.

What are the best hooks for trout?

We prefer to use treble hooks to catch trout. These are the types of hooks you typically find on a trout lure, such as a crankbait or spinnerbait. Since trout usually have smaller mouths, make sure you choose a size 8 or 10 treble hook.

How deep should I be fishing for trout?

The depth is really based on the water temperature. Most trout prefer water temps around 50-60°F or so. That means they'll go to the deep water to find that temperature on a hot day. Try to get your baits to the perfect depth based on temperature. While you're there, try to finesse presentation and manage your sink rate to keep the trout's meal in the ideal water column.

What's your favorite kind of trout?

That's a tough one. Our favorite trout to catch is the brown trout. That's because they're really smart fish. They'll try to find a structure to get under with hopes of breaking your line. As for our favorite to eat, we think the best trout is the rainbow trout. They're absolutely delicious!

You're ready to catch brook, rainbow, and brown trout like a pro!

Trout fishing can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By understanding trout behavior and using the right lures and techniques, you can increase your chances of catching more fish.

We recommend loading up your tackle box with a variety of the lures we mentioned (or similar lures) and experimenting with different depths and speeds until you find what works.

Remember to match the hatch, use a light line, retrieve slowly, try different depths, and be patient. With these tips and tricks, you'll be a trout fishing pro in no time.

Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson

Master Outdoorsman

Matt is a seasoned outdoorsman with expertise in fishing, hunting, and wildlife. With a Master's degree in Wildlife Science, he combines his passion for nature with conservation efforts, sharing his knowledge through his writing for Fish and Game Report.

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