So you’re looking to catch more trout?
I have gathered the best tips to help you catch rainbow trout. These are the best tips and tricks that I have researched and personally used.
Once you start using these tips, your rainbow trout fishing game will improve.
These fish are not hard to catch but can be picky depending on the day. With that in mind, let’s look at the top 10 proven strategies for catching rainbow trout.
Trout Fishing Tips and Tricks
If you are new to trout fishing make sure to checkout my Beginner Guide for Trout Fishing. This guide will help you get setup with a rig and understand the fundamentals of fishing.
Now onto the tips and tricks that made my top 10 list. This list is not in order of importance.
All these tips combined will help you land your next rainbow trout.
Bonus Pro Tip: Use Sharp Hooks
Using sharp hooks is the most overlooked and pro tip I have received when fishing. I was using cheap Eagle Claw hooks and I was losing fish when they were biting my lure.
Once I switched over to higher quality hooks, I never missed a hook set from a bite since the fish was already hooked.
Checkout this guide for Buying the Best Hooks for Trout. It will dramatically improve your trout fishing experience.
10. Fish Density
Simply put, fish where the fish are! Your best odds of landing a fish is to make sure that you’re fishing in the right body of water.
So research ahead of time which ponds, lakes, and rivers are stocked with fish.
If you’re fishing for wild fish then research when and where these fish travel during the different seasons. The same fishing hole may not be a good spot year round.
If you are fishing for stocked rainbow trout then be sure to research in advance how to find trout near you.
The best tip for increasing your chances of catching rainbow trout is to check the stocking schedules. They usually stock thousands of trout so your odds increase drastically when you fish at those spots.
9. Trout Fishing Depth
Weather plays a crucial role in how deep fish are in the water column. Trout might be near the surface on a cloudy day, but once it turns sunny the trout will be deeper.
There are a couple reasons for this. Remember trout are cold water fish so they tend to like cooler water. Sunny days mean warmer water near the surface so they go deeper.
So when its overcast or raining you can fish for trout at the bottom, middle, or top of the water column.
Sunny days mean you’re limited to the bottom or middle column. That means on sunny days you need to let you bait go lower in the water.
I have also noticed that before a storm the trout seem to go into a feeding frenzy.
Something about cold weather changes get the trout all riled up.
8. Different Bait Options for Trout
Trout can be really picky eaters so what works at one lake may not work at another. Heck what works one day may not even work the next at the same exact spot!
So you need to have different options.
I recommend having a form of natural bait such as nightcrawlers, eggs, minnows, etc.
You should also have some artificial bait such as PowerBait just in case the natural bait isn’t working.
It’s all about presenting different options to see what the trout are liking that day. Think about yourself, some days you want pizza and other days you want a burger. Fish are the same way.
Be sure to checkout this list of the best bait for trout fishing so you can see when and why you should use each one.
This will help you determine which bait options you want to carry with you when you go fishing.
7. Change Your Bait Colors
Have I mentioned that trout can be picky?
Well these fish have great eyesight and some days a green bait will work while other days a brown one will do better.
You just never know so bring options!
When selecting your bait colors make sure to choose something that will stand out in the water.
You want your bait to get noticed so choosing a green PowerBait when the water is murky and has a ton of seaweed is not a smart choice.
Using a neon orange PowerBait will be a better option. Remember that if one color is not working to just switch it up before changing spots.
6. Trout Fishing Lures
Once you get setup with your bait you should bring a few trout fishing lures.
Personally lures are the most fun to catch trout with versus bait fishing where you’re waiting for a bite.
This is where people can start to go crazy with the amount of lures they have. You can have different styles, colors, weights, and hook sizes, but keep it simple in the beginning.
Just pickup 3 lures to start with and you will find your favorites.
Here are the Top 10 Best Trout Fishing Lures to help you decide which ones to get.
5. Trout Can Smell Bait
Trout have a very good sense of smell by using special holes called “nares” to sniff in the water.
So this means you can increase your chances of catching rainbow trout by using smelly bait.
I’ve gone through an entire jar of garlic scented PowerBait before I’ve used any of the other colors because it simply works the best.
The color is a mild yellow so it’s definitely the garlic smell that gets trout biting.
You can apply these garlic scents to your bait and lures.
Nothing smells better than some garlic PowerBait dipped in garlic fish attractant.
I’ve also heard anise attractant works well for trout as well as other fish.
4. Trout Can See
Trout have great eyesight so you will want to change up the presentation of your bait and lures.
This is a fancy way of saying hook your bait differently or try different setups.
For example, you can hook a worm in the middle or through one end. This will change how the worm moves in the water.
You can also use a 1 foot leader and a weight which will cause the worm to be suspended from the bottom.
All of this changes how the bait is presented to the fish.
Another thing to keep in mind is that stocked trout grew up on fish pellets in the hatchery.
This is one of the reasons why PowerBait works so well since you can mold it to look like a hatcery pellet.
3. Trout Fishing Location
This tip is similar to the fish density tip. You want to fish where the fish are, so where have the rainbow trout been stocked?
Are there areas where water move in or out of the body of water you’re fishing?
Stocked trout will remain in the stocked area for 3-10 days depending on the species.
So this means you will find a higher density of trout where these fish were stocked. Normally this is by a boat loading dock since hatcheries typically stock fish using a truck.
Trout tend to hang around inlet and outlets of water since these bring nutrients into the water.
Trout also like to swim up and down moving water so be sure to try fishing these areas.
2. Plan Your Trip
You should always plan your fishing trips if you want to increase your odds of catching some fish.
This might sound intimidating but planning your trip only takes a few minutes before you leave.
As we’ve mentioned on this list you will want to check:
- Where are these trout stocked?
- When was the most recent stocking date?
- What does the weather look like?
- Are you fishing from the shore, dock, or boat?
Once you answer these questions you can plan out your trip.
This helps you setup your rig properly for the bait or lures you’ll be using.
1. Sit and Watch
The best tip I’ve received was to just sit and watch.
If there are other anglers there then you can just sit and enjoy the beautiful nature views for a few minutes. You should also be able to tell how often people are catching fish.
Notice how people are catching trout when you’re watching. Are they using a bobber and fishing the top column?
Are they using a weight with PowerBait and fishing off the bottom?
Noticing these things will help you since you just need to replicate what’s working to catch your own rainbow trout.
I hope these tips and tricks help you land your next rainbow trout.
The moral of the story is to keep testing different combinations until something works.
If you found this list helpful then please share this with your fishing crew and add this to your Pinterest board by clicking on the image above.
Frequently Asked Questions About Trout Fishing
Q: Can trout smell my bait?
A: Yes trout can smell your bait in the water, along with see it, and even taste it. They can be a picky fish which is why you should read through this list of tips and tricks.
Q: When is the best time to go trout fishing?
A: Some people recommend the mornings while others swear by the evenings. No one truly knows when the best times are so you should bring a variety of bait and lure options. If you have different choices then one of your lures or baits will work.
Q: Where to go trout fishing near me?
A: If you are fishing for stocked rainbow trout then be sure to research in advance how to find trout near you using that guide.