Does Corn Kill Trout? The Truth About Using Corn for Trout

Using corn as fish bait is a tried and tested method that works for various types of fish. However, there’s a popular misconception that corn damages the digestive system of trout fish in particular or that they die after consuming corn.

So, does corn kill trout? No, corn doesn’t kill trout. While trout may not be able to fully digest hard corn, it can still pass through their digestive system. If you want to make sure there are no harmful consequences, you can cook corn until it’s soft, which will make it easier for trout to swallow and digest.

Continue reading to learn more about what makes corn an effective bait and how to rig corn for trout.

What Makes Corn Effective as Bait?


Corn is one of the most effective types of natural baits. It’s commonly used by trout anglers for many reasons.

Let’s take a look at some of those reasons:

  • Corn is inexpensive compared to artificial baits or salmon fish eggs.
  • Corn kernels will stay on the hook better than the majority of soft baits
  • Corn is easy to transport and easy to rig.
  • Corn won’t spoil easily and you don’t always have to cook it.
  • The bright yellow color of corn will be very visible to the fish if you are fishing in murky waters.
  • It can be used in the early season when the insects that trout feed on are not hatched.
  • You can use any kind of corn. However, canned whole kernel corn is usually the most common choice. There’s also floating or sinking artificial corn.

You can learn more about why Corn attracts fish here.

Does Corn Work for Trout?

Yes, corn does work for tout. That is because corn is the main ingredient in the fish food served to trout fish that are raised in hatcheries. It can effectively mimic the look of eggs of other fish. The bright yellow color of corn can also grab the trout’s attention and get them to bite.

Is Corn Bad for Trout?

No, corn is not bad for trout. If you cook corn until it’s soft enough, trout will be able to swallow it and it will pass easily through their digestive system. However, trout may also swallow the corn-baited hook when they bite and removing the hook from their gut will most likely kill them.

How to Rig Corn for Trout?

To get a successful result when fishing for trout using corn bait, you first need to learn how to rig it correctly.

When rigging corn bait, you need to put it directly onto the hook and avoid using larger hooks because the corn kernels could easily fall off of them.

There are two popular methods of rigging corn. Let’s break down the steps for each method:

Simple Corn Rig

For this method, you’ll need a small hook, a small split shot weight, a bobber, and a monofilament fishing line with 4-to-6-pound test

The steps:

  • Tie the hook to the fishing line using a clinch knot.
  • Add 1-3 corn kernels directly to the hook and make sure to slide them down to completely cover the hook. 
  • Add the split-shot weight up the fishing line at about 1-to-2 feet from the hook.
  • Loop the bobber onto the fishing line at about 4-to-6 feet up the line.
  • You can change the length from the bobber and the hook according to the depth at which you’re going to fish

Advanced Pop Up Corn Rig

For this method, you’ll need a threading needle, a coated hook link line, a hair stop, a rig ring, and silicone tubing

The steps:

  • Slide two kernels of floating corn on the threading needle. 
  • Thread the hook link line through the two corn kernels then tie the hair stop to hold them in place.
  • Tie the rig ring on the link line on the opposite side from the hair stop. It’s recommended to use an overhand knot.
  • Insert the hook tip through the rig ring. 
  • Thread the eyelet of the hook through the end of the link line and tie it using a knotless knot.
  • Slide a small piece of silicone tubing over the eyelet of the hook.
  • Add the small split-shot weight at about an inch above the hook and add the bobber at about 4-to-6 feet up the fishing line.
  • You can change the length from the bobber and the hook according to the depth at which you’re going to fish

You can also use a Fake Corn Rig, and they do work pretty well.

Here is the rig I use the most often and have been pretty effective so far:

You can check this fake corn rig on Amazon here.

Is It Legal to Fish with Corn as Bait?

Fishing with corn as bait is legal in some areas and illegal in others.

The reason it could be illegal in some areas is that corn breaks down slower than other natural baits because of its relatively tough shell.

In water bodies that contain small fish, using corn as bait will be harmful to the fish as they won’t be able to digest it and it might kill them

Corn also leaves an unappealing mess in the water and the uneaten corn kernels that are left behind might attract other animals which corn could be harmful to as well.

Fishing with corn where it’s illegal can lead to facing charges. So, it’s very important to check the regulations of your state regarding using corn as bait. If it’s not stated in the official regulations, it’s best to contact your local officials and ask them before using corn to fish.

Related Questions

What Do Trout Fish Feed On?

Trout fish mostly feed on dragonfly nymphs, leeches, caddis fly nymphs, snails, smaller forage fish and many other aquatic invertebrates. Trout normally can largely be found in the weedy or muddy areas where their food resides.

Can You Fish for Trout Using Live Bait?

Yes, you can fish for trout using live bait. It’s more effective than using artificial lures. The best live baits to use when fishing for trout are small live minnows, spikes, mealworms, and wax worms. Live bait can be found at tackle shops and it’s recommended to rig it on a small hook.

What’s The Best Hook Size for Trout Fishing?

The best hook size for trout fishing would be 8 to 14. That is because trout fish have an excellent sense of sight which gives them the ability to detect hooks easily, especially in clear water. So, it’s recommended to choose a suitable hook size to increase your chances of successfully landing more trout.

Helpful Resources 

Is fishing with corn illegal in the US?

Level Up your Trout Fishing

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