Trout Jumping and Not Biting? Try These Solutions NOW

Anglers will often see trout swimming close to the water’s surface or jumping out of the water. This usually means that trout are active and feeding. However, in some cases, they might still not be interested in biting on bait.

So, why are trout jumping but not biting? The main reason why trout are jumping but not biting is that you’re presenting them with the wrong baits. Another reason is that they are going through a spawning period. During spawning, trout tend to stay close to the surface and might jump out of the water but they will not be interested in feeding at all.

keep reading to learn more about why trout jump out of the water and why they might not be biting your bait.

Why Do Trout Jump Out of the Water?

trout jumping and not biting out of a spillway

Researchers have been studying why some fish species like trout jump out of the water and they found out it happens for multiple reasons.

The main reason why trout jump out of the water is to clean their gills and bodies from debris or parasites.

When trout feed at the bottom of the water, they are more likely to consume some harmful substances along with their food. These substances can get stuck on the trout’s body and inside their gills. So, jumping out of the water will help dislodge them.

Another common reason trout jump out of the water is to stabilize their swim bladders so they can swim comfortably at different depths.

When trout move from deep water to shallow water or vice versa, their bladders will start to swell which can be very uncomfortable. So, jumping out of the water will help force the air out of their bladders through the esophagus and stabilize it.

Trout might also jump out of the water during their spawning season. They will move to shallow areas of the water and the males will start jumping as they become restless. It’s also believed that the females will start jumping and thrashing to loosen their eggs.

Why Won’t Trout Bite When Jumping?

There are various reasons why trout won’t bite on your bait even though they are active and jumping.

The main reason is that you’re not presenting them with the right kind of baits or lures.  If the trout are active, it usually means they will be feeding. If you don’t use baits or lures that are similar to what they normally feed on, then the trout won’t bite

Another reason is that you’re not presenting your bait correctly. Trout jump when they’re swimming near the surface of the water. So, if you’re casting the bait too deeply, the trout will not be able to detect or bite.

Finally, trout are highly unlikely to bite on your bait even if it’s presented correctly if they’re going through a spawning period. That is because trout are not interested in feeding at all when they spawn.

What to Do When Trout Won’t Bite?

Fish that are jumping tend to be more challenging to catch because they will be much more cautious when feeding near the surface of the water.

However, as long as the trout are not spawning, you can easily get them to bite using these 5 simple solutions:

Make sure you’re targeting them at the right place and time

The best places to target trout are areas with heavy cover as this is where they typically hunt their prey. While the best time to target them is early in the morning as this is when they will be the most active because the water temperature will be cold and the oxygen levels in the water will be higher.

Make sure you’re using the right bait

They have a very diverse diet as they will feed on everything from insects to crustaceans to small baitfish. So It’s usually recommended to use natural baits when targeting them. I highly recommend trying these powerbaits for fishing Trout as I’ve found them to be really effective.

Make sure you’re using the right lure

If you’re going to use artificial lures to target trout, it’s recommended to choose lures that are designed to imitate the appearance and movement of live bait that trout normally feed on.

You also need to choose the right lure size. If the lure is too big for the trout’s mouth, it will not be able to bite.

Make sure to match your lure color to the water conditions

Trout have a strong sense of vision which allows them to detect your lure underwater and even distinguish its color. This is why you need to consider the water conditions when choosing a lure for trout

It’s recommended to use bright-colored lures when fishing for trout in clear waters and on sunny days, while darker-colored lures are more suitable when fishing in murkier waters and on overcast days.

Make sure the trout cannot sense your presence

Trout can be easily spooked, especially if they are swimming near the surface of the water.

So, you might want to make sure trout are not aware of your presence by reducing your noise and avoiding any sudden movements.

You also need to keep your distance far enough to avoid scaring the fish, but close enough to be able to cast your bait or lure effectively.

Related Questions

How High Can Trout Jump Out of the Water?

Trout can jump up to 2 feet out of the water which is 4.7 times the body length of a small-sized trout. The height trout can reach when jumping depends mostly on the depth of the plunge pool at the bottom. The deeper the plunge, the more height the trout can reach when jumping.

When Do Trout Spawn?

Trout usually spawn in the spring, from late March to early May. However, some trout species will spawn in the fall, from September to November. During spawning, the trout’s colors will change and they will become very aggressive. They will also stop feeding and biting until spawning is over.

What Lures Are Best for Trout Fishing?

The best lures for trout fishing are crankbaits, spinnerbaits, spoons, plastic worms, and plastic mice tails. That is because these kinds of lures can effectively imitate the appearance and movement of live baits that trout normally feed on which grabs the attention of trout fish and get them to bite.

Helpful Resources 

Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (you can check the book on Amazon here)

Level Up your Trout Fishing

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