When targeting challenging game fish like trout, you need to be prepared with the best lures to increase your chances of grabbing their attention and getting them to bite.
There are many lures available on the market with various designs, sizes, and colors. Your choice will mainly depend on your fishing technique, the size of the trout you’re targeting, and the water conditions you’re fishing in.
So, what are the best lures for trout? The best lures for trout fish include spinners, spoons, crankbaits, plastic worms, dough bait, and plastic mice tails. That is because these kinds of lures can effectively imitate the appearance and action of what trout normally feed on which makes them very appealing to trout and entices them to bite.
Continue reading to learn more about what trout feed on and what lures are the most effective for trout fishing.
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What Do Trout Feed On?
There are several trout species that can be found in the United States including rainbow trout, steelhead trout, cutthroat trout, brown trout, brook trout, lake trout, and speckled trout.
All trout species are not selective when it comes to their diet. They usually prefer to feed on small baitfish such as minnows, insects larvae, dragon and caddis fly nymphs, worms, leeches, snails, and crustaceans such as shrimp.
Are Live Baits More Effective for Trout Fishing?
Since trout’s diet consists mostly of baitfish and insects, live baits are usually more effective for catching them. That is because trout are attracted to the natural scent and action produced by live bait.
However, this doesn’t mean trout will only ever bite on live baits. There are some artificial lures that can imitate the scent, action, and appearance of live bait which will effectively get trout to bite.
How to Choose the Best Lures for Trout?
When choosing your trout lures, there are many things you need to consider to ensure the trout will find your lure attractive and bite on it.
The most important thing is the lure color. Since trout have sharp eyesight, they can see lures underwater, Trout can even recognize the colors of lures underwater. So, you need to select a lure that will stand out against the water conditions you’re fishing in.
If you’re fishing in clear water with more light, you can go with brightly colored lures. On the other hand, darker colored lures work better if you’re fishing in murky water with less light.
You can also experiment with different colors in different conditions to see which one is going to work the best for you.
Another important thing to consider is the lure design. As mentioned before, trout are mostly attracted to live baits, so it’s best to select a lure that imitates the natural scent, appearance, and action of live bait as much as possible.
The depth of the water you’re fishing in can also affect your choice of the lure as some lures are designed for fishing in shallow water such as topwater lures while other lures are designed for fishing in deep waters such as spinners.
There are also some lures that are designed for fishing in both shallow and deep water depending on how you rig them such as dough and soft plastic lures.
Finally, the size of your lure will depend on the size of the trout fish you’re targeting. Typically, the bigger the fish you want, the bigger your lure needs to be.
What Kinds of Lures Are Best for Trout Fishing?
There are many kinds of lure designs that suit different purposes and fishing techniques. Let’s take a closer look at the lures that work best for targeting trout fish.
Spoons and Spinners
Spoons and spinners do not imitate any specific kind of baitfish, however, they’re designed to produce a strong vibrating action that effectively triggers a response in trout and gets them to bite.
The strength and range of the action produced mainly depend on the size and shape of the lure. So, you can experiment with different models to see what works best.
Crankbaits are designed with a lip that creates a strong action to attract trout. It’s also designed to imitate the appearance of some baitfish such as minnows, crayfish, or shiners.
This lure works best when using techniques such as trolling or casting and retrieving.
These soft plastic lures are designed with a life-like appearance to imitate worms and larvae that trout often feed on.
They come in different colors and patterns to suit fishing for trout in different water conditions and some even have added scents and flavors to enhance their appeal.
They’re less messy than live worms and you can rig them just as easily. All you need to do is thread the worm onto your hook point from the back while making sure the hook point exits halfway down its body. This will allow the worm to dangle freely from the end of the hook which creates a natural wiggling action that trout find attractive.
I have a full guide on using worms for trout here, so make sure to check it out as well.
Dough bait usually outperforms other kinds of artificial trout baits. It’s easy to mold and shape according to your liking and it comes in different colors, scents, and flavors to appeal to trout in different conditions.
It has floating properties so you can use it to fish in shallow water and it can also be rigged to sink so you can use it to fish in deeper areas.
When rigging dough baits, you need to take a small amount of the dough then roll it into a ball shape using the palms of your hands. Slide the dough ball down onto your hook and make sure you have enough dough to cover the whole hook without leaving any cracks or seams.
These soft plastic baits have an unusual design that imitates both salmon eggs and grub. It’s been proven to be very effective when targeting trout.
The design of the bait consists of two parts that come in two contrasting colors to provide two different strike points on the same bait.
The egg part comes in one color and it has the same floating properties as dough bait. While the tail part has a contrasting color and produces a strong action in the water to attract trout and get them to bite.
You can rig the bait by threading your hook in through the top of the egg and out through the bottom. This way the egg would be sitting on the shank of the hook while the tail would move freely and create more action in the water.
You can also rig it by threading the hook through the tail. This way the egg will dangle freely while leaving more of the hook point exposed
Top 10 Lures for Trout Fishing
Now that you know what kinds of lures are best for trout, here’s a list of some of the best lures on the market to narrow down your options.
This lure is the most ideal for fishing in deeper water because of its heavyweight and sinking abilities.
It’s designed with unique blades that create fast spinning action and vibrations that will attract trout and get them to bite.
The lure comes in multiple colors and the blades come in different sizes, so you will be able to select the one that best suits your conditions.
This is one of the best spinner lures on the market. It is designed with stamped plates that are plated with copper or silver. These plates produce a strong vibrating noise in the water that grabs trout attention
It is also designed with a built-in turning brass gear to prevent your line from twisting and it also comes in different colors and sizes
This lure is ideal for targeting trout as they migrate from deep to shallow waters. It creates a strong wobble and roll action that effectively grabs trout’s attention and gets them to bite.
It’s designed to smoothly glide through the water without your line snagging whether you’re fishing in shallow areas with heavy weed cover or deep areas with rock piles.
It’s made from high-quality materials and it comes in multiple colors and patterns to suit different water conditions.
This lure offers very high quality at an affordable price. It’s ideal for fishing techniques such as trolling or casting and retrieving.
It’s designed with a spinning blade attached to a pulsating hackle rooster tail which makes the lure appear bigger and creates a strong action to attract trout.
The blade is made from silver, brass, or copper with a UV finish to make it last a lot longer and it comes in various color options.
This lure is designed to imitate the appearance of minnow fish and it produces a bobbing action that will grab the trout’s attention.
It’s made out of balsa wood so it floats easily on the water surface which makes it perfect for fishing in shallow waters. It can also sink deeper as it’s built with a diving lip.
It features VMC black nickel hooks and it comes in different colors and sizes.
This soft plastic bait is designed with two sections which are the egg and the tail. These sections come in two different colors to get the trout to strike at two different points.
The tail has a lifelike ripped appearance and produces a good amount of action in the water to attract trout. While the egg imitates the look of salmon eggs and has some floating properties.
This lure is designed to look like a slender minnow with a jointed tail that produces strong action in the water to attract more trout. It’s effective for surface fishing and it can also sink about 3 feet deep in the water.
It features 3 sets of treble hooks which increases your chances of landing bigger trout and it comes in basic colors like gold and silver or more realistic colors to imitate live baitfish.
This lure is heavy in weight which makes it ideal for deepwater fishing. It also has excellent casting abilities.
It’s made of a durable brass material that will retain its luster to attract trout for a long time and it’s available in multiple colors and patterns.
This dough bait is made up of a unique formula that contains natural ingredients and distinctive fish-attracting scents and flavors that trout will not be able to resists can’t resist.
It has great floating abilities and it can be shaped to your liking.
It comes in multiple colors, scents flavors to suit different water conditions:
Corn flavored PowerBait comes in a bright yellow color that grabs trout’s attention.
Garlic scented PowerBait produces a strong scent in the water that trout can easily pick up and it also masks any unpleasant scents that might turn them away from biting.
Salmon Egg PowerBait effectively imitates the shape, scent, and flavor of real salmon eggs that trout seek and feed on.
These plastic worms are designed with a tail that moves smoothly to create a natural action in the water that will attract trout. They can also be rigged multiple ways to suit fishing at different water depths
They come in a pack of 15 and they’re available in multiple colors to suit different water conditions.
What Gear Setup Is Best for Trout Fishing?
Your gear setup has the greatest impact on your chances of success when fishing for trout. So, let’s take a look at the best setup you can use:
- Rods – It’s recommended to use rods that are about 6 or 7 feet long with medium power and fast action.
- Reels – It’s recommended to use spinning reels.
- Mainline – It’s recommended to use a 6-10-pound monofilament line or a 4-6-pound braided line.
- Leader – It’s recommended to use a 4-6-pound fluorocarbon leader that’s about 2-4 feet long.
- Hook – It’s recommended to use single-point hooks from sizes 8 to 12, or treble hooks from sizes 10 to 14.
Find my complete list of gear recommendations for trout at the end of the article.
Where to Fish for Trout?
You can find most trout species in streams, rivers, and lakes as they prefer clear, freshwater. You can find them in areas where the water depth transitions from deep to shallow or in any areas with heavy cover and current breaks such as rocks or tree logs as this is where prey resides.
What Is the Best Time to Fish for Trout?
The best time of the year to fish for trout is during spring and fall while the best time of the day to fish for trout is early in the morning. During these times, trout will be more active and feeding as the water temperature will be cooler and the oxygen levels in the water will be higher.
Level Up your Trout Fishing
- Gear up with the best Trout Fishing Rods here
- Check out the best Trout Fishing Reels here
- Find the best fishing lines for Trout here
- Get larger trouts faster with these trout baits that NEVER fail
- Learn about hook sizing for trout here, and the best baits for rainbow trout here.
- You can’t go wrong with these powerbaits for trout.
- Get larger steelheads with these baits
- These Steelhead Lures are the experts’ picks for the year, and it’s easy to see why
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