Why Do I Keep Losing Trout? Solutions That Work

It can be very frustrating for anglers to lose their trout catch, especially after a rough fight. Losing a fight against trout fish happens often for many reasons.

Luckily there are a lot of things you can do to stop it from happening. It’s all about learning the reasons why you’re losing your catch and correcting your mistakes.

So, why do you keep losing trout? The main reason you’re losing trout is that you’re not using the proper fishing gear or the gear you’re using is not in the best condition. Other reasons for losing trout include not applying the right techniques when reeling in your catch.

Keep reading to learn why trout are hard to catch and get some pro tips on how to stop losing your trout catches.

What Makes Trout Hard to Catch?

trout to answer why do I keep losing trout

Trout are indeed difficult to catch, but despite that, Trout are still one of the most targeted gamefish species all over the world, and fishing for them is considered a thrilling experience that demands a significant amount of skill and patience from trout anglers.

They provide quite the challenge because of their resilience and changing behavior in different conditions.

Sometimes trout will attack the bait and put up an aggressive fight when you try to reel them in. While other times they will be quiet and stealthy as they nibble at your bait without even disturbing the water.

You might only get one chance to catch trout and if you miss that chance; they will swim away. That’s why you always need to be well prepared with the right kind of gear and fishing techniques otherwise you’ll risk losing your catch.

How to Stop Losing Trout?

There are some common mistakes that anglers make that results in them losing their trout catches. Some of these mistakes are to do with the gear they’re using, others are related to their fishing technique.

Here are some pro tips that will help you avoid these common mistakes so you’ll stop losing your trout catches.

Tips for Choosing and Maintaining Your Gear to not lose trout

Make sure to match your rod’s power to the size of the trout you’re targeting. For a standard-sized trout, from 8 to 15 inches, medium power rods are the most ideal. You also need to choose a fishing line with a high breaking strain to withstand the weight and pull of trout fish. Here are the best trout fishing rods.

If you are looking for a quick recommendation, the best trout fishing rod is the Okuma Celilo.

Adjust the drag setting on your appropriately. If your drag is set too tight, you’re more likely to lose your fish. So, it’s better to lighten the drag a little to provide a buffer in case the fish fights back too hard.

Also, keep in mind that if the drag is too weak, your hook might set into the skin of the fish’s mouth and not through the side. So, it’s very important to find the right balance.

Make sure you’re using the right lure. Trout are more attracted to natural baits so, it’s recommended to select lures that mimic the look and action of natural baitfish such as crankbaits, spoons, and spinners. Powerbaits, and scented baits in general, work really well for Trout. You can find out the best powerbaits for trout here.

You also need to choose lures in colors that work well with the water conditions you’re fishing in because trout have excellent vision and they can detect colors underwater. Bright colored lures work best in clear waters while copper and brass colored lures work best in murky waters.

When choosing a hook, make sure the hook size is directly proportional to the bait size. This means that the best hook size for trout will generally increase as the size of the bait you’re using increases.

You need to make sure the tip of your hook is still sharp. Sometimes hooks become dulled from getting in contact with pebbles and submerged branches which leads to line snagging and results in losing your catch.

In order to check if your hook is still sharp, you can scratch the tip of the hook on your nail. If the hook point lines your nail, then your hook is dulled and you need to replace it

Check your knots regularly for any signs of wear and make sure to retie them if needed. Knot breakage can lead to losing your catch especially if you’re fishing in areas with heavy cover or vegetation.

Tips for Improving Your Fishing Technique

Make sure you’re in a ready position to set the hook once you get a bite. It’s recommended to keep your index and middle finger on the hand holding the rod after you cast as this will help you reel line your catch better.

If the trout fish start swimming towards you after being hooked, try to keep your rod tip to maintain the tension of the line. If the line goes too slack, you’re more likely to lose your catch.

If the trout fish are violently fighting and shaking their heads, it’s best not to apply too much pressure or pull too hard on the trout.  All you need to do is maintain your position until the hook is set and keep the tension on the line from going too slack.

If the trout fish start moving downstream or upstream of you during the fight, make sure you’re ready to move quickly after them.

Try to keep your position perpendicular to the trout fish. Being straight across from the fish will provide more control and increase your chances of landing them. Check out my guide to catching trout in the wind here for more pro tips.

What Is the Best Gear Setup for Trout Fishing?

To make catching trout easier and minimize the risks of losing your catch. You need to use the right gear setup.

It’s recommended to use a 6 or 7-foot fishing rod with medium power and fast action paired with a baitcasting reel for more control and casting accuracy.

For the fishing line, you can use a monofilament line with a breaking strain of 6 to 10 pounds or you can use a braided line with a higher breaking strain like 4 to 6 pounds so you can handle the trout’s heavyweight and violent attacks.

It’s also recommended to use a fluorocarbon leader to prevent the trout from biting through your mainline.

When it comes to choosing the hook, sizes from 8 to 14 generally work perfectly for trout fishing. You can go for sizes 10 to 14 if you’re using treble hooks, while it’s best to go for sizes 8 to 12 if you’re using single hooks.

Related Questions

What Kind of Bait Attract Trout the Most?

Trout fish are highly attracted to most kinds of natural baits as they have a very diverse diet that includes small baitfish, insects, worms, and crustaceans. You can catch trout using bait fish like minnows or shiners. You can also use live worms that are about 2 to 4 inches.

Which Fishing Technique Works Best for Trout?

The fishing technique that works best for trout is fly fishing. When using this technique, anglers present the bait as if an insect or an invertebrate has landed on the top of the water or slightly under the surface. It works best when wading into the water instead of fishing from a boat. You can also do it from the shore.

When to Fish for Trout?

You can fish for trout during spring and fall when the temperature is warm. You’re more likely to get more bites when fishing early in the morning. That’s because trout become more active and their metabolism increases when the temperature of the water is comfortable enough for them to feed.

Helpful Resources 

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

Trout Guides

Level Up your Trout Fishing

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