If you’ve ever caught a trout, you know why they are so highly sought after. They put up a great fight, they’re beautiful in all of their varieties and they’re great-tasting!
Trout can be caught in all kinds of different ways ranging from fly-fishing and lures to bait fishing. What’s the best method to fish for trout? It depends.
Sometimes flies are the way to go. Other times, when the weather turns and insects aren’t in season, it’s helpful to have a selection of natural baits on hand to catch the big one.
In general, the more natural your fly/lure/bait appears, the more fish you’re likely to catch!
Fishing purists tend to gravitate exclusively toward fly-fishing because of the challenge of properly presenting a fly, the thrill of catching fish with custom hand-tied flies and the virtue of catch and release without causing injury to the fish. Additionally, there are many streams and lakes throughout the U.S. that are off-limits for bait fishing. Whatever method you choose, be sure to check with your local fishing regulations to know whether or not bait fishing is allowed.
Fishing For Trout With Natural Baits
Worms, bait fish, crickets, hellgrammites, nymphs and a whole lot more have been used for ages with a great deal of success. Some of these natural baits can be found near the tributary you are fishing. A good strategy to catch more trout is to examine their environment to find out what they feed on naturally. Do crickets thrive in the area? Do you occasionally see one jump in the water from the bank? Turn over a rock near the water’s edge and you may be surprised what you find! These are just a couple of ways you can find out what the trout might be accustomed to feeding on. Then you can choose your natural baits accordingly.
Here are some of the more popular natural baits used for trout fishing. We’re going to save the best one for last!
Minnows, shad, bream or whatever bait fish you can get your hands on is a pretty good choice if your goal is to hook into big trout. Since trout are aggressive predators, they feed on a wide variety of prey including other small fish. We recommend hooking bait fish through their lips or dorsal fin for best presentation.
Crickets & Hoppers
Crickets and grasshoppers make terrific live bait for trout. They create a turbulence on the water’s surface which attracts the fish. It’s a real treat to watch a trout surface and grab your cricket. For lakes, the best method is to use a hook and bubble and cast out a ways. In streams, use little to no weight and let the cricket drift naturally with the current. Some find greater success with crickets than hoppers because they’re not as intimidating or tough as a fully grown hopper.
I’d venture to say that more trout have been caught using traditional earthworms, mealworms and redworms than all of the other live baits combined. Trout love ’em. When all other methods fail, throw on a red wiggler and either let it sink to the bottom or attach a bobber 4 to 5 feet above the worm so that it can dangle a few feet beneath the surface. Believe it or not, some trout are intimidated by large wiggly earthworms, so you can either cut them in half when you throw them on a hook, or you can resort to using redworms and mealworms which are more manageable to eat and very appealing. We believe redworms to be the ultimate natural live bait for trout fishing.
You can either buy redworms for trout fishing or dig up earthworms at your house in the early morning or gather them after a rain shower. Another popular method of catching worms is getting a flat piece of cardboard wet and laying it out overnight in a patch of dirt. In the morning, you’re likely to find several earthworms underneath it.
Of course, you can always get a worm farm kit and have a self-sustaining crop of worms to draw from whenever you’re itching to get out and do some fishing!
With temperatures on the rise and summer in full swing, we wish you fishing fanatics a great season of fishing, and hope you find success using these natural live baits!