I tend to spend a lot of time discussing fly fishing on this site, but I somehow have barely scratched the surface of using a traditional rod and reel for the brown trout. Today I will try to go in depth and talk about all of the possible lures for brown trout that I have had success with. Throughout my childhood, I have spent a considerable amount of time fishing with spinners for trout. One of my personal favorite lure types for trout would have to be crank baits. They are absolutely deadly for pulling out the largest trout in the river. Another very effective and often overlooked trout lure is the suspending jerkbait. I am personally fond of the ones made by Rapala. Of course there are a lot of different live baits that will also be practically unfair, they are so effective for large trout. I will list these brown trout baits and lures individually for your consideration.
Inline Spinners (Mepps, Panther Martins and Blue Fox)
One of my all time best Trout lures. This one is made by Blue fox.
These spinners such as the classic Mepps, Panther Martin and various others are a fun way to catch trout. My personal best and most productive spinners were always the spinners with a trout colored body and the Blue Fox super Vibrex. Under most conditions my #1 color for landing a lot of big brown trout would be gold. I have also had success with copper, and to some limited degree the silver colored spinners. It is likely that in different areas of the country, different colors will have various success rates. Back in the day when I used to use these types of lures frequently, I was always fishing in northern Michigan. It seemed to me that when these spinners really shined was after a rainfall. The light tinted water color would make the fish reckless and attack these lures with little regard for their lives.
Crankbaits and Jerk Baits (Husky Jerks, X-raps etc.)
Trout Lures such as the Rapala X-rap, Husky jerk and floating Rapala’s have always been a standard for hooking large fish. The suspending nature of the X-raps and Husky Jerks will encourage strikes from very big trout. They will stay down in the strike zone, allowing you to concentrate on small twitches and jerks to bring the strike from the trout. One potential disadvantage to these lures is that sinking and suspending lures tend to find logjams and hangups easily. When this turns out to be the case, or when you are fishing in a little more shallow water, a floating Rapala or similar trout lure might be called for. It seems that the floating nature of these lures will encourage a strike from a fish that otherwise might not have hit. Another advantage to these floating lures is their ability to avoid hanging up. As soon as you stop reeling, the lure floats over an obstacle if you manage to notice it. If you can see the obstacle coming, by either slowing your rate of reeling in, or totally stopping, you can save your lure from certain doom.
Deep Diving Crank Baits For Brown Trout
Deep diving baits can also be very effective for large brown trout. It all depends on the depth of the water you are fishing though. If you are fishing in lakes where the trout you are targeting will be very deep, then this will be your best bet as far as crank baits are concerned. I would recommend the deep diving shad raps and the fat raps. There are also a lot of other brands of large billed crank baits that will be effective.
Spoons are yet another very effective means of hooking trout. These are great in lakes or deep rivers and streams, but really work well when fishing and jigging deep in lakes. They will sink extremely quickly, so if you are casting these in more shallow rivers you will not be able to waste time. The instant it hits the water you will need to start reeling, or your spoon will be buried in a log on the bottom. The spoon shown in the image is a Kastmaster. They have always been among my personal favorites. I also like the smaller sized little Cleo spoons. The little Cleos tend to flutter a little better than the Kastmaster’s and also sink at a slightly slower rate.
Soft Plastic Baits
There are a variety of soft plastic baits that will work great for all species of trout such as the Berkey power baits. Many trout spawn in the spring making eggs the way to go, but don’t forget brown trout spawn in the fall. This makes them especially susceptible to eating soft plastic egg patterns.
Different Bait Types for Brown Trout
Many areas with first class trout fishing will not allow the use of baits, due to the way the fish tend to eat them deeper, thus causing damage to the gills and ultimately death. However if you choose to use live bait, the standard has always been night crawlers. Another very effective means of catching big trout with live bait is salted minnows. You simply pour salt on your minnows and put them in a plastic bag. This will not only preserve them for a very long time, but it also serves as an attractant for the trout. These can be rigged by threading a needle with your fishing line through the minnow. You go in through the mouth and out through the rear. Tie your hook to the end at the back of the minnow and slide the hook into the bait to hide it. If using this method you will need to use some sort of swivel because this method will twist your line.
By using these lures for brown trout your catch rate is sure to increase on your next fishing trip. By all means please make sure to not leave any bait containers and lure wrappers on the side of the trout stream. There is nothing worse that going to a pristine trout stream and seeing a foam worm container laying on the ground. If you bring in trash, you can take out your trash. How hard is it to carry a 1 oz worm container back to your car to put into a trash can? Answer: Not very hard! Chances are there is a trash can right next to your car in the parking lot.
Other Brown Trout Fishing Methods
Perhaps the number one way to catch brown trout is fly fishing. The brown trout’s most commonly eaten foods are small insects. Almost all good trout streams and rivers have a large supply of aquatic insects. Perhaps the best way to catch a lot of any type of fish is to match what they are naturally feeding on. If you see a green mayfly hatching on the river, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to cast crank baits at the fish. The majority of the trout will be feeding on green mayflies, therefore you should be fly fishing if possible. Most of this website is dedicated to fly fishing for trout, so if you want to learn more about this subject please have a look around. The basics of flyfishing category is a good place to start. Whatever method of fishing for brown trout you choose, I hope you have good luck and remember to catch and release.
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