Rainbow Trout Bait Basics

Fishing for rainbow trout really “heats up” during the spring of the year and many anglers want to head out onto the water in search of rainbow trout but have only an elementary education when it comes to the fishing for this beautiful species of fish. Below I will draw upon my two decades or so of experience fishing for rainbow trout to outline some basics that that relate directly to the types of baits to use when fishing for the fish that are often referred to as rainbows.

Using the proper type of trout bait when you go fishing for rainbows is vitally important, so add all of the following tips and tricks to your fishing arsenal as soon as you can. An important point about rainbow trout that needs to be pointed out is that in many areas these fish are “stocked” or “planted” by local fish and game departments and rainbow trout that have been recently “stocked” tend to eat very different types of trout bait than their “native” cousins. Wherever possible, I will try to list which type of trout (native or stocked) is most susceptible to the trick or tip being outlined.


    1. Keep It Small – The first basic when it comes to rainbow trout bait is to keep it small. In almost all cases a small portion of bait or a small lure or fly will outperform larger versions of the same trout bait. The smaller that you can keep your bait, lure, or fly when you are fishing for rainbow trout the better. When it comes to these fish the old adage “bigger is better” doesn’t necessarily apply.


    1. Artificial Flies Are Effective – Artificial flies are an effective trout bait choice when it comes to fishing for “rainbows”, especially if those trout are native. Trout are genetically programmed to eat insects and artificial flies are the best way that there is to mimic live insects. Whether you “fly fish” in the traditional sense or you “fly fish” by using a fly fishing bubble and spinning gear the bottom line is that artificial flies are a great trout bait choice for rainbow trout. Secret bait for rainbow trout


    1. Dough Baits Are Effective – Dough baits such as Berkley Powerbait are definitely an effective trout bait choice when it comes to fishing for “rainbows”. The most effective way to employ this type of rainbow trout bait is to mold it around a #12 or #18 treble hook or each of the hooks in a set of #10 gang hooks and to “bottom fish” in a lake that contains stocked rainbow trout.


  1. Clean Your Fingers – Although this might sound like a tip that has nothing to do with trout baits, consider the fact that any trout bait that you use will be touched by your fingers and your fingers contain scents that are wholly unnatural to the rainbow trout that you are attempting to catch. When a rainbow (both stocked and native, but especially native) detects any unnatural scent on the bait they are going to eat they are much less apt to bite your offering. For this reason you always want to make sure that your hands and fingers are free of any unnatural scents before touching whatever type of trout bait that you choose to employ.


Add these simple trout bait tips to your fishing arsenal and you will almost immediately start experiencing more success on the water, I guarantee it.