If you are going to head out in search of rainbow trout, there is one question that comes to mind above all others and that question is what is the best bait to use. As a person who has been fishing for and catching rainbow trout for more than a quarter of a century, the answer to this question isn’t as easy as it might seem. Although many different conditions impact whether a trout might bite whatever is is that you are offering them, one of the easiest to determine from an angler perspective is the season in which you are fishing.
You see, many times rainbow trout focus on different types of food during different seasons, so knowing what kinds of food they eat during each season is beneficial to trout fishermen because you can narrow your bait choices down considerably. This way you can experiment with the different types of bait that the trout normally focus on during that season to determine the best bait to use at the time you are on the water fishing for them. Below I will outline the best baits to use for these beautiful fish during the four seasons.
Spring – Spoons, which are flashy by nature are an excellent bait for rainbow trout in the spring because of the high and muddy water conditions caused by spring rains and snow run off. In these less than ideal water conditions trout can have a hard time identifying a meal and a flashy spoon helps to eliminate this problem. Soft plastics are often overlooked by trout fishermen as well, as these baits are generally thought of as being “bass baits”, but they shouldn’t be. A basic 3-inch curly tail grub in white or a bright color like pink or yellow can be extremely effective during the springtime, and a large lead head can provide enough weight to deal with strong currents. Raibow trout
Summer – The summer, especially late in the summer is a great time to use grasshopper, cricket, or beetle imitations as bait for rainbow trout because this is when the creatures are most plentiful. Fly fishermen are well aware of this fact as the summer is the time to use hopper, beetle, and ant flies as bait for rainbow trout. The summertime is also a great time to use Powerbait as bait while still fishing in a lake or pond that has been stocked with rainbows during the spring.
Fall – The fall of the year is considered the best season of the year to fish for rainbow trout and the best bait to use could easily be a live fishing worm. A live fishing worm that is “drift fished” in the current of a river or stream during the fall is difficult for hungry rainbow trout to resist. If you are a fly or lure fisherman, during the fall of the year darker colors will outperform lighter and brighter colors.
Winter – The winter is, without question, the most difficult time of the year to catch rainbow trout. Because a trout is a cold blooded creature, it’s metabolism slows considerably during the winter months which makes the trout feed much less often than it does under more hospitable conditions. Many anglers enjoy ice fishing for rainbow trout and an effective ice fishing bait is a small marabou style jig that has been “tipped” with a meal or wax worm. Live minnows are also one of the best baits that a person can use in the winter under the ice.
No matter when you head out fishing for rainbow trout the best bait to use is more than likely among the aforementioned choices. Just try to match the season that you are fishing with the bait that you are using and you will be well on your way to catching more rainbow trout.