I’ve been fishing for trout the last 40 years since I was a little kid (yea, I’m getting old). Since then, I have bought and used every lure and color possible to catch trout. There have been many successful days on the water and many without a catch. Some days you can almost see the fish laughing at you as your lure spins by them without as much as a flinch let alone a bite. I often get the question, what are the best lures for trout?
Good thing you’re reading this article of mine. I have summed up all those year of experience into one post with my go to lures for actually catching trout and not hoping they will bite.
Updated August 3rd, 2021
Based on our years of experience and suggestions from the pros, we have compiled the top fishing lures for trout in our list below!
Top 10 Trout Fishing Lures
- Blue Fox Vibrax
- Panther Martin Classic Spinner
- Yakima Bait Worden’s Original Rooster Tail
- Rapala Original Floater
- Rebel Jointed Minnow
- Joe’s Flies Short Striker
- Mepps Aglia Spinner
- Acme Kastmaster
- Acme Phoebe Lure
- Berkley’s PowerBait Power Floating Trout Worm
- Luhr Jensen Krocodile
Blue Fox Vibrax
Made by fishing lure manufacturer Rapala, the Blue Fox Vibrax is a top choice for catching trout. One of the best spinners for trout, it comes in a few different colors, and the iridescent shine is sure to attract fish. There’s a brass gear built into the lure to reduce any line twist while also creating a vibrating noise, which is another method of attracting fish to your lure.
The Vibrax is fairly heavy for a spinner, so it will cast farther than others. It’s one of my favorite rainbow trout lures especially in deeper water or areas where you have lots of room for big casts. You can find four colors on Amazon, and the double silver and double gold lures have been known to be successful for catching trout, especially rainbows.
Panther Martin Classic Spinner
Panther Martin is another trusted brand when it comes to fishing lures, especially for trout. With a lure like their classic spinner, you can’t go wrong. When the metal pieces clank together, the lure makes a sonic vibration sound to attract trout. Like the Blue Fox Vibrax, Panther Martin’s spinners also come in multiple colors, all of which are designed to lure in fish like trout, rainbow trout, and other species of freshwater fish.
This spinner is particularly effective in deeper bodies of water. The blades come in a few different sizes, so you can always adjust the blade size to your environment. Panther Martin makes one of the top rated trout lures, so add this to your tackle box!
Worden’s Original Rooster Tail
If you were intimidated by the color choices of the Vibrax or Panther Martin’s Classic Spinner, just wait until you see the options for Yakima Bait Worden’s Original Rooster Tail. With so many color options, it can be difficult to pick one, but you can always stick to a silver, white, or gold. It doesn’t hurt to pick up a couple extra because this is a very popular lure!
The spinning blade has a tail to it, so the lure appears as a larger food source. The sonic vibrations created by the Rooster Tail are great, and the lure itself is just right for when you’re casting or trolling. This versatility is just one of the many reasons to purchase Worden’s Original Rooster Tail for catching more trout! This is one of my go to trout lures for lakes.
Rapala Original Floater
Shaped like a minnow, Rapala’s Original Floater is another go-to choice for trout fishermen. This lure is made out of balsa wood, unlike others lures made of metal. Since it’s built from balsa wood, the lure floats on the water easily. You can use this lure for surface fishing, but it can still go a few feet deep due to its diving lip.
The Original Floater is an excellent lure to have in your toolbox since it’s able to catch trout of nearly any size. You can buy the lure in a few different sizes, depending on what size and species of trout (rainbow trout, brown trout, etc.) you hope to be catching. Rapala makes this lure in a few different colors, including ones that mimic bleeding fish. If the lure’s movement bobbing up and down didn’t already attract trout, the appearance of a bleeding minnow should do the trick.
Still the number one “go-to” lure. Whether twitched on top as a surface lure, retrieved as a shallow runner, weighted with a split shot for medium depth or bottom walked off a three-way swivel or bottom bouncer, the wounded minnow action continues to be irresistible to gamefish on every continent around the world.
Rebel Jointed Minnow
The Rebel Jointed Minnow lure is similar to Rapala’s Original Floater, but the most significant difference is this lure has two pieces to its body which makes more action. Because of its jointed body, the lure has greater movement capabilities and should attract more strikes. What better to hook a trout than a lure thrashing around in the water?
The Rebel Jointed Minnow is also great for surface fishing, and it can also go two to three feet deep in the water. Try using a jointed lure when you’re fishing in smaller streams. It is one of the best brown trout lures that I have in my tackle box.
Rebel’s Jointed Minnow comes in basic colors like gold and silver, but Rebel offers more realistic lures as well. You can buy a lure that looks like a Tennessee Shad or Rainbow Trout. This lure also has three sets of treble hooks for maximizing your potential to land a big trout.
Joe’s Flies Short Striker
No luck with other lures? Try Joe’s Flies Short Striker! The Short Striker brings together flies with the power of a spinner. The flashing gold is sure to grab the attention of trout along with the tempting fly imitation. Although this lure doesn’t have the variety of colors as others, there’s a wide assortment of flies to choose from. Rainbow trout love these spinner baits, especially when fished around structure like rocks, logs and bridges.
Don’t expect the Short Striker to cast quite as far as other lures. If you’re fishing in a stream with a strong current, Joe’s Flies Short Striker is an ideal choice for a lure.
Mepps Aglia Spinner
This is an in-line spinner lure, and it even has a French blade. Between the sonic vibrations and colors, Mepps Aglia is a fantastic lure for trout. Parts of the lure are made with stainless steel with a single treble hook, so it’s a strong lure for catching fish. I prefer these lures in slower waters around structure like rocks and logs.
You may know Mepps for their squirrel exchange program. To make their dressed hooks, Mepps uses squirrel tail hair. In exchange for sending them squirrel tails, you can receive lures. If you participate in this program, consider trading squirrel tails for Mepps Aglia lure.
The Acme Kastmaster is a heavy lure, so this is a great trout lure for rivers and deep water lakes. With the Kastmaster, you’ll be impressed by its casting abilities, and it’s also great for trolling.
Although some types of trout can live in saltwater, trout are generally freshwater fish. If you enjoy saltwater fishing and trout fishing, the Kastmaster is a lure for you. Made of brass, the Kastmaster does not corrode after being used in saltwater. Because of this, the lure will keep its shining colors to appeal to fish. The Kastmaster comes in plenty of styles, some of which have frog or rainbow trout patterns. My favorite colors are gold and silver to give that shine imitating bait fish.
Acme Phoebe Lure
Another great lure from Acme, the Phoebe model is a trout magnet in the water. This is a small spoon, but don’t let this fool you into thinking it’s not as effective. The lure has more detail than other spoons with etched fins and scales. It’s also curved, which gives the appearance of a full-bodied fish when moving around in the water and currents. With a variety of enticing colors, this is a perfect lure to tempt trout into taking a bite.
The movements of Acme’s Phoebe attract attention from trout, too. Since the lure is smaller, you can use it when fishing in smaller streams, but you can also take it with you in larger, deeper waters. It’s great for rainbow trout, brown trout, and more.
Berkley’s PowerBait Power Floating Trout Worm
Worms are a common bait for fishing in general, so why not use Berkley PowerBait Power Floating Trout Worm? This soft lure has many excellent qualities, including Berkley’s signature scent and flavor infused into the lure to attract fish. This is meant to keep fish on the hook, and it’s also one of the features that sets Berkley’s apart from the rest.
The wriggling movements of the worm are sure to get the attention of trout. Each worm is three inches long, and you can buy them in packs with multiple worms. Although the worms are made with high-quality materials, these lures aren’t as strong as metal. Since they’re more prone to break, it’s good to have a few extra of these with you.
Luhr Jensen Krocodile
The Luhr Jensen Krocodile is one of the best trout spoon lures available. It is a classic, tried and true with trout anglers around the world. I prefer to fish this lure on brighter days in medium speed currents on steams and rivers. Works great to catch brown trout looking to eat smaller rainbows for lunch. Try retrieving the lure with medium to fast pace for best results.
Best Bait for Trout
This article is all about artificial lures, but if you also want to see our recommendations for the best bait for trout, you should check out our full article on the topic here.
About Trout Fishing
Trout fishing is one of the most popular forms of fishing in North America and around the world, with anglers targeting this game fish year round. Like all species, trout are more likely to bite lures that mimic their natural prey.
The right trout fishing lures capture the attention of the fish by imitating natural bait and trick them into biting. There are no guarantees with fishing, but having the right lures can be the difference between catching and going home skunked.
How To Catch Trout
Trout are one of the most popular freshwater game fish, so they’re a common target for anglers. In clear waters, brightly colored lures work well. Copper and brass colors work well in slightly murkier waters. In dark waters, flashing colors can effectively lure in trout.
In waters with abundant trout, drift fishing can work well; simply cast your line upstream into a heavily concentrated area, and as your lure drifts through the water column, reel in to entice trout.
In calm waters like ponds, lakes and river pools, use a slow retrieve to get a trout to strike. In faster water like rapids on streams and rivers, reel in the lures faster for more action in the water. This will get the trout fired up and chase your artificial lure.
Where To Fish for Trout
This species is found everywhere: rivers, lakes, streams, and so on. Trout prefer the cold, so in warm summer waters they’re less active. In cooler temperatures, trout are abundant and easy to catch. Look for trout in cool, slow moving waters. In the summer, look for deeper pockets or cover, and target that area to find where the trout are hiding.
You can find trout all across the United States, whether you’re looking for the best Pennsylvania trout steams or fishing in Colorado. One of the most famous states for fly fishing is Montana. The movie, A River Runs Through It, focused their story on the Blackfoot river near Missoula Montana. Trout prefer cooler waters so try fishing in Spring and Fall, so that’s the time for the best trout fishing. Limestone streams are preferred because the water stays cooler year round. Research the best fishing locations to find the best place to catch trout near you.
Best Color Lures for Trout
The color debate is always a lengthy one between anglers of all ages. I feel most patterns and colors catch more fishermen, than trout. I always had to have five different variations and patterns for each lure in my tackle box. Here are my suggestions to cut through the clutter and pick the right colors.
Trout love a flash in the water, so definitely start with having a few spinners and lures with gold and silver parts. These flashing patterns mimic a small minnow and bait fish swimming through the water.
I like to have a lot of natural colors in my lure selection. Blacks, browns, olive / green colors usually work well for native trout in wild population streams. Try combining the lure colors and have some features or fur like bucktail on the spinners. usually a flasher and the fly-like hairs will get some bites.
When all else fails, get a little weird with your color patterns. There have been days when I was trying to match the hatch and fish with natural looking patterns all day and didn’t catch anything. Then I switched to a bright pink or even chartreuse and started catching. Sometimes it just pays to be different and stand out from the natural environment.
Other Trout Fishing Equipment
This list has a variety of lures that will make your fishing trip a success! We suggest fishing for trout with an ultra light fishing rod and reel. This light action set up will give your lures the best looking movement in the water.