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Trout Fishing Tips for Beginners

tips for catching trout

Trout are one of the most popular game fish in the world.  It’s not an easy sport so you’ll need all the help you can find in order to start catching trout on a regular basis.  We break down the essential trout fishing tips to make the best of your next day on the water.

Tips for Catching Trout

Most trout will grow to an average length of approximately 12 to 20 inches. This makes it safe for you to use ultralight tackle. The standard trout fishing rig includes a four to eight-pound test mono or fluorocarbon line, along with an ultralight reel and light action rod.

When trout fishing, there are two main rules to remember:

  • Powerbait is only useful for stocked trout (in most cases)
  • Try to match the hatch of the environment you are fishing in

Powerbait is not the right choice for the native species on this list. However, trout stocked in ponds or lakes will grow on farms and hatcheries, and here they are fed pellets. The Powerbait is created to imitate the pellets in scent, texture, and sight.

If you plan to fish for the native trout, they will not know what the glob of dough is, which is why you are less likely to catch anything if you choose this method.

trout eating a fly

Matching the hatch means using bait and lures which are readily available to the local trout.  If you want to catch the bigger species of trout, such as steelhead, brooks, browns, or bows, you should try bigger haired imitators, fly, and mayfly lures.

Even though these species may snack on tiny insects, files, or zooplankton from time to time, they usually stick to a diet of larger insects, nymphs, worms, and smaller fish once they reach a foot in length. 

To imitate the meals that trout are accustomed to when you go trout fishing, there are a few options you should consider using.

Live Bait

catching trout with worms

Larger bugs, such as crickets, beetles, worms and grasshoppers, often fall into the streams and rivers where trout live. They are considered tasty and easy snacks, so fly fishing is ideal with trout. To mimic this, try to fish with live grasshoppers or use a bug imitator and let it float along in the current.  The classic earth worm will almost always do the trick when fishing for trout.  Minnows and other bait fish are great for catch larger trout as well.


A tube imitates zooplankton along with other snacks that trout commonly eat. While the tubes do not look like much when they are floated in the water, fish seem to like them. It is a good idea to keep several in your tackle box.


Most trout love eating smaller baitfish, especially the larger trout. An excellent way to trigger more strikes is by using swimbait that has a paddle tail.

Imitation Worms

It should be evident that using live worms is, by far, the most effective bait for catching trout. You can choose smaller plastic worms to catch trout, too. Brighter colors are easy for trout to detect in moving water and will be beneficial if you plan to fish in a river.


A crankbait may not be your go-to option for trout fishing; however, bigger trout will bite on a crank that is a third to a half of their size. Trout have sharper teeth, which means they do not mind going after something a bit bigger than they are.

trout caught on a crankbait

Salmon Eggs

All species of trout are considered scavengers. Each year for the salmon run, trout follow the salmon up stream for a tasty meal.  They raid spawning beds of different types of fish and will feed on their eggs. If you cut the belly of a trout open, you will see all types of roe. If you thread a few eggs onto your hook, most trout will treat it as a welcome buffet.


Using a flashy spoon, especially one that is tipped with feathers or wax worms, will be an effective way to catch trout throughout the year. In colder weather, when the bite of the trout slows down, you can entice them to make a move with the flashiness of the spoon.

trout caught with a spinner lure


For anglers across the nation, spinners are a go-to bait option. You can change them quickly and will be suited to catching an array of different trout species.

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