OPINIONS DIFFER ON THE USE OF BAIT
Live or otherwise, bait fished for trout is taken deeply, making catch and release a bad option. This is not a consideration if trout are destined for the dinner table. Bait will sometimes take trout when no other lure will do the job. Some of these baits keep forever in jars in your tackle box. Some are in every gas station and others you get yourself. All trout are opportunists who eat all manner of life that fits in their mouths.
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Lots of trout tips here→
These 5 best baits not only get bit, but they work well on the hook or with particular rigging techniques described below.
1 Gulp floating salmon eggs
Gulp eggs have earned a spot in millions of tackle boxes. It works so well, that it is kind of like cheating. For this reason some anglers refuse to touch the stuff. Gulp was engineered by scientists at Berkeley to be irresistible to fish, and they are. Not only are they deadly, but they float like cork so 2 eggs floats a size 6 baitholder just fine, keeping it off the bottom where trout can find it. I fish these on a sliding sinker rig. Check the diagram.
Sometimes fish seem to show a strong color preference, other days they smash any color. Carry Gulp eggs in orange, yellow, pink, and red. Don’t hesitate to let this bait soak for a really long time. I’ve caught trout after bait has been in for well over an hour. This is the perfect set up for summertime on the shore when you want to fish and chill with friends while you crush beers. A 7 foot ultra light rod with a spinning reel loaded with 4 pound mono is perfect for this. For a leader, I like 5x fly tippet. Get a rod holder and you’re good to go.
2 Salmon Eggs
Pautzke eggs catch trout. There are lots of ways to rig these small wonders, but a salmon egg hook under a bobber is a classic rig. Salmon eggs are neutrally buoyant so they have a great natural drift in the current that trout love. Salmon eggs can be used to add flair to other rigs like teaming it with your nightcrawler (discussed below), or tipping a treble hook on a lure. Like the Gulp eggs, salmon eggs keep practically forever in your box. that means they’re ready to fish when you are. This setup is super fun to fish on ultra light spinning tackle, like a 5 foot ugly stik.
Nightcrawlers are the big ones. They make awesome lunker bait. The small ones are red worms. they work good too and you get a lot more in the container. The best way to rig your worm is to thread it on a sliding sinker rig. First buy a worm threader. Then get some lucky looking crawlers. Put the threader through the worm and put the hook in the end of the threading needle. pull the worm around onto the hook and up the line. Now you have a beautifully straight worm, but it needs to float up off the bottom. You have two choices:
1. Get a worm blower and blow it up like a balloon. Or….
2. Inject your worm with bait oil. Oil floats your bait and will leak out leaving an irresistible scent trail in the water. The second option is extra stylish.
Tip your hook with a salmon egg to spice up your presentation.
Minnows are not legal trout bait in all areas, but where they are, look out. Use a minnow trap with a handful of dried dog food to get your supply. A baitholder through the lips is a fine rig. Sometimes it helps to trap and freeze minnows so they are ready to go. When they thaw on the way to the fishing hole, they’re ready to be injected with bait oil and dangled under a big red and white bobber. Tip the hook with a salmon egg to be cool. Trolling live minnows is ridiculously effective for trout. Thread the leader through minnow with a needle, tie a treble hook on the back side and you have the ultimate live minnow lure. Pull this behind a dodger or flashers in your kayak for best results.
A favorite trout food. Simply hook your crawdad through the meat of his tail and turn him loose. It helps to injure him a little with your needle nose pliers. A slightly bigger baitholder hook, size 2 or 4 works good. If your hook is too small the crayfish tail fills the hook gap preventing the trout from getting good purchase on the hook when it takes the bait. A secret pro tip is to float your crawdad with a big glob of powerbait. Does it even look natural? No. Do the trout care? No. But it does keep your bait from hiding in the sand.
Remember, click the links to go to Amazon and stock up on baits and gear!
Master fishing these 5 baits and you’ll be guaranteed fish dinner on any night you so choose. Anything can be bait, so don’t limit yourself to these 5 either. I’ve heard of guys using bubble gum, cheddar cheese, or a clump of dreadlock from a hippy fishing girlfriend. All catch fish. An honorable mention to these as well:
Trout love em. Live ones from the pet shop kill, but the dried packaged ones or even the artificial ones work too. Hang em under a bobber and then, go get distracted. That’s when fish always bite, right?
Trout get fat on crickets in the fall when the grass is tall. Fish crickets unweighted much the same as a salmon egg for max bites. Like crayfish, bust a leg for some injured swimming action to draw more attention.
Yes, corn. Trout really do eat corn. Rig it like salmon eggs. At first you might feel a little silly tying on some corn. Once you hook into a lunker trout,