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The Ultimate Guide: How To Catch Trout

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The Ultimate Guide To Catching Trout

Fishing can be intimidating when you don't know exactly what your doing, or your fishing for a new variety of fish. It can be even be frustrating at times when you don't get a bite. We all know it can be difficult; you can buy all the best equipment and still not catch a fish. What I want you to know, is that you don't need to spend a fortune on equipment to catch trout. Fishing for trout is an awesome experience, and very fun. Plus trout are an incredibly delicious fish to eat. Wrap them up in aluminum with butter and seasoning and throw them on the grill, and you will be very pleased. I hope with this guide we can show you exactly how to catch trout. That way you don't have a less that perfect time out on the water!

Step 1. It's very important that you figure out the rules and regulations for the trout your catching before you go out.

That means you need to contact your local wildlife department; that is going to be the easiest way to go about this. There's a number of ways fishing is regulated. Fish populations and the general ecosystem your fishing in has to be protected. Harmful fishing practices can really put a hurt on the population, and it can get you in trouble.

  • Don't forget in 9/10 cases your going to need a permit before you fish for trout. Often, you can buy your permit at a nearby tackle shop or at your local sports store. I've got a permit at dicks sporting goods before. I believe academy sports provides permits as well. The good thing is the permits are usually pretty cheap.

Get a license here.

Step 2. Your going to need a rod and reel.

If you have experience fishing. then I would always recommend an open faced reel. These spinning reels are a little harder to use, but they're way better for the type of fishing tactics your going to be using when fishing for trout. They're also much more flexible when it comes to control, which will allow you to do a lot more as far as manipulating your line. You're going to want a pole with a weight range of 2-8lb. Your pole will always have the weight range printed on it, you just have to look for it.

Okuma makes great rods, checkout some of their freshwater fishing rods. The inspira trout rod will be about as good as your going to get for the job.

If your new to fishing, then a closed-faced reel might be the better way to go. These are a lot easier and simpler to use, also good for baiting fish. The bad thing is close-faced reels are really easy to tangle, and it can be immensely frustrating. A lot of people don't use close-faced reels because of how difficult they can be to untangle. Like I said before, you're going to want a rod that has a carry weight of 2-8lb when catching trout.

Step 3. Get together your hooks, lines, and weights from your local tackle shop or fishing store.

Fishing requires a wide arsenal of fishing gear. A lot of people enjoy having a diverse collection of gear. Although, you don't need to drop a fortune on different equipment. Your hooks, lines, weights, and even bait can be bought affordably, and shouldn't rake your over as far as cost.

  • If you not new to fishing, and your confident you can take care of your equipment, go for the more expensive equipment. It will last your a lot longer than the ladder.
  • More than likely your rod came pre-spooled with a line. Make sure that it can withstand 4-8lb. If you do need to get another line, most sporting stores and tackle shops will sell what you need, and they can spool it for you. Trust me, this is very more worth it, rather than trying to do it yourself. I'd recommend you use a fluorocarbon line. A rod with light or ultralight action is also going to do you a lot better for fishing trout.
  • Other things your going to want to shop for: #6 hooks, #10 hooks, split shot weights, and a net.

Step 4: Getting the right baits and lures.

Honestly, there is a ton of bait options for catching trout. Some common ones are earthworms, salmon eggs, corn kernels, critter imitators, drowned grasshoppers, tubes, swimbaits, worm imitators, cranks, spoons, spinners, and powerbait. That's a lot of different baits. Your bait shouldn't be expensive, but feel free to try out a wide variety. We'll go ahead and break down some of the these baits for you.

Critters: Trout are used to grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, and all sorts of bugs falling into the rivers and streams. They love eating bugs, and they're used to it as a form of sustenance. That why baits that imitate critters work very well, as well as actual bugs like drowned grasshoppers or crickets.

Salmon Eggs: Trouts tend to scavenge. They're pretty ruthless in the fact that they will raid spawning beds of other fish and eat their eggs. Hook some salmon roe on a #6 hook, and trout won't help but having to give it a bite.

Tubes: The purpose of tubes it to imitate zookplankton. These are very easy things for fish to snack on. These are not a bad choice to always have in your tackle box, because somehow, they do in fact gets bit OFTEN.

Swimbaits: Trout eat a lot of smaller baitfish. Bigger trout are notorious for this. Using a paddletail swimbait can really get some bites, especially when they are feeding on other baitfish.

Worm Imitators: This is pretty self explanatory. These are baits that imitate live worms. We all know that basically all fish will bite on live worms. Downsized plastic worms are great for trout because of the bright colors that can be easily seen by trout when moving in the water.

Cranks: I would not recommend cranks as something to start with when trying to catch trout. However, larger trout will be able to hit a crank, even if it's half their size. With trout, they don't mind snacking on just about anything, even if the fish is to big to swallow hole, they'll just eat a portion of it.

Spoons: Spoons are effective for trout pretty much all year long. They really thrive in the colder weather when the bites are slowing down. These lures are very flashy with a spoon like shape and usually either feather or sometimes waxy worms attached to the end.

Spinners: This is one of the most essential and well known baits that there is when it comes to catching trout. These baits are meant to be cast, then reeled in immediately. They actually create reflections from the light, as well as put off frequencies that are similar to a smaller fish when moving in the water. The combination of light reflection, and the frequencies made in the water by virtue of the spin, make this bait very practical for catching trout.

Powerbait: This is what trout anglers would call dough bait. These are pretty much at any tackle shop or shipping store you will ever find. These will work best with stocked trout, so if a shop  is in the vicinity of where you are fishing, it wouldn't hurt grab some dough.

Step 5. Setting Up Your Equipment.

First, and Foremost, You're going to want to find the place where you're fishing.

Where Do You Find Trout?

Trout are pretty common fish, and can be found in cool and clean water. They can be found in still water like ponds and lakes, as well as moving waters such as rivers and stream.

Next, You're going to want to rig your equipment before heading out. We suggest you tie a simple barrel swivel using a clinch knot. Not sure How to do that. Well we'll just have to include a video right here.

If your rod does not have the line through it, go ahead and pull it through the guides of your rod. When you get to the reel, put the line through the guide on the very front of the reel. You're going to want to wrap it around the reel and tie 2 knots to keep it in place and properly secured. You can snip off any excess with a knife or scissors. Flick the reel handle and you will see the line move into place. Finally, continue reeling until the line is wound firmly around the reel.

The last thing your going to need to do in preparation is attaching your split shot weights to the line. This is going to do two things for you. One, it's going to allow you to cast your line better and further. Two, it's going to let you control how fast your bait will drift through the water. Place your weights (I suggest your start with three and figure out what you like from there) give or take 2 feet from below the hook. Pinch them tight around the line, but not so hard that you can't readjust them later if needed.

Step 6. Catching a trout.

Make sure to fish during fair weather, unless your okay with getting drenched. If you see rain in your forecast and the timing works out, go before it rains. Fish are very aware of their environment and sensitive to atmospheric pressure like many animals. Before a storm fish tend to be active.

If for some reason you go fishing during the rain, you will have good results with trout if you match your bait to the conditions outside. What I'm saying here is use worms if it's raining. Worms tend to wash up in the rivers and what not during rainstorms. If you use a worm during the rain you will be very likely to catch something!

On windy days, using baits like critters are going to be most effective. That's because, once again, that's what the fish are already munching on during this weather. The wind tends to blow a lot of bugs into the water, making critter bait the best choice.

Make sure to scout out the area before you pick a spot to fish, whether that be on land or boat. You're going to want to look for slow moving patches of deep water or places where the water goes from deep to shallow or vice versa. Converging currents are always a good site as well and make for great spots to fish.

Go ahead and move out to your spot you've found, then bait your hook. Make sure to keep in mind the weather conditions we talked about. If it's fair weather than try out a few things you like. If you happen to be using roe, or corn, or even power bait, then simply push a couple pieces onto your hook just above the barb.

Next, you're going to want to cast your line UPSTREAM and INTO THE CURRENT. This is very important. A good rule to follow is to go downstream and cast upstream past the fish. This is because your want to have drift on your bait, and if your downstream you're much less likely to be seen by the fish.

Let your bait drift, if you're using a spinnerbait, then reel it in slowly. Keep your rod pointing upwards. If the bait passed you up, you will feel your line tighten up. Always keep your eye on the rod tip and where your line is traveling. A small pull on the rod could be the bait hitting rocks, or it could be a trout having a taste. You want to wait for the trout to take the bait, you will feel a big pull on the rod when there's a fish on the line.

Last, you have to set the hook when you've got a bite. Do this with a quick jerk of the rod tip upwards. If you do in fact have the fish hooked, there will be a bend in your rod. Reel her in slowly and make sure to keep the tip of the rod over your head. Lowering your rod too much will give the fish the opportunity to escape as it thrashes. Once you have it reeled in, grab your net and scoop your fish out of the water.

That's all there is to it! Now you know how to catch trout.

If you decide to keep the trout after you catch it, make sure to clean it well (remove the guts). These fish are too small to fillet but are fantastic when prepared whole!

What Types of Trout Are There?

Cutthroat trout

Cutthroat trout can be found in cold water tributaries in North America. Moving water tends to be much colder. These are a very popular game fish among fly fisherman. The name cutthroat comes from the red coloration underneath their jaw. Spinnerbaits are great for catching cutthroat.

cutthroat trout with red underneath neck

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout are sometimes called "steelhead trout". Sometimes you can find these trout in lakes. Freshwater stream rainbow trout are usually between 1lb and 5lb , although lake-dwelling trout can ream up to 20lb.

rainbow trout

Brook Trout

Brook trout are native to Eastern North America. These fish are also known as speckled trout, squaretail, mud trout, and eastern brook trout. Fun Fact, the brook trout is also the state fish in nine different states. A lot of anglers release these fish when caught to preserve the remaining population. As always, make sure to check in with your wildlife department to see rules and regulations before fishing.

brook trout

Brown Trout

Brown trout is a European species of trout, that has been introduced globally to a plethora of environments. These fish migrate from lakes to rivers and streams to spawn.

brown trout

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