Trout is a fish family that is mostly found in freshwater bodies although some trout species spend time in oceans, which contain salty water. In North America, it is the fourth most popular game fish after bass, panfish, and catfish.
Here are ten trout fishing tips that every fisherman should know.
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1. Trout family species
The trout family has several species including:
• Brook trout
• Brown trout
• Rainbow trout
• Lake trout
• Golden rainbow trout
Brook trout has red spots with bluish halos. On the back, they have a worm-like vermiculation (pattern). Although the brown trout’s body is covered with dark spots, the tail almost has none.
The rainbow trout has a distinctive pink lateral stripe that runs from head to tail while the golden rainbow trout has a deep yellow/orange coloration. Some golden rainbows may have a dark gold lateral stripe running from the head to the tail.
Finally, the lake trout has a deeply forked tail and bright/light spots punctuate its body. The ability to identify trout species correctly is a key skill that every angler should have.
2. Fishing regulations
Most states have regulations that govern trout fishing meaning it is wise to find out more about the regulations applicable where you live.
Most of these regulations have been enacted to prevent overfishing and protect the natural habitats where trout thrive.
It is also worth noting that fishing regulatory frameworks may encompass laws and guidelines enforced by government agencies/bodies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
If a license is required, acquire one from the relevant authorities before embarking on a fishing trip.
3. Silver spoon lure
The easiest way to catch trout is by using a lure that mimics a silver spoon. For some unknown reason, trout, especially lake trout love nibbling on small silver spoons.
If you cannot find suitable lures at local stores, order from online stores such as Amazon and eBay. Some fishing enthusiasts also sell silver spoon-style lures via personal websites and blogs.
Take note that trout more than one foot long rarely eat small insects and flies meaning that choice of lure determines the size of fish caught.
4. Basic gear
Trout fishing gear varies depending on personal preferences, fishing experience, and fishing regulations (where applicable).
This notwithstanding, your fishing gear should include hemostats (for removing swallowed hooks), fishing rod and reel, hand net, waders/waterproof boots, as well as lures and baits.
Lures used for trout fishing include small crankbaits and spinners while common bait options include corn, salmon eggs, minnows, worms, and cheese.
At this point, it is worth noting that trout use their sense of smell rather than sight to find/scavenge for food.
With this in mind, it is advisable to include scented bait in your fishing gear.
If you will be targeting stocked trout, go for bait that mimics the small brown pellets fed to the fish in hatcheries.
5. Winter fishing guidelines
For starters, safety should be at the top of your list when planning winter fishing outings. To this end, always let someone know where you are going and how long you intend to be away.
Wear warm clothing topped by a waterproof fishing overall and carry a waterproof pack with dry clothes that you can use in the event of an unforeseen dunking (in water).
The best time to catch trout in winter is at midday when streams tend to be a bit warmer.
In the same vein, evaluate weather forecasts at least several days in advance to help you identify the right time to go fishing.
For instance, you are more likely to catch trout after a downpour — on a warm day — that precedes a long freeze.
To increase chances of making a catch, drift a bait along the bottom of your target stream/river because trout tend to congregate there to avoid the strong currents at the surface.
6. Powerbait usage
Only stocked trout will bite on powerbait because they are used to nibbling on anything that resembles the pellets they are fed in hatcheries.
Remember, powerbait or marshmallows are designed to mimic the texture, sight, and feel of fish farming food.
To catch wild/native trout, use lures that mimic natural food sources such as critters (beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, and large bugs).
Other great lure options include:
• Salmon eggs, and
• Worm imitators
Although dapping is one of the oldest and rarely used fishing techniques, it is quite effective at catching trout especially in areas where there is minimal or no casting room.
For the uninitiated, this technique involves lowering fly-style bait on the water surface, letting it drift a few feet, picking it up, and then repeating the same procedure.
This routine mimics the “patting” or “dapping” behavior of egg-laying insects such as mayfly or caddis.
While dapping, pay attention to fishing line tightening because it may be an indicator of a catch. Nevertheless, do not use dapping if you can use fishing techniques like drifting.
8. Fishing etiquette
To start with, maintain your distance when fishing in an area where there are other anglers. Moving too close to another angler is considered insensitive and rude.
To avoid confrontations, the rule of thumb is to ask the other anglers if they mind sharing a fishing spot.
Another unwritten rule is to keep moving while fishing instead of hogging a particular spot.
In this case, the angler moving downstream always yields to the one moving upstream or exiting the water.
9. Water conditions
When fishing in murky water, it is advisable to use a heavier line and split shot/lure. On the other hand, use a lighter and clear line when fishing in clear water and under clear, sunny sky conditions.
10. Reeling in trout
Trout are known to put up a fight when hooked, which means you need a strong fishing line.
This is especially true when fishing in large water bodies (dams or lakes) where trout can grow to more than 50 pounds in weight.
Trout fishing is a popular hobby in North America with anglers regularly trooping to rivers/stream and lakes to catch brown trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout. Before embarking on a fishing trip, ensure you have the right gear and have complied with the relevant regulations. Finally, use the above-mentioned trout fishing tips to improve your trout fishing.