February 26, 2024

Hardcore Game Fishing

Game Fishing News

5 Lures for Winter Trout Fishing

Long live the trout, curer of cabin fever and conqueror of the cold water. When saltwater fish have gone south, and large and smallmouth bass have gone dormant, the trout keeps biting, barely slowing its feeding even when the temperatures dip into the 30s.

When local fishing options grow slim in January and February, and skim ice overtakes the bass ponds, the large, deep trout ponds stay open, with rainbows, browns, and the occasional brookie or tiger cruising well within casting distance of the shoreline.

The trout swimming around your favorite lake or creek in the winter are the ones that survived after the spring or fall stockings, and have wised up a bit, meaning the fishing won’t be as lock-and-load as it was right after the hatchery truck pulled away. But, with the right presentation, you’ll have no issues catching trout right through the spring stocking.

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Berkley PowerBait Pre-Rigged Atomic Tube Teaser

1. Jigging Tubes

Crappie tubes from 1.5 to 2.5 inches long, rgged with a 1/16-ounce jighead, and fished with short hops and an extremely slow retrieve are deadly on winter trout. For more action, the Berkley PowerBait Pre-Rigged Atomic Teaser Jig adds a trailer to the tube that wiggles as the tube skirt flares, giving lots of action with little forward motion, fooling trout into thinking it’s an easy meal.

Trout Magnet (left) and E-Z Trout Float

2. Trout Magnet

The only knock against the trout magnet is that at 1/64-ounce, it’s casting distance in limited. This matters little in creeks, but on lakes, fishermen using these tiny jigs will want to spool up with micro-light gear and ultra-thin line, either 2-pound-test monofilament or similar diameter braid.

Trout Magnet
A rainbow trout that fell for a Trout Magnet

Trout magnets are fished in much the same way as the tubes, with short hops and little forward motion, almost causing the lure to dance in place, like an aquatic insect. In the dead of winter, the smaller size of the Trout Magnet can give it an advantage over the tubes.


Double X Tackle Tough Bubble

3. Bubble and Fly

Pairing a weightless fly, like a Wooly Bugger, with a casting bubble like the Double X Tackle Tough Bubble creates a slow-sinking presentation that can be dangled in the strike zone for long enough to trigger coldwater trout to bite.

Rapala Countdown Minnow

4. Sinking Stickbait

A slow-sinking stickbait, like the Rapala Countdown Minnow, allows fishermen to work the bottom half of the water column and incorporate pauses that cause the bait to flutter and fall like a dying baitfish.

Fish the lure by letting it sink after the cast and either beginning a slow and steady retrieve or sweeping the rod to the side and pausing, causing the lure to swim forward and then flutter down.

Al’s Goldfish Original Spoon

5. Wide-Bodied Spoon

Spoons are trout catchers 365 days a year, but in the winter, fishermen do best casting wide-bodied spoons like the Thomas Buoyant or Al’s Goldfish, as these can be fished with slower retrieves than narrower, more compact spoons like the Acme Kastmaster or Thomas Rough Rider.

A beautiful rainbow trout that fell for a Thomas Buoyant spoon.

Retrieving these fluttering spoons just over the bottom at a snail’s pace is a great way to connect with a big mid-winter brown. A variety of colors work, but golds, greens, and oranges seem to work best.

Read More about Trout Fishing: Trout Season Cheat Sheet

The post 5 Lures for Winter Trout Fishing first appeared on On The Water.

The post 5 Lures for Winter Trout Fishing appeared first on On The Water.

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