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Trout fishing is something I have a lot of experience with and is one of my favorite types of fishing. There aren’t many things better than landing a big lake trout on lighter tackle and in this post, I’m going to be talking about how to catch trout from the shore.
Trout normally put up a pretty good fight and that’s the main reason I like going after them. They’re way more active throughout the year (especially in cold water) so you have a pretty good chance of catching them all year round. They’re also carnivores so they’ll eat pretty much any type of protein (bugs, worms, other fish, etc).
I’m going to be showing you the type of rod/reel I prefer, what the best fishing line is, what bait I’ve had the best results with, and a few other tips to help you get going. Continue reading or watch the video below for the full details on what rigs and baits I like to use to catch trout.
Trout Rigs & Setup
Obviously, the first thing we’ll need is a casting rod. Either a baitcaster or a spinning reel will do the job just fine and it’ll all depend on what type you prefer. I use both and have each of them set up differently so I don’t have to spend a bunch of time changing things over.
Baitcasting rods are more fun in my opinion but a lot more can go wrong. They don’t seem to cast as far and bird nests are a pretty common thing. You can also land bigger fish and cover more water with one. A spinning reel is the easy option and is probably best for the beginner. Nothing can really go wrong and it’ll actually cast a long distance.
The next thing is fishing line. I like to use a braided line with a fluorocarbon leader. I like the braided line because it’s stronger, thinner, more sensitive, and will last 3-4x longer than normal fishing line. I like to use a fluorocarbon leader because it’s invisible to the fish and it sinks (braid doesn’t). My leader will be around 2 feet long.
The lb test you’ll use will depend on what type of trout you’re after. I pretty much always use a 20 lb braided line and then I’ll change up the leader based on what I’m going after. If I’m going after bigger lake trout then I’ll use 12-15 lb test and something around 4-6 lbs for smaller trout.
The next thing you’ll need is a bullet weight. This is going to help you cut through vegetation and will also make casting easier. I like them a lot more than clip-on weights and use them anytime I can. All you have to do is slide the bullet weight onto your main fishing line. Here’s one on Amazon that comes in a bunch of different sizes.
After that, you’ll want to attach a swivel. This will secure your weight and also allow you to attach your two lines together. It also adds a little extra weight to help with casting. Use whatever your favorite knot is and you’ll be good to go. I like using the Uni knot to attach the line to my swivel and hook.
The final step is to attach your hook. Again, it’ll depend on the size of the trout you’re going after but normally, I’ll use a #6 circle hook when I’m going after standard trout. I like using a circle hook because it normally catches the fish on the side of the mouth and it’s easier to remove the hook. I normally catch and release so this is easier for me and better for the trout.
Trout Bait & Lures
Trout aren’t the pickiest fish out there so it’s not that difficult to find something they’ll bite. If I’m fly fishing I’ll obviously use a fly and If I’m trolling then I’ll probably use something that spins. When I’m fishing from the bank I’ll normally use some sort of Powerbait.
You can use a number of different things (fake worms, real worms, spinners) but I like using a Powerbait that floats. It’s not always the best at staying on the hook but it’s what I’ve had the best results with. If it works I’m willing to put in the extra work.
If I’m fishing in an area the trout are spawning then I’ll use fish eggs. These work really well in creeks and rivers where the water is flowing pretty well. If I’m in a lake or pond where the water is still then I’ll use a corn yellow trout Powerbait. See our favorites here.
All you have to do is roll it into a little ball and press your hook into it. Tighten everything up again and you’re ready to go. It’ll actually float which is great for avoiding weeds and other debris.
How To Fish Trout From The Shore
Once everything is rigged up and ready to go, the next thing you’ll have to do is figure out where the fish might be sitting. You can simply cast it out and wait for something to bite but that’s not always the best option (even though it works a lot of the time).
What I like to do is find some sort of cover the trout might be hiding in. They like to sit and ambush their prey as they swim by so that’s where we want our bait to be.
You’ll want to look for weed beds, rocks in the water, fallen down trees, etc. They’ll most likely be in that area. All you have to do is cast in that general area and wait for a bite. Your bait won’t have any action when you’re using Powerbait so you don’t need to twitch the rod or anything like that. It’ll also float so you don’t have to worry about it getting snagged.
If you’re in water that’s moving, cast your bait to the edge of the current. If you’re in still water, cast your bait near some sort of cover. That’s what you’ll have the best results with, in my opinion.
Until next time, happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.
Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!
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