Brown trout are a popular target for anglers around the world, renowned for their wariness, beauty, and the thrilling challenge they present when fishing. One of the keys to successfully catching these elusive fish is selecting the right lure in various conditions. Over the years, experienced anglers have identified a range of effective lures for enticing brown trout, each having its unique characteristics and best-suited scenarios.
In this article, we will discuss some of the top-performing brown trout lures, highlighting their design features, ideal conditions for use, and tips on how to fish them. This information should prove invaluable to both seasoned anglers seeking to refine their techniques, as well as newcomers to the sport of trout fishing.
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To begin, we will delve into the world of hard lures, including crankbaits and jerkbaits, which mimic injured fish – an irresistible meal for an opportunistic brown trout. Additionally, we will cover a range of soft lures and spinners, which can be particularly effective in specific situations or environments. Ultimately, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge to select the perfect lure for your brown trout fishing adventure.
Understanding Brown Trout
Brown trout (Salmo trutta) is a popular freshwater species native to Europe and Western Asia. These trout belong to the same family as salmon and char. Brown trout display dark brown or olive green coloration with black and red-orange spots on their flanks.
Habitat and Behavior
Brown trout inhabit a variety of waters, including lakes, streams, and rivers. They tend to prefer areas with cover and structure, such as submerged rocks, vegetation, or undercut banks. Brown trout are more sensitive to changes in water temperature and quality compared to other trout species. They thrive in cooler, well-oxygenated waters, typically between 4-19°C (39-66°F).
Prey and Diet
The diet of brown trout varies depending on their size and habitat. They primarily feed on:
- Aquatic invertebrates: nymphs, larvae, and adult forms
- Terrestrial insects: flies, ants, and beetles
- Smaller fish
- Crustaceans: crayfish and shrimp
Brown trout tend to feed more actively at dawn and dusk, which coincides with the increased activity of their prey. As they grow larger, they consume an increasingly higher proportion of fish in their diet.
Top Lures for Brown Trout
When targeting brown trout, it's crucial to have the right lures in your tackle box. In this section, we'll discuss the top lures for brown trout, categorized into five types: Spinners, Spoons, Swimbaits, Crankbaits, and Soft Plastics.
Spinners are a popular choice for brown trout lures due to their flashy appearance and enticing action. Here are some top performing spinners for brown trout:
- Panther Martin: Known for its distinctive blade shape, the Panther Martin Holograph Trout series offers great flash and vibration, attracting trout from afar.
- Mepps Aglia: A classic choice, the Mepp's Aglia spinner features a blade that spins around the body, creating irresistible movement and sound for brown trout.
- Blue Fox Classic: Another reliable option, the Blue Fox Classic spinner offers a range of sizes and colors to suit various conditions and preferences.
Spoons offer an enticing wobble action and flash that imitate a struggling baitfish. Some top spoons for brown trout include:
- Acme Kastmaster: A versatile and compact spoon, the Acme Kastmaster mimics the swimming action of baitfish, making it a favorite among anglers.
- Yakima Bait Wordens: This spoon, with its fluttering action and variety of available finishes, attracts brown trout in both smaller streams and larger bodies of water.
- Rapala Scatter Rap Minnow: Combining the action of a spoon and a crankbait, the Rapala Scatter Rap Minnow offers deadly erratic movement proven effective for brown trout.
Swimbaits are soft plastic lures designed to imitate the swimming motion of baitfish. Popular options for brown trout include:
- Keitech Fat Swing Impact: With its lifelike action and realistic appearance, the Keitech Fat Swing Impact catches the attention of hungry brown trout.
- Rebel Swimbait: Featuring a segmented body and paddle tail, the Rebel Swimbait offers an irresistible swimming action that brown trout can't resist.
Crankbaits are designed to dive and produce a wiggling action when retrieved. Some top crankbaits for brown trout include:
- Rapala Countdown: This sinking crankbait allows anglers to target various depths, making it a versatile choice for brown trout fishing.
- Rapala Original Floater: Featuring a balsa wood construction, the Rapala Original Floater 11 Fishing Lure has a unique action and buoyancy that brown trout find enticing.
- Yo-Zuri: The Yo-Zuri line of crankbaits is popular for its premium quality and realistic patterns, making them a top choice for brown trout.
Soft plastic lures can imitate a variety of prey and can be rigged in multiple ways. Some of the best soft plastics for brown trout include:
- Trout Magnet: The Trout Magnet combines a soft plastic grub with a unique jighead, making it a powerful lure for enticing brown trout.
- Marabou Jig: A classic choice, marabou jigs feature soft, feathered bodies that provide lifelike movement in the water.
- Plastic Worms and Grubs: Simple and effective, these versatile soft baits can be customized with different colors and sizes to target brown trout in various conditions.
Using the lures mentioned above will improve your chances of success when targeting brown trout. Ensure your tackle box includes a variety of lures to suit changing environments and conditions.
Fishing Techniques and Setups
Trolling is a popular technique for targeting brown trout in larger rivers and lakes. To effectively troll for brown trout, use a variety of lure colors and sizes. A common setup is to use a minnow-style bait with a realistic action and eyes to entice a bite. Attach the bait to a leader made of monofilament line and add a split shot for weight. Monitor your trolling speed and adjust it based on the current to presenting the bait at an attractive pace to the trout.
Casting is a versatile method for fishing brown trout in various bodies of water. When casting, consider using different baits like spoons, spinners, and minnow imitations. Vary your retrieve speed to give your lure an enticing action. In the NY region, experiment with local bait options that match the natural forage in the area. As brown trout are often found in deeper water, cast your lure beyond the target area and let it sink before retrieving.
Drift fishing is a productive technique for catching brown trout in rivers with a steady current. To drift fish for brown trout, use a float rig. Attach a suitable-sized bait to the hook, adjust your depth, and allow the bait to drift naturally with the current. Some popular baits used in drift fishing for brown trout include:
- Live minnows
- Soft plastic imitations
Jigging is an effective technique for targeting brown trout in deep water, especially in areas with structures such as drop-offs. Use a variety of jigs ranging from small to large sizes. Experiment with different jig actions and colors until you find what works best for the specific location and conditions. When fishing in deep waters, ensure to use a heavy enough jig to reach the desired depth. A key to successful jigging is to maintain contact with the bottom and slowly lift and drop your jig to entice the brown trout.
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Fishing Considerations for Brown Trout Lures
Colors and Patterns
Brown trout are known to be attracted to a variety of colors and patterns in lures. When selecting a lure, consider incorporating colors such as:
- Orange: This vibrant color can attract brown trout, especially in low light conditions.
- Green: Mimicking the colors of natural baitfish, green lures can be effective in attracting browns.
- Silver: This color helps imitate small fish, making it a popular choice for brown trout lures.
In addition to single colors, consider color combinations that are known to be effective as well. A common combination is orange with black spots, which resembles a crawfish – a favorite meal of brown trout.
Size and Weight
The size and weight of the lure can have a significant impact on the success of your brown trout fishing. Keep in mind the following guidelines:
- Smaller lures (1-2 inches) can be effective for smaller, less aggressive trout.
- Medium-sized lures (3-4 inches) are a versatile option that can attract a range of trout sizes.
- Larger lures (5+ inches) can be used to target bigger, more aggressive brown trout.
The weight of the lure will affect the depth at which it is fished. Heavier lures will sink deeper and can be useful in deeper waters or when trout are holding near the bottom.
Hooks and Hardware
When choosing a brown trout lure, it's important to consider the hooks and hardware:
- Treble hooks: These are a popular choice for lures as they increase the chance of hooking the trout. However, they may cause more damage to the fish, so single hooks may be preferred for catch-and-release fishing.
- Single hooks: A better option for catch-and-release, single hooks cause less damage to the fish than treble hooks.
- Split rings: These can be used to attach hooks to lures, allowing for easier hook replacement if necessary.
By considering the colors, patterns, size, weight, and hooks of your brown trout lures, you are more likely to experience success in your fishing efforts.
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Recommended Brown Trout Lures
Yakima Bait Wordens Original Rooster Tail Spinner Lure
The Yakima Bait Wordens Original Rooster Tail Spinner Lure is one of the best brown trout lures on the market. Its unique design combines a spinning blade with a colorful tail, creating an irresistible attraction for fish. These lures are available in various sizes and colors, allowing anglers to choose the perfect combination for different fishing conditions. Some popular options include:
- Size: 1/16oz to 1/2oz
- Colors: Brown Trout, Firetiger, and Rainbow Trout
Rapala Original Floater 11 Fishing Lure
The Rapala Original Floater 11 Fishing Lure is another highly effective option for targeting brown trout. This floating lure imitates a wounded baitfish, triggering the predatory instincts of brown trout. With a versatile, adjustable design, anglers can easily modify the depth and action of the lure. Key features include:
- Size: 4 3/8 inches
- Weight: 3/16oz
- Diving Depth: 3-5ft
- Colors: Gold Fluorescent Red, Silver, and Perch
Mepps Aglia Spinner
The Mepps Aglia Spinner is a classic lure for brown trout fishing. It features a simple, proven design with a spinning blade and a treble hook, delivering an enticing flash and vibration underwater. These spinners come in various sizes and colors, allowing anglers to customize their presentation. Some choices include:
- Sizes: #00 to #5
- Blade finishes: Plain, Copper, and Silver
- Body finishes: Brass, Silver, and Copper
Soft Plastics and Grubs
Soft plastics and grubs offer a more natural, lifelike presentation for brown trout fishing. These lures mimic aquatic insects, small fish, and crayfish, engaging the trout's feeding instincts. Popular soft plastics include:
- Brands: Berkley PowerBait, Zoom, and Strike King
- Styles: Tubes, curly-tail grubs, and swimbaits
- Colors: Natural, Green Pumpkin, and Smoke
By incorporating these lures into your arsenal, you can increase your success in targeting and catching brown trout. Remember to choose the appropriate size, color, and action for the specific conditions you're fishing in to maximize your chances.