Top Tackle Options For Spring Trout

Top Tackle Options For Spring Trout

Complete your trout outfit now and be ready to catch fish in any conditions this spring.


Spring trout fishing has changed in recent years, and the carnival-like state-wide trout openers are a thing of the past. Some waters now are open all year and others open very early in spring, extending the season for die-hard trout fishermen. That means more anglers find themselves facing tough and diverse spring conditions, all of which they must be prepared for. The simple fact is that if you properly match your gear to the conditions, you will catch more trout.




Photo by Buzz Ramsey

There is a dizzying selection of fishing gear out there; many more options than existed just ten years ago. Still, when it comes to baits and lines, rods and reels, there are some old standby's that you should not be caught without, and there are some new, innovative products that you really should give a try.

Baits

Trout Hardware BaitsAny spring trout angler should have some hardware in his lure stash. Buzz Ramsey is a legendary trout and salmon fisherman and an expert on trout fishing in the west. According to him, it is hard to find a more popular trout lure than a Worden's Rooster Tail. "It's an old favorite, a real standby for trout hardware," he says, "and the most popular color is black. That's the number-one selling color in trout sizes on the west coast." Still, fishermen facing spring conditions should also pack a few brighter colors. White, chartreuse and the rainbow pattern are good spring bets.

With its vibrating blade, the Rooster Tail is perfect for spring applications where turbid water reduces visibility and cold water means a slow retrieve. Now there is a new Rooster Tail that is designed to spin with even slower retrieves -- the Rooster Tail Lite. Both the new version and the original now come in UV finishes as well. According to Ramsey, these new finishes allow fish to spot the lure in low-light conditions, such as a cloudy day or in deep or murky water.

Other popular and effective options for hardware include Panther Martin spinners, Mepps spinners, and spoons such as the Kastmaster, the Little Cleo and Dick Nite Spoons.

Soft Plastics

Soft plastic baits are a killer on trout of all kinds, and every angler should have some in their tackle box. They are especially effective on early-season, slow-moving trout. Berkley offers the Gulp Angle Worm, one of the better soft-body baits. They can be fished by themselves or used to tip other lures and, since it carries scent, it adds that attraction as well. Berkley has introduced a number of new baits to its soft-plastics lines, including the Gulp Alive Cricket. These baits can be casted and retrieved or fished under a bobber, or the floating versions can be fished on the bottom.

READ: Trout Scouting Tactics

Trout Dough Baits

Trout dough baits are extremely effective and popular. These baits are also easy to fish; another reason why they are so popular. Each year you will see new versions of popular brands such as Berkley Powerbait. Another good choice is Yum Troutkrilla. For spring conditions, bright, high-visibility colors such as orange and chartreuse are good choices.

Trolling Plugs

Browns, rainbows, lake trout, and other species switch to feeding on baitfish once they reach a certain size, and trolling plugs is one of the best ways to get these big trophy trout. Fishing your plugs deep is often the key to finding them. Once again, these low-light situations are perfect for the new UV finishes, and the Worden's Flatfish now offers most of the popular patterns in a UV finish.

Rapalas are very popular with the trolling set, and big trout go crazy for them. They come in a variety of patterns and sizes, and it's a good idea to stock your tackle box with an assortment. When looking for big trout in lakes that are stocked with catchable rainbows, don't forget to bring some rainbow patterns.

READ: River Fishing Tactics For Rainbow Trout

Lake Troll Rigs

Trolling for smaller trout or kokanee usually means using a bait-tipped wedding ring with flashers or dodgers to attract the fish. Spinners are another good bet, and the Panther Martin spinners draw favor among trollers.

Flashers and attractors are important when trolling in spring low-light conditions and you should be prepared with good colors for turbid waters. You might try the Sep's Mini Micro flasher, which is extremely light and spins well in very slow trolls. Sep's also makes a number of flashers with UV finishes, as do many other manufacturers. There is also a break-away flasher made by Qcove if you are tired of fighting the flashers and want to fight the fish. Just remember to bring colors that perform well in dark or turbid conditions.

RODS

When it comes to graphite rods, Berkley, Diawa, Shimano and Shakespeare build some of the most popular trout rods out there today. The Berkley Tactix Trout spinning rods are good, mid-range rods for all trout fishing situations. You can also spend a bit more and buy a qual

ity spinning rod from Fenwick.

If you like fiberglass rods, Eagle Claw makes some good ones, and they don't cost too much. The Water Eagle line offers a 5-foot, 6-inch and a 6-foot version made specifically for light lines.

REELS

Some of the most popular spinning reels for trout are made by Quantum, Shimano, Pflueger and Shakespeare. The Shimano Sedona and Symetre are solid models but, for super-light lines, try the Sustain FE or the Stradic C-14.

The Pflueger Supreme, Supreme XT and Trion spinning reels are excellent choices for trout fishing.

READ: Early-Season Trout Tactics

Fishermen who troll for trout often prefer baitcasting reels. Abu Garcia has released a new line of the low-profile REVO baitcasters that are extremely light and should gain fans among the trout-trolling set.

LINES

Fishermen still tend to prefer the low-visibility and durability of monofilament lines, most braids having yet to live up to their promise for spinning applications. Also, while many tackle companies now offer fluorocarbon mainlines, and they are getting a little better, they are still stiff and brittle compared to mono. For that reason, the focus here will be on mono main lines, and fluorocarbon leaders.

Old favorites such as Stren Original and Berkley Trilene XT still dominate the ultra-light trout scene, but there are some new lines worth talking about. The new Trilene Trans-optic monofilament is perfect for bait fishing and trolling, where watching the line is important for detecting bites. The line is highly visible above the water, turning gold in the sun, but virtually disappears under the surface. Maxima Ultra-green is popular with trout anglers, and the company now offers its Perfexion line, which has quickly gained support among trout fishermen because it is tough, thin and performs well in the 2- to 6-pound test range.

Seaguar still makes one of the best fluorocarbon leaders on the market and the Fluoro Premier is the best one it makes. Berkley Vanish is another good fluorocarbon choice.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad

Mustad's New Tungsten Weights

Long known as one of the world's premiere hook makers, Mustad's Reid McKinstry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that the company is now one of the leaders in making tungsten terminal tackle products for anglers.

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

As Mustad continues to expand into an all-around tackle company, Reid McKinstry shows off some innovative features that make the Mustad Skatter Shad bladed jig a winner in big bass waters.

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

Costa

Costa's Award Winning Waterwoman Sunglasses

Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead about all of the great features that made the new Waterwoman frame a big winner at the 2019 ICAST show as well as out on the water.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near anything that fits in their mouths. Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton - September 16, 2015

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

North Dakota Game & Fish Department said the 16-9 walleye doesn't qualify for record. Walleye

Record-Sized Walleye Was Foul-Hooked, Agency Says

G&F Online Staff

North Dakota Game & Fish Department said the 16-9 walleye doesn't qualify for record.

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the biggest pike come from Europe. Records

Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...

See More Trending Articles

More Other Freshwater

The new Oklahoma record measured 76 inches long and weighed 143 pounds. Records

Man-Sized Paddlefish Almost a World Record

Game & Fish Staff - May 28, 2020

The new Oklahoma record measured 76 inches long and weighed 143 pounds.

Heartbreaker: Record-sized fish caught, released on Valentine's Day doesn't count. Other Freshwater

Right Fish, Wrong Day for 'Record' Paddlefish

Lynn Burkhead - February 21, 2020

Heartbreaker: Record-sized fish caught, released on Valentine's Day doesn't count.

There is no shortage of excellent fishing to be had all over the Northeast in the coming months. Here are a handful of top destinations to pursue some of the region's most iconic species. Playbook

The East's Hottest Summer Fishing Destinations

Jeff Knapp

There is no shortage of excellent fishing to be had all over the Northeast in the coming...

Target vegetation with inline spinners for summer's best musky bites. Fishing How-To

Weed Whackers: Bucktails for Big Muskies

Dr. Jason Halfen - May 28, 2020

Target vegetation with inline spinners for summer's best musky bites.

See More Other Freshwater

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now