Trout Fishing: Stack the Decks in Your Favor

Trout Fishing: Stack the Decks in Your Favor
Click to enlarge

Love catching cutts, 'bows and browns? We've got tips and gear to improve your trout fishing with flies, lures and bait.

By David Paul Williams


TROUT often live in water where weeds abound. Sometimes it seems that every hooked trout has learned the best way to escape is to barrel headfirst into the nearest weedbed. When that happens, resist the impulse to try to horse the fish back out. The most likely result will be breaking off the fish and losing the lure or fly. That's frustrating and quickly gets expensive.



Instead try a more gentle approach. Position the boat, or wade, as close as possible to where the fish entered the weeds. Grasp the line and gently pull straight up, cleaning off as many of the weeds as possible, keeping slight but firm pressure on the line. If you see the fish, then it's possible to net it, weeds and all.

Other times, if the water is shallow, you can prod the fish back out of the weeds by poking with your foot, an oar or a long-handled net. Don't hit the line, and don't poke it with a rod because you'll likely break the rod tip.


Success at landing the fish improves if the fisherman can prevent that first mad dash towards safe haven.


If you are fishing near the surface on a short line, when the fish takes the fly, lure or bait, immediately raise the rod high, arms up straight, and reel or strip in as fast as possible. The goal is to get the fish's head up and moving along the water and over the top of any weedbeds. It's possible to quickly slide a fish along the top of floating weed mats right into a waiting landing net. The key is being able to get control of the head before the fish has a chance to dive.


Click to enlarge

Infographic by Ryan Kirby

MORE THAN ONE ANGLER IN THE BOAT

There is an easy way to keep all the lines from tangling. The stern angler (1) waits for the bow angler (2) to cast, and then casts just behind him. This makes things more difficult for the stern angler because he has to keep an eye on the bow angler's casts, which may come fast and furious, especially on a fast river. But it's the best way to hit undercuts and blowdowns (D), trout holding behind rocks (C), those in front (B) and in weeds (A).


FISHING FROM A MOVING BOAT

Your best fishing buddy just scored a new drift boat and invited you and another fisherman for the maiden voyage. Sounds great. Then, since you are a walk- and wade-fisherman, you wonder how three people can fish out of a boat without tangling lines and stoking tempers.

The remedy for avoiding tangled lines and broken rod tips caused by intersecting rods and lines is simple: Don't cast at the same time. In a moving boat, the front angler will typically have his back to the rest of the boat. The rear angler can see when the front angler is getting ready to cast or is false-casting in preparation of laying the line down. The rear angler should delay his cast until his line's in the water. The rear angler needs to have a split-screen of attention — one screen watching the guy in front, the other watching for likely fishing spots and rising trout. Problems arise if the bow angler lays out a cast and then quickly recasts without warning. Stay alert!

The solution then is for both fishermen to use the same casting angle, roughly 45 to 60 degrees in relation to the boat's center line. That way both rods when casting travel in the same plane.

There's more to a lifetime stream than big fish — but big fish are often part of the best memories.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

It must be time for summer fishing because records are falling everywhere. Records

State Records Reported in Maryland, Michigan

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

It must be time for summer fishing because records are falling everywhere.

Shooters across the U.S. are using this competition shooting mat. Guns

MidwayUSA Pro Series Shooting Mat

G&F Staff

Shooters across the U.S. are using this competition shooting mat.

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

Field Tested: Lightweight Raingear

David Draper - May 30, 2019

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

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.

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

After making the switch to Berkley products heading into the inaugural BPT season, Edwin Evers tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead why Berkley baits played such a key role in his recent angling success.

Berkley

Berkley's Surge Shad

Major League Fishing pro Scott Suggs has relied on the Berkley Surge Shad lure concept for years, using similar designs to capture MLF titles and a $1 million dollar FLW Forrest Cup win. With new features in the Surge Shad, Suggs tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead that even he can find success out on the water!

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

We all have our Catfish

10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper - April 02, 2015

We all have our "swear by" bait for catfish. For me, it is chicken liver, live shad or my...

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some strategies. Catfish

Understanding Catfish Spawning

Keith Sutton - June 06, 2006

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some...

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options. Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.

See More Stories

More Other Freshwater

Game & Fish editors takes a look at new tackle boxes, storage containers and other accessories Other Freshwater

Gear Storage: New Tackle Boxes, Backpacks & Bags

Game & Fish Online Staff - July 24, 2018

Game & Fish editors takes a look at new tackle boxes, storage containers and other...

 New fishing waders, boots and storm gear are featured. (Shutterstock image)

Game & Fish looks Other Freshwater

Trout Waders, Boots, Storm Gear for '18

David Paul Williams - July 23, 2018

New fishing waders, boots and storm gear are featured. (Shutterstock image) Game & Fish...

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) gets world-record submissions on a regular basis and shares some of them in a bi-weekly newsletter. Other Freshwater

Check Out Latest IGFA World Record Submissions

Game & Fish Online Staff - August 10, 2018

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) gets world-record submissions on a regular...

See More Other Freshwater

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

×