Hard Baits

Rainbow Trout

Blade baits will work for rainbow trout.  Whether you fish them with a steady retrieve, troll them or vertically jig with them, blade baits can be productive baits for rainbow trout. Simulate a bait fish that they feed on and there’s a good chance you’ll catch some rainbow trout with these baits.

Crankbaits can be very effective for rainbow trout.  Cast them or troll them.  Both techniques work.  In the rivers and streams, the smaller crankbaits tend to do better, while the larger crankbaits will get plenty of bites from steelhead on the Great Lakes.

Casting spoons are one of the best lures for rainbow trout.  Use the smaller spoons and cast them in lakes, ponds, rivers or streams.  A steady retrieve will do the trick.  They are awesome baits and rainbow trout will gobble them up.

Jigging spoons can be very effective when targeting rainbow trout in deeper water.  Vertical jig them with an erratic twitch and pause motion.  Most of your bites are going to come on the fall.

Trolling spoons were made to be trolled and they are a popular bait for targeting rainbow trout on bigger lakes and on the Great Lakes.  They will bite a variety of spoons, so feel free to try different colors and sizes to see what the preferred spoon is on any given day.

Jerkbaits aren’t as popular of a lure for rainbow trout as they should be.  Since most anglers fly fish for rainbow trout or troll for them, you won’t see a lot of anglers out there using jerkbaits.  On ponds and a lot of those smaller mountain lakes, you can easily work a jerkbait and catch plenty of fish.  On the bigger lakes, it’s a little tougher because most anglers will be fishing deeper.  In streams and rivers, it can be difficult due to the current.

Hair jigs are awesome baits for rainbow trout.  They work in lakes and rivers, however, they are very effective in the rivers and streams.  Drift them downstream with a bobber or float or all by themselves.  You can tip them with live bait also when the bite is a little tougher.

In-line spinners are probably the most common lure for anglers that like to use spinning gear for rainbow trout.  These baits are super effective on rivers, streams, in ponds and the smaller lakes.  In the bigger lakes, you will need to add some weight to get these lures down to the appropriate depths, but if you put them on a Carolina rig, you could still catch a lot of rainbow trout with these lures in deeper water too.

The smaller underspins are great lures for trout and rainbows are no exception.  Fish these the same way you would fish an inline spinner.  Just cast them out and work them back with a steady retrieve and you will catch plenty of rainbows.