Best Techniques

Rainbow Trout


Casting is a very popular technique for rainbow trout.  Many anglers will use spinning gear and even baitcasters when fishing lakes, rivers and streams for these fish.  Some of the common lures to cast are spinners, spoons and crankbaits.  Whether you are fishing in a lake, stream or river, plan on making a lot of casts throughout the day to catch some fish.


Drifting can be effective when fishing for rainbow trout.  Some anglers drift down with the current in rivers and this works well as you present your baits to a lot of fish.  In lakes, it’s not as popular, but if you are in a good spot and you want to present your baits to a lot of fish, but you don’t want to fish as fast as you would if you were trolling, then drifting can be a nice way to fish.  Most anglers that drift in lakes will do so with live bait.

Drop Shotting

Drop shotting is a very good technique for rainbow trout and even steelhead too.  Just because most anglers don’t use a drop shot rig does not mean that it isn’t an awesome fishing rig for rainbow trout.  Use it shallow, deep, in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds.  It’s a great rig and you can use live baits and artificials with it.


Jigging isn’t very popular for rainbow trout, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be effective.  If you find some deeper pools in rivers where rainbow trout or steelhead congregate, these would be good spots to break out the vertical jigging technique.  There are some areas in the Great Lakes also where rainbows congregate in large numbers.  It could be a harbor and the fish are coming in to spawn.  It could be the mouth of a river or a warm water discharge area.  There are some areas to break out the jigs to jig up some of these fish, but it definitely isn’t the best technique for them in most situations.

Still Fishing

Still fishing is actually very popular for rainbow trout.  Many anglers that fish the stocked lakes and ponds will just cast a live or natural bait out on their favorite rig and they will just wait for the the rainbows to come to them.  It’s effective.  It can work on rivers and streams as well if you set up on a good current break or a big pool.


Trolling is very popular for rainbow trout.  Most anglers that troll for them will be trolling bigger lakes or the Great Lakes.  Because you may hook up with a bigger fish at any time, you are going to want to use heavier tackle.  Medium heavy to heavy action rods work great with the trolling tackle you are going to be using.  Spoons, crankbaits and the dodger and fly are the most popular lures used when trolling for rainbow trout.