One of the great fishes of the world is the trout and trout fishing can be done all over the United States as well as all over the world. And a lot of the trout fishing is done in some of the most scenic and breathtaking locations in those states and countries. So if you’re into conventional fishing with common methods or more into the technical approach, trout fishing can offer a lot of great fishing action. And one thing that will help you the most is knowing a bunch of the Best Trout Lures to try as you seek out trout in your coldwater pursuits.
We’ll cover the basics of what types of food appeal to trout and then cover several categories of lures to mimic that food as well as specific baits we think are the best in those categories of trout lures.
OUR PICKS FOR BEST TROUT LURES
- Best Trout Minnow – Rapala Countdown Minnow, DUO Spearhead Ryuki
- Best Trout Jerkbait – Megabass Great Hunting HD crankbait, Rapala X-Rap
- Best Trout Jig – Trout Magnet
- Best Trout Inline Spinner – BlueFox Vibrax Bullet Fly
- Best Trout Spoon – Thomas Lures Buoyant Spoon
- Best Trout Egg/Bait – Berkley PowerBait Natural Scent Trout Bait
Here is a quick rundown of some of our top picks for best trout baits for conventional and BFS fishing and we’ll discuss optional gear at the end.
BEST TROUT HARD BAITS
There are several great hard baits for trout fishing. For years the staples have been the Rapala Countdown Minnow, the Rapala X-Rap and the Rebel Teeny Wee Crawfish. And then the JDM brought a bunch of high end minnow baits, jerkbaits, crankbaits and more to the higher end enthusiast trout anglers. So now baits like the DUO Spearhead Ryuki, Megabass Great Hunting HD Crankbait, Jackson Bottom Magic, Major Craft Finetail Eden 50S, Mukai Bikaze 50S Minnow. And now Rapala is offering some high end versions of the popular minnow or jerkbait offerings like their Rapala Countdown Elite and Rapala Ultralite Minnow.
So there has been an explosion of trout speciality hard baits giving conventional trout anglers a lot of great options. We’re still very fond of the Rapala Countdown Minnow. It’s a sinking minnow bait that comes in a wide variety of sizes, weights and colors so you can find a bait that works great for your size trout, forage base, etc. It casts really well on trout gear and is super simple to fish with just a steady slow retrieve or a few pauses and twitches worked in as well. It’s affordable, sized right, throws well and most importantly catches fish at various depths.
For diving baits, the Rebel Teeny Wee Crawfish is a dynamite producer as well. It’s an ultrarealtistic colored and styled bait that is affordable and you can get it in shallow and deeper diving options. You can swap hooks to single barbless if you like to make it fit certain stream guidelines. It’s another longtime producer for trout.
The Duo Spearhead Ryuki 38S and 46S are some of our favorite newer JDM style trout flatside minnow cranks now. They can be worked like a jerkbait, a crankbait or even just a fall bait. They flutter and shimmy very naturally, throw a lot of side flash and cast extremely well. These are higher priced lures but their realism and action are great in both slackwater and current runs alike.
BEST TROUT JIGS
Day in and day out, I probably fish trout jigs more than anything on the small streams I fish when I’m not fly fishing. I think next to Berkley PowerBait, a trout jig is hard to beat for simple and effective ways to catch trout. There are a lot of good options on the market that work. We have a few we’re partial to as well. Forever we’ve used baits like the Berkley PowerBait Pre-Rigged Atomic Teaser Jig, Trout Magnets, and Southern Pro Tiny Worms. But we also have used baits in recent years like Cubby Mini Mite Jigs, Eurotackle Micro Finesse Anisoptera, and Vanfook Leather Leech Jig.
The original Trout Magnet is a simple split tail eel body with ridged grooves and two-tone color palettes that give these tiny jigs a great profile and look in the water. They closely mimic a lot of larvae found in trout waters and make them very appealing to a wide variety of trout. Paired with the Trout Magnet Jighead, it’s a deadly combo on ultralight combos with its 1/64 ounce weight. This is often on my 2-pound line rig.
The Berkley PowerBait Pre-Rigged Atomic Teaser Jig catches trout really well. It’s a simple tube jig with insert head that has a teaser worm coming out of the tassels of the tube. It’s a great jig for price and performance. It has the PowerBait scent, it looks very natural in the water and the trout like them. They come in 1/32 and 1/16 ounce and will catch you plenty of trout for $4.99 a 3-pack.
The Southern Pro Tiny Worms has been my go-to trout jig as of late. they are simple, inexpensive, hold up well to a lot of fish, swim great fast and slow, work in current and slack water and catch trout. The simple little tail undulates well in the water and the trout like it. I catch a lot of fish just scooting and bumping this jig along the bottom on a 1/16-ounce head.
Trout jigs that mimic hellgrammites do well for trout in the summer months, and I really like the Eurotackle Micro Finesse Anisoptera on a 1/16 ounce or 1/32 ounce jig head. They bait looks alive slow crawled on the bottom and the trout, chubs and panfish in most creeks snatch it up quick. They have scent, hold up well and come 8 to a pack at 1 1/2 inches long.
Then their are some of the high end jigs being made from companies like Vanfook and Mukai. I like the Vanfook Leather Leech for casting for trout. This is like a high end hair jig that incorporates a leather tassel and some rubber legs to give the bait a lively looking action that looks part terrestrial and part aquatic. It’s 1/24 ounce and has a great hook and build.
BEST TROUT INLINE SPINNERS
Inline spinners offer another staple lure that attracts trout in a variety of situations. It’s simply a wire bent to hold a hook (sometimes feather dressed), a body, some sort of weight a spinner and then the wire is twisted in a loop to keep the whole offering inline. On a retrieve the blade helicopters around the wire. It provides flash and vibration to attract trout in current and slack water. You can get them with flashy metal bodies, bodies that mimic minnows or flies or a combination. They come in lots of sizes, colors and combinations. The staples in this genre of trout lures would include the following:
- Mepps Aglia Spinner
- Blue Fox Vibrax Bullet Fly
- Worden’s Original Rooster Tail
- Blue Fox Vibrax Minnow Spin
BEST TROUT SPOONS
There are a lot of great trout spoons on the market now and it’s nice to see the perennial favorite among trout anglers get some added love from manufacturers. Staple spoons like the ACME Kastmaster, Thomas Buoyant Spoon and the Lure Jensen Super Duper continue to catch trout by the bushels. However, recent innovative designs like the Jackson Daniel, Mukai Clown and Outkaster Slammer spoons give anglers a ton of great options for trout spoons.
We love the color options and simple action of the Thomas Buoyant Spoon. It’s been a staple for years and catches trout all over the country. It’s unique curved fish profile and it’s flashy wild darting action catch trout when a lot of other presentations fail to trigger strikes.
I am very fond now of the Mukai Clown Spoon and the Outkaster Slammer spoons. While these spoons seem similar with their wild paint jobs and contrasting color vibes, they swim differently, and I like that option to switch up the action while sticking with a spoon. The Mukai Clown Spoon has a wide wobble and steady swim. It weighs 2.5 grams and works at fast and slow speeds equally well. The Outkaster Slammer spoon has a tighter wobble but it casts really well because of a denser but thinly cut metal. Both of these spoons feature single hooks for better care.
BEST TROUT LURE SCENT BAITS
While we prefer to trick trout with lures that closely mimic live prey, those who want to enhance that offering with scent or simply just want to catch stockers easily should try Berkley PowerBait Trout Baits. They make putty, nuggets, eggs and a lot more variety that will add color and scent to your baits or work fine just by themselves on a hook. A lot of anglers that take kids to introduce them to trout or want to catch a few stockers to eat, will opt for a simple Berkley PowerBait offering to do the trick.
WHERE TO BUY TROUT FISHING LURES
We have put together some pretty good conventional trout fishing kits over the years. And in doing that we have our favorite shops for buying conventional trout gear. Our favorites would include the following online shops.
- FishUSA – one of the best selections of trout gear anywhere.
- BassPro – a great place to find the staple lures for trout fishing.
- Bait Finesse Empire – a great place to get hard to find JDM trout lures and newest innovations.
WHAT DO TROUT EAT
The simple answer would probably be that trout eat whatever is available to them in their waters. The prefer a steady diet of bugs, larvae of insects that then morph into flying insects and “hatch” on the surface as well as other fish, leeches, worms, crustaceans, invertebrates, eggs and other food sources readily available to them. So often with the best trout lures we are looking for those baits that mimic natural small underwater and on top of the water artificial versions of terrestrial and aquatic food sources.
The diet of trout may vary between rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout and of course salmon and steelhead as well as lake trout. For our purposes we will focus these suggestions around your most common and accessible creek, river, stream trout like rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout and brook trout.
And while flies and fly fish are an incredible way to catch riverine trout, we will also save the discussion of best trout flies for a separate article.