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As every fisherman knows, there is no single lure best suited to catching a specific species. Instead, there are many different lure types, each of which may work best on a given day depending on circumstances that range from the time of year to water clarity and depth. In this article, we look at a few types of lure that deserve a spot in your trout-fishing tackle box, then choose our top pick for each one. Options range from precision-machined spoons perfect for long-distance casting in deep water to clever imitators that mimic the trout’s natural food source. Take a look below to see which trout lures to snag, so you can hook your fish that much quicker.
Our Top Picks
Best In-Line Spinner: Blue Fox Classic Vibrax Plated Fishing Lure
By combining flashy colors with a vibrating blade that proves irresistible to hungry fish, in-line spinners are a deadly weapon in any trout fisherman’s arsenal. The Blue Fox Classic Vibrax spinner is a top choice from respected tackle brand Rapala. With quality construction, the patented two-part body is made of machined brass plated with silver or copper. An interior free-turning gear rubs against the bell-shaped housing and emits low-frequency sonic vibrations.
The design also reduces the likelihood of line twist and works in conjunction with the lure’s brass-stamped blade. The latter spins and flashes in the water to attract trout both visually and through their lateral line. The body and blade come in four metallic color combos. Experts claim that the gold-on-gold version is ideal for targeting brook and brown trout; while the solid silver version is best for rainbows. Other highlights include a stainless steel shaft and a sharp VMC treble hook that’s tempered for unparalleled strength.
Best Artificial Worm: Berkley PowerBait Power Floating Trout Worm
Lauded as a reliable fallback for when trout are reluctant to bite, artificial worms are made from soft plastic that imitates the shape, texture and movement of the small worms trout naturally feed on. Berkley’s PowerBait Power Floating Trout Worm measures three inches in length and floats near the surface when threaded directly onto your hook. You can use a variety of different rigging methods to change the worm’s action and its position in the water column depending on the specific conditions of any given day.
The worms come in a range of different colors, including natural, bubblegum and chartreuse. All colors are impregnated with Berkley’s exclusive PowerBait scent and flavor formula, which is proven to encourage fish to hang on longer — allowing you to achieve a stronger hook set. The more the fish bites, the more scent is dispersed into the water. This lure is available on Amazon in resealable one or six-pack combos. Because the worm’s jelly-like nature means that it is susceptible to wear and tear, the six-pack option may be a better investment.
Best One-Piece Stickbait: Rapala Original Floater Fishing Lure
The Rapala Original Floater is a tried-and-tested favorite with a natural minnow profile and a range of realistic patterns including Firetiger, Yellow Perch and Bleeding Shad. It has been hand-tuned and tank-tested to ensure flawless quality. Balsa wood construction allows the lure to float, while a lip helps it to dive when weighted correctly. Because of these features, the Original Floater can be fished in many different ways, whether you choose to twitch it along the top of the water as a surface bait or rig it with a three-way swivel to walk along the bottom.
However you rig it, the lure mimics the action of a wounded minnow, making it impossible for predatory trout to ignore. A stainless steel wire running through the center gives it strength against aggressive strikes; while razor-sharp VMC black nickel treble hooks ensure a quick, secure hook set. The medium F07 model featured here comes with twin treble hooks, measures seven centimeters in length and weighs four grams. It has a running depth of three to five feet.
Best Jointed Stickbait: Rebel Lures Jointed Minnow Fishing Lure
Also called a broke-back lure, the jointed stickbait is modeled on the original one-piece version — but with the added movement afforded by a jointed tail. Its erratic swimming action is reminiscent of a struggling baitfish, upping the ante so that it is often more successful at coaxing bites from reluctant or educated trout than its more sedate one-piece cousin. Rebel Lures’ Jointed Minnow Fishing Lure is intended for all freshwater game fish from bass to trout and comes in a variety of patterns.
These include realistic offerings like Rainbow Trout or Tennessee Shad; and textured silver/blue, silver/black and gold/black options that are particularly effective for trout. With a diving lip and two sharp treble hooks, this lure can be fished three different ways. It can be slowly reeled across the surface, retrieved at a steady pace or twitched under the water at depths of up to two or three feet depending on the size of lure that you choose. There are four sizes, ranging from 1 7/8 inches to 4 1/2 inches.
Best Insect Imitator: Rebel Lures Crickhopper Fishing Lure
Insect imitator lures attract bites by closely resembling a trout’s natural prey. They are exceptionally versatile and can be casted or trolled to catch fish throughout the summer and fall seasons. Enter the Rebel Lures Crickhopper Fishing Lure — at 1 1/2 inches and 3/32 ounces, it’s the perfect bite-sized snack for hungry freshwater game fish and makes a great multi-species addition to your tackle box.
The lure stands out for the accuracy of its shape and immaculate paintwork, which together mimic grasshoppers and crickets in varying life stages. Choose from a range of colors such as summer hopper, green grasshopper or black cricket and use the imitator as a topwater or crankbait lure. For trout fishing, experts from Rebel Lures recommend using a straight medium retrieve for the best results. The lure has two #14 treble hooks and a diving lip that gives it a cranking depth of up to three feet.
Best Spoon: Acme Kastmaster Lure
Choosing the best spoon lure is a subjective exercise that depends on certain variables, including water depth and preferred fishing method. However, the Acme Kastmaster Lure is a popular choice for long-distance casting and trolling in deeper water. Made of solid brass, it will not break, bend or corrode, and retains its metallic sheen even after repeated exposure to saltwater. This sheen is instrumental in visually triggering bites. Therefore, the ability to withstand saltwater is important if you’re planning on targeting steelhead trout during their ocean-dwelling phase.
The Kastmaster spoon is precision machined and perfectly balanced to produce wild action without twisting up your line. Its aerodynamic wedge-style shape lends itself to achieving impressive casting distances, while the single treble hook is wickedly sharp for quick penetration. There are a few different weights and colors available on Amazon, from solid chrome or gold to attention-grabbing versions striped with neon blue, neon red or chartreuse. The Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout lures are designed to imitate the patterns of the fish they’re named after.
Best Dough Bait: Berkley Gulp! Natural Garlic Scent Trout Dough
Scent-loaded dough bait is great for transforming a slow day on the water into a veritable fishing frenzy. It’s especially successful when fishing stocked lakes because a pinch of dough resembles the pellets hatchery trout are fed with. Tackle brand Berkley is widely acknowledged as the leader in scented trout bait, and the Gulp! Natural Garlic Scent Trout Dough helps reach catch limits in a matter of hours.
It works by releasing a natural garlic scent into the water to attract fish and trigger an aggressive response. Impregnated Gulp! flavor bits give the dough a natural live bait taste; while glitter pieces catch the light and make it more visible in the water. The dough’s floating formula helps to keep your hook in the visible strike zone. The version listed here is chunky cheese color, but elsewhere on Amazon you can find variants including American pie, chunky chartreuse, marshmallow cluster and rainbow candy, each best suited to a specific fishing scenario.
Best Artificial Eggs: Berkley PowerBait Magnum Floating Power Eggs
Artificial fish eggs act as a powerful attractant for salmon, steelhead and trout. The main benefit of using products like Berkley’s PowerBait Magnum Floating Power Eggs in favor of real salmon eggs is longevity. They stay secure on the hook, won’t dry out and take a lot longer to disintegrate. Berkley’s Magnum Eggs are larger than most artificial eggs, making them specifically tailored to catching record trout and salmon. You can use them with a light tackle rig, or for finesse presentations for reluctant trout.
Each egg has sufficient buoyancy to float a size #10 hook, allowing the lure to maintain a true-to-life position in the water column. They are also loaded with the brand’s famous PowerBait formula — an irresistible scent and flavor that’s taken a quarter of a century to perfect. The formula’s attractant power has been scientifically proven, with Berkley claiming that fish hold on 18 times longer than they would to a conventional bait. The eggs come in a variety of colors to match the hue of different species, including sunrise, bubblegum, chartreuse and white.