Rainbow Trout are great to catch, and one of the tastiest fish species to target. You can target them in high mountain streams and lakes, or lower elevation lakes, and larger rivers. In lakes and larger rivers, you can troll for them, throw out lures, bait fish, or try your luck with the peace and tranquility of fly fishing.
Rainbow Trout Fishing Guides
There are many different fishing guides that offer guided fishing trips for Rainbow Trout. FishingBooker is a service of local guides that you can choose from and schedule your next guided fishing trip. If you would like to learn the fishing secrets and tips from a local fishing guide, Book A Rainbow Trout Fishing Guide Today!
Trolling for Rainbow Trout
Dodger / Flasher - Yes, bright, flashy, silver Depth - 15 ft - 25 ft Location - 15 ft to 100 ft off the shoreline Lure - Needlefish, Spoons, Kastmaster, Apex Hook Tipped With - Worm or MinnowScent - Trophy Trout Scent or None Trolling for Rainbow Trout can be quite fun. They love just about everything you can throw at them, but my favorite go to setup is a small silver dodger, or small blades, in varying patterns with a matched up lure with some shine. Kastmaster’s, needlefish, wedding ring’s tipped with a minnow or a worm, spoons, small apex, small stickbaits that are silver or rainbow trout pattern, small flatfish. Sometimes I’ll use scent added to the lure, and sometimes not. It’s important to try something, and if it works that day, to stick with it. If it doesn’t work, or stops working, try different lures, different dodgers, different blades. Check the motion of your setup throughout the day right next to the boat to make sure it’s moving right. A snag, or a big fish, can really change the way a lure moves, which will affect whether you get bit or not. For depths, I like to fish on top, or in the top 15 feet of water in the morning, and slowly drop down to 25 feet as the day warms up. Try to stay about 15 ft to 100 ft off the shoreline. Keep your eyes on the fish finder to find the depths that they are swimming at and adjust accordingly. Troll in a long S pattern, which changes the depth and speed of the lure as you troll and helps you find the zone that they are hanging in. Never troll straight just waiting, it won’t work well. You may catch a fish here and there, but by trolling in a long S pattern, it changes things up and attracts more strike’s!The top lure for Rainbow Trout Fishing in our experience are the Trout Mini Jigs. Check them out!
Trophy Brown Trout FishingBig Brown Trout are sought after as a trophy. They are looking to get in on the 10 Pound Brown Club, which is a prized catch. These 10+ pounders are the breeding stock, so please take a picture and release the fish. Big Brown’s are aggressive fish and typically hit a lure out of aggression or to devour it, they hit hard!
Brown Trout Fishing Guides and Charter Boats
There are many different trout fishing guides that offer guided fishing trips for brown trout, and pretty much any other type of fish that you may want to target. FishingBooker is a service of local guides that you can choose from and schedule your next guided fishing trip. Book A Brown Trout Fishing Guide Today!
Trolling Fishing for Brown Trout
Dodger / Flasher - None Depth - 5 ft - 15 ft Location - 5 ft to 40 ft off the shoreline Lure - Imitation Minnow Stickbaits Hook Tipped With - Nothing Scent - None Brown Trout are mostly targeted by trolling as close to the shoreline around big underwater boulders. No flashers or dodgers are needed, they are best fished for by using a medium to large stickbait tied on with a Rapala knot to allow more action of the lure, and no hardware or swivels. The best patterns for me are rainbow trout, plain silver, brown trout, in various sizes of medium to large. I also like to flip some stickbaits up into shore on my second rod while I’m trolling to increase my chances. I like to have two stickbaits of each size and color so that I can take a red medium tip permanent marker and draw some red marks on the gills and spots on the body to customize the lure a little to entice more strikes. I like to troll in five to fifteen feet of water, 5ft to 40 ft off of the shoreline, but be careful of any boulder’s you encounter that are lingering just under the surface. Don’t hit it with the boat or the motor, but do your best to troll around it because this is where they hide. You can catch them in the depths as well, but the best fishing is ripping the shore line. Keep your rod in your hand and rip the line back a few times now and then to change up the motion of the lure. When you spot a big brown suspended off the bottom, troll through that area back and forth in all directions until you trigger an aggressive strike. First and foremost Brown Trout are aggressive opportunists. They will sit and wait for smaller fish to swim by and pounce. They will lurk around hunting smaller fish as well and chase down prey with lightning speeds. Brown trout will eat any species of fish small enough to consume. They will take an easy meal such as a worm but you will not consistently catch quality browns on a crawler in most waters.
Fishing For Brown Trout With Stickbaits
Stickbaits such as Rapala f-13 and f-18 are my lure of choice. These are ripping baits and are intended to be pulled swiftly through the water. These baits mimic small fish and can be found in many different species imitations. You need to check the action of your stick bait and tune it if necessary. Tweaking the eyelet that you tie to will tune your lure to run as desired. Early fall and late spring you want to run fast trolling speeds with stick baits. 3- 4.5 mph seems to work well in warm water. When the water starts to get cold later in the year you need to slow it down a touch but still much faster than trout trolling. Keep in mind these lures won't work at very slow speeds. You always want to run your stick bait right on the bottom. Within 1-2 feet. Browns stay at or near the bottom most of the time. Try close to shore in 6 ft. of water first depending on how deep your lure of choice runs. Work rocky points and areas with mostly rocky bottoms. Browns like having cover. The best time to catch large browns is on the nastiest, windy, rainy days you can find. The worse weather, the better. I have no clue why but trust me bad weather equals big browns. Change the appearance of your stick bait. Use red sharpie or model paint to add red sides, bleeding gills or red eyes. Use your imagination. THIS REALLY WORKS. Maybe change out the front hook to a red bleeder hook. Also use lots of scent. Pro cure has awesome bait scents. UV ones for low light are great. Well trained stick baits are the best bet every time. A new shiny lure doesn't work as well as one that you've caught a lot of fish on. If you find a lure that works well it probably has just the right action. It may look the same as the next one but trust me it has that special little something that those big Lunkers like. Your knot plays a huge part in tricking large browns. Different knots can be found on our website. I prefer a Rapala Knot. This knot has a loop at the end attached to your lure letting the lure move more freely. I NEVER use a swivel on a stick bait. They just don't work well in my opinion. A traditional fishing knot has it's place but not on a stick bait. They restrict the action of the lure and inhibit it's movement.
Ripping and Top Lining for Brown Trout Fishing
Lastly, some people call it ripping. Others call it top lining, others call it long lining. Whatever you want to call it make sure you get your lure at least 100 ft. behind the boat. 200ft. even better. Keep it ripping too. Don't let your stick bait drag behind the boat lifelessly. Jerking and ripping makes a stick bait dart around and go crazy back there and that's what those Browns love.
Brown Trout Fishing - Luck or Skill
Here at Mendenhall Outdoors we are all about sharing our secrets. A couple browns here and there may be luck but catching browns most of the time they are targeted is pure SKILL!
Mackinaw Lake Trout are a highly sought after fish species to target. They grow to an enormous size where they can grow to over 70 pounds, and any Mackinaw caught over thirty pounds is a real respectable trophy, and does happen pretty frequently. They are fun to fish for, even more fun to catch, and have a real delicious flavor if you decide to bring some home for dinner.
Mackinaw Lake Trout Fishing Guides
There are many different fishing guides that offer guided fishing trips for Mackinaw Lake Trout, and pretty much any other fish that you may want to target. FishingBooker is a service of local guides that you can choose from and schedule your next guided fishing trip. If you would like to learn the fishing secrets and tips from a local fishing guide, Book A Mackinaw Lake Trout Fishing Guide Today!
Trolling for Mackinaw Lake Trout
•Dodger / Flasher - Medium to Large Silver Dodger •Depth - 30 ft to 150 ft •Location - Deep Water •Lure - Imitation Minnow Stickbaits, Spoons, Flatfish•Fish Attractant - Live Minnow Scent
Mackinaw Lake Trout Record Catch
The world record sized Mackinaw Lake Trout ever caught, as per the International Game Fish Association, was caught in 1995 and it weighed in at 72 pounds. It was caught in Great Bear Lake, in the Northwest Territories in Canada. Thought there was an unofficial Mackinaw that weighted in at 102 lbs.
How To Catch A Big Mackinaw Lake Trout
There are many different ways to catch those big Lakers ranging from top lining the regular trout gear and a worm or minnow to downrigging the deep water with a dodger or J plug to long lining a Rapala or AC plug to Jigging the depths with a Gibbs minnow or torpedo or even a minnow. We have caught macs using every technique we know and have a great time no matter which method we use. Minnows are only allowed to be used in the lakes in the Tahoe basin. You may only use the minnows caught from the lake you are fishing and may not transport them to other lakes. Read your local Regulations before using any live bait.
Mackinaw Lake Trout Fishing in the Fall
Late fall to late spring the action seems to be on top. Top lining a Rapala f-18 or an AC plug will produce fish this time of year but later in the season you will need to get down deep for the fish.
Mackinaw Lake Trout Fishing in the Summer
Early summer to fall the Macs are down deep feeding on tiny freshwater shrimp. They will take your bait if presented in front of them. Watch your sonar for fish right on the bottom and slow troll through them. The fish will be stacked up in areas where there are drop offs and ledges. I like to use a large dodger with a 14 to 18 inch leader with a size 4 steelhead or salmon hook and a small minnow. Your bait does not need to be alive. You can use scent and the action of the dodger will make the minnow move around even if it's dead. Anything from swimbaits to J-plugs can also be affective on the wire. If you don’t have downriggers you can set up a 3 way swivel with a short dropper line to an 8 or 10 oz. lead ball to reach the depths.
Mackinaw Lake Trout Fishing Lures - Flatfish
LIGHTNING TROUT FISHING
Fishing for Lightning Trout
Mt. Lassen Trout Farm has created a gold mine in the trout fishing market in the local lakes of California that stock this magnificent and highly sought after prized golden rainbow trout. These uniquely modified rainbow trout are golden in color with a bright red stripe down their sides and a bright red gill plate. They are easy to spot for sight fishermen that like to target fish with grubs and trout mini jigs. They are super bright in the water, like neon lights shooting through the water. The meat of the fish resembles that of a salmon with it’s pink tint. They are truly a beautiful, great fighting trout, and also a great eating trout with lots of delicious flavor. Photo Credit: Mt. Lassen Trout Farm
Lightning Trout Fishing Guides and Charter Boats
There are many different fishing guides that offer guided fishing trips for lightning trout, and pretty much any other fish that you may want to target. FishingBooker is a service of local guides that you can choose from and schedule your next guided fishing trip. Book yourself a Lightning Trout Fishing Guide Today!
Lightning Trout at Lake Amador and Lake Camanche
Lake Amador and Lake Camanche both stock Lightning trout, or golden rainbow trout, as part of their regular lake stocking programs. Lake Amador now makes their own breed that is similar to lightning trout. Referred to as the Amador Golds which they breed in their own stock ponds with their own genetic version of an albino trout. These fish are exciting to catch, a lot of people target them, and it may take several trips, or even several years, for you to catch your first one. These lakes are stocked full of all kinds of other fish, so you are more likely to actually catch fish in these lakes. Once you catch one of these, whether you land a Golden Rainbow Trout, a Lightning Trout, or an Amador Gold Trout, you will be hooked. Such a beautiful and very large fish, and get ready because they are also a strong fighter to get your adrenaline going. Some people even fish with ultralight gear and tackle, to increase the excitement, and really feel the full fight of realing one of them in.
Fishing Techniques for Lightning Trout
Since this is a stocked fish, powerbait will work pretty good to target these fish. Powerbait can be fished from the bottom with a sinker and a regular small sized treble hook, or from a bobber or float with a sinking hook like a catfish dough bait hook. Lures such as a small imitation minnow like Rapalas, kastmasters, trout spoons, these multi pack trout lure kits, and my personal favorite, the trout mini jig will also work great to catch Lightning Trout. Any medium sized fishing spoon will work great for fishing for these Lightning Trout, Golden Rainbow Trout, and Amador Golds. The bright colors from the Michigan Stinger Spoons, along with their sleek design, are an ultimate lure for all trout species, and they work especially well for these amazing breeds. Flatfish are another great lure for catching trophy Lightning and Golden Trout species. The amazing wiggle that imitates a wounded bait fish, are irresistable to all trout species, and are a popular choice for lake fishing.
Trout Mini Jig Lures Neon Kit
One of my favorite trout lures of all time are Mini Jigs. Jigs work extremely well for fishing in these lakes. They also work well in creeks and rivers, especially on a light tackle setup. Trout Magnet is one of the best, especially with their various mini jig kits to give you an assortment of colors to try to entice the Golden Rainbow Trout, Lightning Trout, and Amador Golds.About The Author Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase. The Best Trout Fishing Experience Awaits!