Trout Lures

Excluding flyfishing, what lures work well on brook, rainbow, lake trout and salmon?

William’s Wobbler


Panther Martin

Little Cleo

Pretty much the favorites for trout.

Depending on where you are there could be a steelhead run where you are. Roe bags under sensitive floats.

I haven’t done any serious salmon fishing. Long thin flashy spoons are popular. Florescent crankbaits. Some people use marsmallows.

Corn works well with rainbows, as do
cheese baits. Mepps spinners work well too.

small, thin
Flutter Spoon works well on all fish you’ve mentioned. If the spoon has a treble hook, change it to just a single. It seems to work even better. Happy fishin…

trout lures
Besides the panther martin which was listed by another angler, I find the smaller rapalas (2 to 3 inches) work well. For some lakes I’ve had good luck with kastmasters (they are heavy and compact and you can cast them a heck of a long way.

Lures, Trout
Try these, they are great. Mitey Mites. We have caught all types of trout on these.

Most any spoon or spinner
on a slow retreive. You might be surprised how slow you can go and get a bite.

If they are on top water I anchor and cast past the second jump. If they are deeper I paddle my canoe and troll just fast enough to get a wiggle or spin but let the lure stay down.

I had good luck with trolling spoons deep last weekend.

Small salt water jigs are good at times

– Last Updated: Jun-30-06 1:42 AM EST –

These were originally designed for salt water salmon but the smaller sizes are killers on trout in deep clear lakes. They don't seem to work as well for me for trout in swampy, tea water moose pond type of lakes, where flies are the killer.

Besides the spinners like Panther Martin and Blue Fox Vibrax mentioned above, the Buzz Bomb in 2 1/2 inch size, blue pearl or pink pearl is a great trout jig. A better one is a similar version with fish scale reflector sides made by Sanford Enterprises on the Olympic Peninsula of WA State. It clobbered cutthroats for me last summer. It's probably not widely distributed and I can't remember its exact name but the name is similar to its sister lure, the Dungeness Stinger. (Dungeness ?) The Stinger is another good jig for trout in small sizes like 1/2 oz.

I've caught them by casting and retrieving the jigs, but for big trout in big lakes, from a boat or raft, the best has been to jig it straight down, near the bottom, just like for salmon.

For rivers, Vibrax or Panther Martin.

This mention of jigs just to give some options that are excellent at times but not widely known.

Need more info
Where are you fishing? Boat or shore or wading? What kind of tackle?

For regular streams and small rivers (less than 50 feet wide), 1/8 to 1/4 ounce spinners usually work well. I prefer 1/8 if the current is slow enough to get the spinner down. My personal favorites are a #1 Mepps Aglia or Comet in silver or gold, but Panther Martins, Vibrax, and Rooster Tails all catch fish too. I also love the old Abus and Shysters when I can find them. I don’t like the Mepps Aglia Long and will sell someone a bunch cheap; they just don’t seem to spin well for me.

I also love small spoons, especially in a downstream presentation and near logjams. They plane higher in the water and are less likely to snag in these situations. A sentimental favorite is the smallest Acme KO Wobbler in silver/orange, but I’ve also used tiny Wob-L-Rites, Little Cleos, and SuperDupers effectively. The longer spoons don’t seem to work as well unless tipped (by longer, I mean Dardevle style). For these, you have to add a hunk of worm, spawn, or scented bait so they don’t turn over as much.

You say you don’t want fly tackle, but I’ve found a weighted brown streamer (on a spinning rod) to be one of the best “second chance” lures around. If a trout follows a spinner or spoon and turns around, it will often nail a muddler or similar streamer on the next cast. If it’s too light to cast, add a small split shot or even a tiny bobber 18-24 inches up the line.

The places I fish are usually too shallow or snaggy for jigs and minnow lures, but I wouldn’t hesitate to use them in open water.

Good luck!

Just another lure ?
I tried phobes’ and had real good luck and they troll well from paddled craft too.I think they come in about three sizes and at least as many color schemes.

Just another lure ?
I tried phobes’ and had real good luck and they troll well from paddled craft too.I think they come in about three sizes and at least as many color schemes.

Fly fishing
Streamers are great. You can also use a drift rod, with flies.

Not exactly fly fishing
Try a fly and a bubble with a spinning reel. The casting bubble takes the fly out rather than the fly line would. I haven’t done it much since I use a fly rod, but I see people having luck doing so. Use a dry fly like an Adams, Caddis, or BWO depending on the weather and time of day. A #14 or smaller on lake or beaver pond should do the trick. Put some dry fly floatant on the fly so it stays reliably on top.

Go w/ a dressed Panther Martin
I fish the Owens River in the Eastern Sierras and would never ever be caught without them. They have specific patterns for all the trout you are targeting.

Also, Super Duper Spoons, Kastmasters for sure, and Rooster Tails work great!!!