If you are going fishing for rainbow trout one of the most important things to be mindful of are the types of rainbow trout lures that are employed. I have been fishing for these beautiful fish for more than two decades and in that time have learned that some rainbow trout lures are better than others and will list the most effective of these lures in this article. The bottom line is that if you fish for rainbow trout with spinning gear, these lures should be a part of you trout fishing arsenal.

Before getting down to the lures themselves it’s important to point out one thing about rainbow trout that every trout fisherman needs to be aware of. These fish are normally found in very clear water, have very keen eyesight, and are very aware of their surroundings. These facts are probably more true in river fishing scenarios, as opposed to lake fishing scenarios, but are nonetheless worth mentioning. For all of the reasons outlined above it means two very important things to the trout fisherman; be mindful of your shadow and be mindful of your fishing line.

You can easily spook the trout that you are attempting to catch by casting your shadow on the water you intend to fish and you can easily spook the trout that you intend to catch by using fishing line that’s too heavy. And can you guess what happens if a trout gets “spooked”? Yep, it will tend not to bite. So, be mindful of your shadow and your fishing line any time that you are fishing for rainbow trout.

With that being said, lets get down to the top 3 rainbow trout lures (in no particular order), what do you say? Secret bait for rainbow trout

  • Minnow Plugs – Minnow plugs are an excellent rainbow trout lure, but the one key is to make sure that you keep them small. From two to three inches is the perfect size for fishing for rainbow trout and a five inch minnow plug would be as big as you would ever want to use when fishing for rainbows. Rapala is the “king” of minnow plugs and rebel and Yo-zuri make effective minnow plugs as well, but the bottom line is that minnow plugs are an excellent choice as far as rainbow trout lures are concerned.
  • In-line Spinners – In line spinners are what many people think of when they think of the term “trout fishing”, and with good reason. Panther Martin and Rooster Tail spinners are by far the most popular and effective in-line spinners when it comes to fishing for rainbow trout. A key is to match the size of spinner to the water that you are fishing. In small rivers and streams in-line spinners as small as 1/32 ounce can be used and in larger rivers and lakes you probably want to bump your spinner weight up to as large as a 1/4 ounce.
  • Mini Jigs – Mini jigs are an often overlooked lure for rainbow trout, but the certainly shouldn’t be. Although mostly used in lakes, mini jigs can also be fished in small rivers and streams. When I say mini jigs I mean mini as these jigs weigh from 1/80- up to 1/32-ounce. They are normally fished using very light line and long rods and in the case of the really tiny jigs a casting bubble or bobber is used to help with the casting process. Some river or stream techniques would include dropping a mini-jig in behind boulders or allowing the jig to run down a current line, the key to getting hookups is to watch the tip of the rod or any movement of the line as pick ups are very often quite subtle.


The bottom line is that the 3 aforementioned rainbow trout lures are extremely effective and should be a part of every serious trout fisherman’s repertoire, there no doubt about it.


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