Artificial lures are a lot of fun to fish with. They are easy to use, easy to cast and retrieve. And when a fish hits it, he hits it hard, making for some exhilarating strikes. Just another reason why I use lures to catch trout.
The nice thing about artificial lures is, they play into a trout’s aggressive behavior. Trout will strike a lures not because he is hungry, but because of an aggressive behavior built into his DNA. Trout will strike a lure if he thinks it’s a baitfish moving into his area. He’s biting for no other reason than to chase away the intruder
Generally, this aggressive behavior is aimed at other small fish, but other times he’ll strike a lure because he’s just curious. Many times I’ve watched a trout follow a lure a long way before ever taking a bite at it. I’ve also had trout follow a lure and not strike it at all and actually chase it several times with no strike.
Cover a Lot of Water and Do So Fast
Another reason why I use artificial lures to catch trout is, the ability to cover a lot of water and to do so faster. Casting to every nook and cranny of the stream you’re on can be done quickly and systematically. If a trout wants to hit a lure he usually does so quickly upon the first presentation, otherwise, he’ll pay no attention. It becomes natural to “work” a section and move on to another section of the stream. Before you know it you’ve waded quite a ways upstream and hit a lot of hiding places.
The artificial lures market seems to be endless with products to choose from, and they fit all kinds of fishing styles. You can spend a lot of time experimenting with all of the available artificial lures and if the wallet allows for it probably have a lot of fun while doing it.
But for me, I keep it simple. I like to use small in-line spinners and small crankbaits. Small being the key to my type of trout fishing. My spinning rod is a light 5 footer with a reel wound with a 4-pound test monofilament line.
After experimenting over the years with different types of lures I have narrowed it down to three individual lures. Two are spinners and the other is a crankbait.
- The Rooster Tail has been and may still be one of the most popular and productive spinners around. It has worked well for me. It comes in various sizes to catch just about any gamefish. But, again, I like to fish the small sizes.
- Joe’s Flies is the next spinner of choice. It’s an interesting spinner in that it has a hand-tied fly attached to the end with a stinger treble hook at the rear. This increases hookups for fish that “strike short”. The blade gives off an almost irresistible flash and is a different shape from that of the Rooster Tail.
- My third choice is The Rebel Minnow. The lip on the front of the minnow is designed in a way to dive the minnow downward on retrieval. I used the floater minnow and placed a split shot about 8 – 12 inches up the line from the minnow. The split shot adds a little more control and helps pull the minnow down when at rest. Ok, so I know you are asking “why not use a sinking minnow?” I found by using the floater when I stop my retrieve it will float upward. This comes in handy as it appears to the trout that the lure is headed for the surface and will strike it on the way up. Again, I use a smaller size, 1 5/8th minnow, but it is capable of catching some pretty hefty trout.
A Deadly Combination that Catches Trout
The combined effect of these three lures makes my trout fishing as simple as one could get. I carry three different boxes in my vest, one with an assortment of Rooster Tails, another with Joe’s flies and one with the Rebel Minnows. There’s no need to carry many of each because simply put, you don’t need many.
Through trial and error, I found that spinner body colors really don’t matter as much as the flash of the blade. The most important discovery for me was the blade colors. I found silver and gold was all I needed, but the trick was when to use them. I pieced together that gold blades were more productive on sunny days and silver blades were more productive on cloudy days. I’ll be honest to say, I don’t know why that is, but I stick by it and for me, it still works.
The Rebel minnow is a really fun lure to fish. It is versatile, to say the least, and can be fished in a multitude of ways. One thing for sure is, trout love to chase it. It became my daughter’s favorite go-to and some pretty dandy fish were fooled by her presentation. One other observation regarding the Rebel minnow was its ability to catch larger fish as well. Lastly, I believe the action of the minnow rather than the color is why it produces. I had success using silver and rainbow trout colors but I couldn’t say that one was better than the other. Like everything in trout fishing, it depends on the day.
If using a spinning rod is your choice I highly recommend using spinners and crankbaits, especially in the springtime. You will catch trout and you’ll have a lot of fun while doing it. One additional suggestion, after running a spinner through a likely spot, even if you catch a trout or two, is to switch up. Once you’ve used a spinner, change to the minnow. Often a trout that shows no interest in the spinner suddenly jumps all over the minnow.
I like to run a spinner through a hole several times from different angles. Then I relax the hole for a few minutes and start over using the minnow before moving on to the next hole. it’s another way I have found to add to my catch ratio. Changing up the presentation often produces results because it plays into the trout curiosity.
Why I use artificial lures to catch trout is because they work. They are a lot of fun and an active way to fish. This may be one of the other important aspects of fishing lures. You’re busy casting and changing angles and that makes for a very active form of trout fishing. Instead of sitting and waiting, which I’m not good at, so using lures is a natural for me. Also, as I said earlier, you get to cover a lot of water which is good for your health as well. Wading a creek and being on the move as you work your way along the stream lends itself to a bit of walk back to the truck and there is nothing wrong with that.