Whether you are brand new to trout fishing or already have years of experience, every angler wants to catch more fish.
Having success as an angler is a process, but the more you can learn and prepare the more fish you’ll catch and the better experience you’ll have out on the water.
Here are 20 trout fishing tips that will not only help you catch more trout but will make you a better and more efficient angler.
20 Trout Fishing Tips to Catch More Fish
1. Master Your Knots
Can you imagine reeling in a monster trout only to have it break off right before you land it because of a bad knot? Don’t make this easy mistake.
Every trout angler needs to master the art of knot tying. Being able to tie a strong reliable knot quickly is a fundamental aspect of fishing but often gets overlooked.
Quickly tying a strong knot for whatever fishing technique your using will save you a ton of time and will help you land more fish and will save you a lot of money.
If you haven’t mastered your knot tying yet, here are some video tutorials on how to tie some of the most popular fishing knots.
• Palomar Knot
• Uni Knot
• Improve Clinch Knot
• FG Knot
I recommend selecting a few of these and practicing them when you are stuck at home. That way you’ll be able to breeze right through them when you are out on the water.
2. Do Your Research
We have all herd the phrase “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” and in fishing this statement is absolutely true.
Being prepared for the body of water and the type of fish you are targeting is extremely important.
Before heading out on your next fishing trip, do yourself a favor and find out as much information as you can before you even get to the water.
Understanding things like seasonal patterns, water levels, flows, water clarity, weather, and what the natural fish forage is can give you a huge advantage.
These days there is a ton of great online resources that can help you prepare ahead of time.
Here is a list of some of my favorite fishing tools and resources:
DWR & Other Websites – there are plenty of great DWR websites that provide detailed fishing reports and information in each state. Make sure to frequently check out these resources they will provide you with a great starting point.
Google Earth – Is a great resource that can help you tremendously when scouting out your next fishing spot. It allows you to look at detailed maps of any type of water ahead of time making planning a breeze.
Navionics Web App – the Navionics web app is another great tool that shows you a ton of different lake maps with contour lines, helping you scout out some key spots ahead of time.
YouTube – YouTube is another great resources to utilize and learn from. There are plenty of channels dedicated to trout fishing. This will help keep your skills sharp and stay ahead of the game.
3. Match the Hatch
Matching the hatch is a common fishing strategy used by trout fishing anglers that means finding out the type of trout forage at the body of water you are fishing at and choosing flies, baits and lures that closely resemble the forage, size, and color that best match what the trout are eating.
Whether it’s small bait fish, certain flies etc. finding out what the trout are feeding on will give you a huge advantage and you’ll end up catching a lot more fish if you can closely mimic what they are feeding on.
4. Choose the Right Patterns & Colors
Selecting the right color or pattern might not seem like that big of deal, but it can make all the difference and will play huge role in your fishing success.
A good rule of thumb when fishing in clear water is to choose baits and lures that are natural. Colors like green, olive, browns and whites or anything that resembles natural trout forage will be the most productive.
When fishing in stained water dark or flashy colors like black, blue, pink, and purple tend to be the most effective. Also use larger flies and baits to allow the trout to better see your presentation.
For more detailed information about choosing the right color when trout fishing, check out this article: Best Colors for Trout Lures.
5. Learn from Other Anglers
One of the fastest and best ways to improve your trout fishing skills is to go fishing with other experienced anglers.
You can learn so much by fishing with and observing others, especially with the people that have a lot of experience and know your local waters well.
If you don’t know of anyone personally that you can go with there are plenty of fishing Facebook groups you can join and make fishing buddies.
Another great option is to hire a fishing guide for the day. The knowledge and experience you can learn from guides and other anglers is truly invaluable.
6. Gear Up
Much like any task having the proper tools for the job at hand is extremely important. The right gear will not only help you be a more productive angler but it will also keep you safe and allow you to better enjoy the outdoors.
I’m not advocating you spend thousands of dollars on a fishing equipment by any means, but it is important that you get a quality setup for your chosen fishing method.
It will be well worth the initial investment and will help you better enjoy your fishing experience.
7. Wind & Current are Key
Wind can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to fishing, especially if you are fishing from a boat. When heavy winds pick up it can be challenging to cast and navigate.
However, the wind also brings a lot of positives and can really make for some great fishing. When its windy trout can become more aggressive and it’s easier to trick them into striking.
Current is another important fishing factor. Current brings in key nutrient and food and trout will setup and feed heavily in these areas.
If you can find a windy bank or areas that have good current, there will likely be plenty of nearby trout to catch.
8. Spend Time on the Water
Nothing will improve your trout fishing skills like spending quality time on the water. You can read and watch everything there is to know about fishing. However, nothing can compare to going out and practicing it yourself.
If you want to become a better angler one of the best tips I can give you is to spend as much time on the water and fish at as many places as you can.
The knowledge and experience you’ll gain going outside of your comfort zone will pay off huge dividends for you in the years to come.
9. Mix Up Your Retrieval
If you are fishing with spinners, spoons or other moving baits than mixing up your retrieval speed and cadence is key. If you are fly fishing than having a perfect drift is critical.
Trout are opportunistic predators meaning they take advantage and look for easy prey. Small changes to your retrieval like a pause, jerk or twitch are great ways to trigger a trout’s predatory response.
Sure, you can catch plenty of fish by simply casting out and winding with a straight retrieve but if you mix up your speed and cadence you’ll have a lot more success.
10. Cover Water
A common mistake I see many trout fishing anglers make is that they spend way too much time fishing in the same spot.
If you haven’t caught anything at the spot you are fishing at and it’s been over a half an hour, it’s time to make a move to a new area.
Whether you are using bait, fly fishing or tossing spinners don’t be afraid to move around until you find an area where you are starting to catch fish. One you have some success than you can slow down and fish that spot longer.
The last thing you want to do is waste time fishing in unproductive areas when you can make a small move and have a lot more success.
11. Long Casts Are Key
A common mistake many anglers make is that they don’t cast far enough. Your casting distance can play a key role in your overall trout fishing success.
Long casts will allow your presentation to be in the strike zone longer making it more likely for a trout to come up and strike your lure.
Making long casts is extremely important when fishing in clear water situations. With longer casts you’ll be less likely to spook your fish and will dramatically increase your odds of catching fish.
Here are some tips that will help you make longer casts:
• Fly Casting Lessons – Adding Distance To Your Cast
• 5 Tips To Help You Cast Farther
12. Add Scent
If you are targeting trout with baits and lures adding scent can be a great way to get more bites and increase your hook up ratio.
Adding scents or fish attractants will help you draw in more fish and when they do strike they will hold onto your bait longer, allowing you more time to react and set the hook.
Another added advantage of scent is that it masks repelling odors that tend to get onto your hands and baits like sunscreen and gasoline.
Here are some of the most popular trout fishing scents you should consider giving a try:
- Pro Cure Scent
- Smelly Jelly
13. Success Is in The Details
I’ve been trout fishing for a long time and whether I’ve been using a fly rod, spinning setup or fishing with power bait, I’ve realized how important the small details can be.
There are so many missed opportunities that anglers could have taken advantage of if they were only paying attention to certain things that would have helped them become more successful.
Paying close attention to the subtle details is what really separates good anglers from great ones. Developing an ability to notice and take advantage of these little things will give you a huge advantage and help you catch a lot more fish.
14. Learn to Be Versatile
A common mistake that many trout anglers make is that they are too reliant on one bait or technique. You never want to be in a position where you are only confident in one particular angling method.
The best way to be a well-rounded angler is to fish at new places and continue to learn and practice throwing new baits and techniques.
If you enjoy throwing spinners and have a lot of success try using tube jigs or flies. On the other hand, if you are fly fishermen and only nymph practice using dry flies and streamers.
That way if the trout are keying in on a particular lure, bait or technique you’ll be able to adapt and catch them.
Don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone, you’ll become a much more versatile and effective angler.
15. Be Persistent
Trout fishing is a challenging sports which is one of the reasons it can be so rewarding. As you navigate through all the different things you’ll need to learn, be persistent in your efforts.
When you do run into roadblocks and challenges, be persistent and keep working towards becoming a better angler. It will be well worth it in the long run.
16. Master Your Casts
Whether you are fly fishing or fishing with spinners or jigs being able to softly place your lure or fly in the right spot is absolutely critical.
If you aren’t able to effectively cast where they fish are you’ll have a hard time be successfully. On the other hand, learning how to cast will definitely increase your chances of catching more fish constantly.
Spend time learning how to accurately cast your fishing presentation it will pay big dividends on future fishing trips.
17. Watch Out for Water Temperature
Depending on the time of year and location, water temperatures can vary drastically. Which can greatly affect the activity and feeding level of the trout that you are targeting and where they will be positioned in the water column.
A good general rule of thumb to go by is to throw slower moving baits in cooler water temperatures and faster more aggressive baits in warmer water.
Conversely when fishing in the summer look for parts of the lake that have cooler water temperatures. This will help you find a ton of productive areas.
18. Adapt & Change
Be able to adapt on the fly is something that every trout fishing angler must learn. Fishing conditions change from day to day, even from hour to hour. So it’s critical that you are able to adapt and switch your approach depending on what they are doing.
The baits, techniques and areas that worked in the morning or on the previous day won’t necessarily work tomorrow or even later on in the day.
Trout are constantly on the move and their behavior changes based on season, weather conditions, water temperature and light penetration among other things.
For this reason, it’s extremely important that you learn to adapt and change your approach, baits, flies, and techniques to match the fish behavior.
19. Be Patient
Much like mastering any sport or skillset it takes time to become a great at fishing. Be patient with yourself and trust in the process. When things don’t go your way and you’re not having any luck, don’t get frustrated.
Some of the most important lessons you’ll learn will be on bad fishing days where you don’t catch anything. Use each fishing trip as a learning opportunity and be patient with yourself as you spend time mastering your skills.
20. Have Fun
One of the most important trout fishing tips that every angler needs to remember is to have fun regardless of what happens out on the water.
You’ll have good days and bad days but always remember to be patient have a positive attitude and always strive to learn each time you hit the water.
Trout fishing is all about spending quality time in the outdoors and connecting with others. If keep that perspective, you will always have an enjoyable experience.
Other Trout Fishing Resources
- 15 Reasons Why You’re Not Catching Trout
- Do Trout Have Teeth? How to Safely Hold Trout
- How to Catch Trout: A Complete Beginners Guide
- 10 Best Baits for Rainbow Trout
Whether you are fly fishing, trolling, using bait or casting spinners trout fishing can be both challenging and rewarding.
The trout fishing tips that we covered in this article will help you catch more fish and meet whatever challenges you may be faced with during the process.
If you have enjoyed these trout fishing tips and found them to be helpful make sure to check out our other articles here on Tiltfishing.com