Can You Catch Brown Trout on PowerBait Dough?

One of the most popular and widely used baits to catch trout by many anglers is PowerBait dough. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been using PowerBait at my local bodies of water and have enjoyed a lot of success fishing with it. A common question that I often get asked is whether or not you can catch brown trout using PowerBait. 

Simply put, PowerBait is not a bait that I would recommend using when fishing for brown trout. PowerBait is best suited for rainbows, cutbows, cutthroats and other commonly stocked trout species. Every now and then you might get lucky and catch a brown trout with PowerBait dough, but it’s not very common. 

In this article, I’ll break down exactly why brown trout don’t like PowerBait, what lures to use instead and what fish you will most likely catch using this popular fishing bait.

Let’s get started. 

Can You Catch Brown Trout on PowerBait?

Ever since I was a kid first getting into fishing I used PowerBait to catch trout at my local ponds and reservoirs. It’s still a bait I use often when fishing with my kids and other family and friends. A common question that I’ve been asked is whether or not you can catch brown trout with PowerBait.

In my experience, I’ve never caught brown trout using PowerBait in all my years of fishing this bait. I’ve caught a ton of rainbow trout and cutthroat trout, but have never personally caught browns. Even though I’ve fished plenty of places that have a healthy brown trout population. I have heard of other anglers catching some, but it’s very rare.

Why can’t you catch brown trout on PowerBait? PowerBait is made out of the same material as the pellets used in fish hatcheries. As a result, stocked trout grow up feeding on this and the PowerBait dough resembles food they are used to eating. When they do get released in the wild they also tend to be not as picky with their food. For these reasons, PowerBait is best used for stocked trout.

On the other hand, most brown trout aren’t raised in fish hatcheries and are born and raised in the wild. This makes them far less likely to eat a floating bait ball that has glitter on it. This is not something they are used to eating. 

For this reason, PowerBait is not a bait that I would recommend using for brown trout. Instead using flies, crankbaits, inlines spinners, and other baits and lures that best mimic natural brown trout forage will be more successful.

What Fish Can You Catch with PowerBait?

Traditional PowerBait is by far one of the most popular baits to use in the fishing industry. In the right situation, they can be a simple and effective way to catch fish. Throughout my years of using PowerBait I’ve learned there are certain species that you can catch using PowerBait and others where it’s very rare they wouldn’t eat this bait.

Here is a list of fish that you’ll most likely catch and not catch using traditional PowerBait:

Fish that Will Eat PowerBait

In my experience, PowerBait really shines when you are fishing for stocked trout. There is something about the PowerBait formula that is similar to hatchery pellets used by fish hatcheries. These hatcheries will eventually release their fish into your local pond, lake or reservoir. These stocked fish have grown up on this type of food which is why I believe they like to eat them so much.

Here is a list of fish that you’ll have the most success catching using PowerBait:

  • Rainbow trout
  • Cutthroat trout
  • Cutbow trout

Fish that Won’t Eat PowerBait

What I’ve learned over the years fishing with traditional PowerBait is that it is not an effective bait to use for natural/wild fish or fish that are more predatory. You’ll rarely ever see fish like brown trout, lake trout, bass, walleye etc. being caught using PoweBait.

The reason for this is the material & components PowerBait is made out of the same stuff used as food in fish hatcheries. Wild fish or fish that primarily eat bait fish aren’t attracted to this bait and will most likely pass on eating it.

Here is a list of fish that you’ll most likely not catch using PowerBait:

  • Brown trout
  • Lake trout
  • Largemouth bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • White bass
  • Catfish
  • Panfish
  • Pike
  • Walleye

With that being said, every once in a while, you might get lucky and catch one of these fish using this bait. However, it’s very unlikely and it’s not something I’d recommend. Instead I’d recommend using live baits like worms if you bait fishing for crankbaits, inline-spinners or other minnow imitating presentations.

Best Brown Trout Baits & Lures

By now you have a pretty good idea that if you are targeting brown trout it’s best not to use PowerBait. So, you might be wondering if PowerBait isn’t a good bait to use what is?

Here are the best baits and lures to use to catch brown trout.


One of my favorite ways to catch brown trout is by using dry flies. There is nothing like seeing a big old brown coming to the surface and feeding on the top. However, dry flies aren’t the only flies that will catch browns. Nymphes, streamers, wooly buggers, midges, terrestrials and others can be super effective when the conditions are right. 

Here is a list of some of my favorite flies to use to catch browns. 

Recommended Flies

  • Zebra Midge
  • Elk Hari Caddis
  • JuJu Bee Midge
  • Copper John
  • Rainbow Warrior


Crankbaits are a fun and effective way to catch browns. In fact, I’ve probably caught my largest brown trout using some type of crankbait. They will allow you to cover a lot of water and trigger a reaction strike by any nearby fish. 

Here are a few of the crankbaits that I’ve had the best luck with. 

Recommended Crankbaits

  • Rapala Countdown
  • Dynamic HD Trout
  • Trout Magnet Crank
  • Rapala Rippin’ Rap


Another great option to use when targeting brown trout is an inline spinner. A spinner is a simple lure that rotates as it runs through the water column generating vibration and flash. This combination can drive any nearby fish crazy. 

Here are some of the spinners that I’ve had the most success with. 

Recommended Spinners

  • Mepps Black Fury
  • Blue Fox Vibrax
  • Panther Martin

Live Bait

When fishing for brown trout or any other fish species you can never go wrong with using live bait. In fact, live bait can be one of the most successful things to uses. 

Here are some of the most productive live baits you can use to catch brown trout and other fish. 

Recommended Live Bait

  • Worms
  • Eggs

Check out this article for more insight on the best brown trout lures. 

How to Catch Trout with PowerBait

Best PowerBait Colors to Use

When shopping at your local sporting goods store, you’ll notice PowerBait comes in a ton of different colors and scents. Over the years, I have experimented with many of the colors and scents. Through trial and error, I’ve narrowed down what the best Powerbaits colors are to use to catch trout.

Here are the PowerBait colors that work the best in my experience.

  • Chartreuse
  • Garlic
  • Rainbow glitter
  • Corn
  • Green

Final Thoughts

PowerBait can be an effective and easy way to catch fish. In my experience, PowerBait is best used when targeting stocked trout. I’ve successfully caught rainbows, cutthroats, and cutbows with this bait. On the other hand, I’ve only randomly caught or seen brown trout caught on PowerBait and isn’t a bait I’d recommend using for browns.

Other Trout Fishing Resources

Aaron Warner

Aaron Warner is an avid angler with over 15 years of experience. He has participated and won fishing tournaments all over the country and enjoys fishing for bass, trout, walleye and other species.

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