How to Fish for Trout Using Artificial Lures

In this guide, we’ll explore the art of trout fishing using artificial lures

How-to Guides
Simon Palmer

Published: August 8, 2023


Fishing for trout is an age-old pastime that has captivated anglers for generations. While many purists swear by the effectiveness of live bait, the evolution of artificial lures has brought about a revolution in trout fishing. These lures not only mimic the natural prey of trout but also offer several advantages that make them a must-have in every angler’s tackle box. In this guide, we’ll explore the art of trout fishing using artificial lures and delve into the techniques that can increase your chances of landing that prized catch.

Understanding Trout Behavior

Before diving into the world of artificial lures, it’s crucial to understand the behavior of trout. This knowledge will guide your lure selection and fishing strategy.

  • Natural Habitats and Feeding Habits:
    • Streams and Rivers: Trout thrive in fast-moving waters where they feed on insects, smaller fish, and crustaceans.
    • Lakes and Ponds: In still waters, trout often feed on aquatic insects, worms, and zooplankton.
HabitatPrimary Diet
Streams/RiversInsects, smaller fish, crustaceans
Lakes/PondsAquatic insects, worms, zooplankton
  • Activity Patterns:
    Understanding when trout are most active can significantly improve your success rate. Typically, trout are most active during:


    • Dawn: As the sun rises, trout become active, searching for their first meal of the day.
    • Dusk: The setting sun triggers a feeding frenzy as trout hunt for food before nightfall.

For those new to the world of fishing, gaining a deeper understanding of fish behavior can be immensely beneficial. Our ultimate beginner’s guide to fishing offers a comprehensive look into the intricacies of angling, ensuring you’re well-equipped for your next fishing adventure.

Types of Artificial Lures for Trout

Artificial Lures for Trout

Selecting the right artificial lure is paramount to your success in trout fishing. Each type of lure is designed to mimic a particular kind of prey, and understanding their applications can significantly improve your catch rate.

  • Soft Plastics: These lures are versatile and can be shaped to resemble worms, insects, or smaller fish. They’re especially effective in still waters like lakes and ponds.

  • Spoons and Spinners: With their reflective properties, these lures imitate the shimmer of small fish, attracting trout from a distance. Their spinning action also creates vibrations in the water, further enticing the fish.

  • Lipless Crankbaits: These are designed to mimic the movement and appearance of baitfish. Their unique design allows them to dive and swim in a manner that’s irresistible to trout. For a deeper understanding of lipless crankbaits and their effectiveness, check out our detailed guide on lipless crankbaits.

  • Jigs: These are weighted lures with a hook molded into them. They can be paired with soft plastics or used alone. Their erratic movement, when jigged, can trigger bites even on slow fishing days.

List of Popular Trout Lures:

  • Soft Plastic Worms
  • Metallic Spoons
  • Inline Spinners
  • Lipless Crankbaits
  • Feathered Jigs

Tips for Using Artificial Lures

Successfully fishing for trout with artificial lures requires more than just casting and waiting. Here are some expert tips to enhance your success:

  • Matching the Hatch: This age-old angling advice means selecting a lure that closely resembles the local prey. If trout are feeding on small silver fish, a silver spinner might be your best bet.

  • Varying Retrieval Speed: Don’t retrieve your lure at a constant speed. Mix it up – slow down, speed up, and add pauses. This mimics the erratic movement of real prey.

  • Using the Right Gear: Ensure you’re using a rod, reel, and line that match the weight and type of your lure. A lightweight lure requires a sensitive rod to detect subtle bites.

Table: Gear Recommendations for Different Lures:

Lure TypeRecommended RodRecommended ReelRecommended Line
Soft PlasticsLight to MediumSpinning Reel4-8 lb test line
Spoons & SpinnersMediumSpinning Reel6-10 lb test line
Lipless CrankbaitsMedium-HeavyBaitcasting Reel8-12 lb test line
JigsMediumSpinning Reel6-10 lb test line

Advantages of Artificial Lures Over Live Bait

While live bait has its place in the world of fishing, artificial lures offer several distinct advantages that can make your trout fishing experience more rewarding:

  • Durability: Unlike live bait, which can be used up or fall off the hook, artificial lures can be used repeatedly, making them cost-effective in the long run.

  • Targeted Fishing: Artificial lures allow you to target specific behaviors of trout. For instance, a fast-moving spinner can provoke aggressive trout into striking.

  • Environmental Benefits: Using artificial lures reduces the risk of introducing non-native species into the water, which can happen when using live bait from different regions.

  • Versatility: With a range of colors, sizes, and designs, artificial lures can be tailored to match the conditions and the specific type of trout you’re targeting.

List of Advantages:

  • Cost-effective in the long run
  • Allows for targeted fishing
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Highly versatile
Trout Fishing Locations

While trout can be found in various water bodies across the globe, some locations are renowned for their abundance and size of trout. Here are a few spots worth considering:

  • Mountain Streams: These fast-flowing waters are often home to aggressive trout that are eager to bite.

  • Alpine Lakes: The cold, clear waters of alpine lakes are perfect for trout, especially in the early morning or late evening.

  • Tailwaters: Areas downstream of dams or reservoirs often have consistent water temperatures and flows, making them ideal for trout.

For those looking to diversify their fishing adventures, consider exploring the thrill of rainbow trout fishing or even venturing to France for some exceptional carp fishing.

Table: Recommended Trout Fishing Locations:

Location TypeBest Time to FishNotable Locations
Mountain StreamsMorning & EveningRocky Mountains, US
Alpine LakesEarly MorningSwiss Alps
TailwatersYear-roundTennessee River, US

Essential Accessories for Trout Fishing

While having the right lure is crucial, complementing it with the right accessories can make a significant difference in your fishing experience. Here are some must-have accessories for trout fishing:

  • Fishing Tackle Box: Organize your lures, hooks, and other essentials in a compact and easily accessible manner.

  • Fishing Pliers: Useful for removing hooks from the trout’s mouth safely and for adjusting your tackle.

  • Fishing Net: A soft mesh net helps in landing the trout without harming it, especially if you practice catch and release.

  • Polarized Sunglasses: Enhance underwater visibility and protect your eyes from the sun’s glare.

  • Fishing Hat: Shields you from the sun and provides better visibility on bright days.

For those who enjoy fishing from a kayak, having the right accessories can elevate the experience. Dive into our ultimate guide to kayak fishing accessories to ensure you’re well-equipped for your next adventure.

List of Essential Accessories:


Trout fishing with artificial lures is both an art and a science. By understanding trout behavior, selecting the right lure, and equipping yourself with the essential accessories, you can enhance your chances of landing that prized catch. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, the world of trout fishing offers endless opportunities for exploration and excitement. So, gear up, head to your favorite fishing spot, and let the adventure begin!