Best Tips for Catching Stocked Trout
Spring is around the corner and that means the stocking trucks should be rolling out soon. That's why I'm excited to share 3 amazing trout fishing tips that have landed me some beauties and can hopefully help you fish smarter too. Note that I've fished primarily using spinning gear so these may not be applicable for fly fishing or other types.
1) Double Your Catch Rate with Dough Baits
Cut off a tiny square piece of a household sponge. Use a small treble hook (size 6 or smaller) and hook the sponge piece so it's pierced on all 3 points. Now take your dough bait of choice and make a small ball. Push the ball into the treble hook/sponge combo until it's on there all around and secure. The sponge acts as scaffolding. And if your dough bait comes off or washes away it will still retain the smell and flavor of your bait, giving you a good chance of still catching a nice fish. Simple but very effective.
2) Appeal to their senses
Trout have incredible vision and a well developed sense of smell. So, the next time you want to throw on a lure, use a flashy spinner and dip it in a jar of salmon eggs or other jarred trout bait with liquid first. This will coat your lure with the appealing scent of food and mask any scents that may scare off a wary trout. For a stronger effect, soak your lures overnight. Also, for me, silver and gold spinners and spoons work the best, hands down.
3) When fishing for stockies
At first, most stocked trout will stay near their original stocking location, which is typically where the boat ramp is, but not always exclusively that one spot. Hint, the truck will usually leave tire tracks which are pretty apparent given the spring wet weather. After about a week, the fish will start to disperse, with many heading towards the center of the waterbody into deeper water with more stable conditions, with the unpredictability of spring in New England.
One general rule I swear by with trout especially is that if the barometric pressure has dropped, the fish will be in deep water columns, hence, this may require you to cast farther and use highly scented bait.
I use the Trac Outdoor T3002 Fishing Barometer, which is portable and way more accurate than relying on online sources. It even has a color-coded dial that shows ‘poor, good & great’ times to go fishing.