Category Archives: trout lures

The basics for trout lure fishing using hard crankbaits and jerkbaits

There is nothing more invigorating then the fight of a rainbow trout; the intense head thrashes as it attempts to break free from the hook’s grasp, the stunning acrobatic leaps and bounds, and sheer thrill of the hunt. While the fight of an aggressive trout can be a thrilling experience, many anglers miss out on one of the most rewarding methods for landing a big rainbow.


There are a variety of methods an angler can use to approach a body of water with rainbow trout present, but only few are effective enough to land the bigger fish. Fishing for trout on lures such as hard body crank baits and jerk baits may be seen as somewhat low-key techniques to landing larger more aggressive rainbow trout. Yet like most fishing tactics, it takes proper knowledge and practice to catch a rainbow on a hard body lure.


First, when choosing the type of trout lures, it’s important to remember to vary the lure retrieve. While trout are aggressive and sometimes act on impulse, they are also very finicky and rely strongly on their sense of sight. Trout have amazing close-range eyesight making it even more important to vary the retrieve of a hard bait such as stick bait or small minnow imitation lure. Reeling in a hard body lure too quickly can make it more difficult for the trout to key in on the lure. A start-and-stop retrieve while reeling the hard body back to the boat or shore allows an open door for a feeding rainbow to strike.


The type of lure that compliments this start-and-stop technique the best is a diving hard body lure in a 2.5-inch size. These are often a suspending style of bait that will stand still after the angler has stopped reeling, while the smaller size makes it easier for a trout to consume.


This type of hard bait also allows more time and an bigger open window for the rainbow trout to target the lure. Using a suspending hard bait like this can be most effective in colder water and it can be worked at a faster pace when the trout are more aggressive. Trout are cold-water fish and tend to feed heavily in clearer, cooler water with an abundance of live forage and fast moving water. These conditions suit the suspending hard body perfectly and should produce an ample amount of rainbow trout.


Before throwing one of these lures, keep in mind that one should never have a set lure retrieve for every cast. Remember, trout have good close-range vision and sometimes can be thrown off if a lure is suspended for too long, especially in crystal clear water. That’s why in clearer conditions it can be important to choose a color pattern for a hard body that matches the forage. For example, if trout are feeding heavily on smelt (a small baitfish with a shiny silver color pattern) an angler should throw a smaller jerk bait that has a light gray and silver color pattern to match what the trout are feeding on. If the lure presentation has a natural appearance to that of what the fish is currently feeding upon, the chances of landing a larger rainbow trout can prove more common.


While fishing a suspending jerk bait isn’t a sure way to always land rainbow trout, it is an effective method that even the most avid trout anglers often overlook. Too often the focus is on insect lure presentations, but the real excitement lies within the technique of fishing hard baits and targeting the larger rainbow trout population in a river, stream, or lake.


Article by Jon Barzacchini on behalf of Ultimate Fishing (