Bass Baits for Fall Trout

Fat RainbowIn autumn, when the weather and water temperatures start cooling, big trout begin to shake off their summer lethargy and become active. The dropping water temperatures get the fish salivating like Pavlov’s dogs and they move in close to shore to feast before the onset of winter.?? That’s exactly what makes the upcoming several weeks the most productive time of year to hook a monster.

When it is still warm (hot) in the low elevations, I like to start my quest for jumbo ‘bows and browns up in the higher elevations and work my way down the hill as the season progresses. One really nice thing about fishing for fall trout is they are typically very close to shore, so boatless anglers aren’t at a big disadvantage.

A nice November Brown

A nice November Brown


Speaking of shore fishing, I like to target large trout with bass-style gear. One of my favorite lures to throw is the 4-inch Zoom Fluke or 3-inch Tiny Fluke.

Zoom Fluke

Zoom Fluke

These soft plastic jerk baits imitate wounded baitfish extremely well and trout (as well as bass) go nuts for them. ??In situations where long-range casts are not necessary, I’ll rig a Fluke weightless – I simply cast out, let the lure flutter towards the bottom, give it a couple jerks of the rod tip and then allow it to flutter again. When I need to fish deep, I’ll fish these lures on a leadhead jig. Either way, they’re deadly!


Another popular bass lure that works well for trout is the Yamamoto Senko worm. I run the 3- and 4-inch sizes and usually fish them “wacky style,” which involves placing your hook through the middle of the worm. Senko worms are very dense and designed to be fished without weight. They cast well and then have a fluttering action as they sink. With the wacky rigging, I’ll throw my worm out and let it fall. Every second or two, I’ll give it 2-3 quick pops of the rod tip, which causes the two ends of the bait to twitch very enticingly, which drives trout nuts.??Sometimes, they’ll follow the worm all the way to the bottom, pecking at it as it sinks and finally inhaling it once it hits the lake floor.??The only drawback to the above two techniques is you have to fish very slowly and methodically – not a bad idea when you’ve got a piece of water in front of you that you know holds fish.

Cranks and Rip Baits

Big Brown Food

Big Brown Food

But, when I’m not exactly sure where the fish are and need to cover some ground to find them, I love burning ripbaits and cranks. Lucky Craft’s 2.5-inch Pointer 65 minnow in the rainbow trout or American shad finishes is a dandy…??The bait looks like a standard Rapala, but it’s neutrally buoyant and suspends when you stop reeling it. It also casts like a bomb, unlike baits made of balsa. Cast it out and burn it back in, allowing it to pause and suspend momentarily along the way.??
A nice rainbow that mistook a small crankbait for a tasty meal...

A nice rainbow that mistook a small crankbait for a tasty meal...

There’s a whole host of other cranks you can fish for fall trout, like Speed Traps, Norman Tiny N Deeps, Bagley’s Crawfish, etc. Rainbows will often smack these lures, but they are particularly deadly on big brownies.

Old School Baits

Going Old Skool...

Going Old Skool...

Of course, you can fish “old school” style for big trout with stuff like inflated nightcrawlers, live minnows, Rapalas, spinners and spoons and do just fine, but give some of these bass techniques a try this fall and I bet you’ll be happy with the results.

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  1. says

    You are so cool! I do not believe I have read through something like that before. So great to discover somebody with genuine thoughts on this topic. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

  2. sam w says

    I traditionaly troll spoons or if im feeling a little lazy use powerbait, but i have to agree that using bass tackle of trout can deffinately be deadly. one of my favorite techniques is using a 2 inch floating rapala in a rainbow finish with size 12 treble hooks. cast out, jerk once or twice and let it float to the suface for 3-5 seconds. watching hungry trout nail this thing on top water is electrifying! good fishing everyone!

  3. eric says

    what kind of rod do you have in the first two pictures? and what reel im looking to buy a new trout setup for under 110

    • says

      Eric, the rod’s a $300 GLoomis, but you don’t have to get that crazy. Just find a decent 6- to 7-foot graphite stick rated for 2- to 6-pound line and add a quality reel. We found nice, wide arbor spooled US Reel Super Caster XL 180’s for 39 bucks recently at Big 5. Keep your eyes open for sales and check Craigslist and eBay for deals.

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