What Is the Best Bait For Rainbow Trout?

I have been fishing for rainbow trout for more than two decades and in that time one question stands out above all others when people ask me about fishing for and catching these beautiful fish. That question is “what is the best bait to use for rainbow trout” and in this article I outline the answer to this often asked question. The truth of the matter is that there are many kinds of fishing bait that can be used successfully when fishing for rainbow trout and the most popular fall into three distinct categories.

Below I will outline each of these categories and from there we should be able to decide into which category the best bait to use for rainbow trout resides. It’s also important to point out that in many instances “the best” or most effective bait to use when fishing for our rainbow colored friends will vary from day to day and situation to situation. With that being said, let’s get down to business, what do you say? Fishing baits


    1. Artificials – Artificial baits make up a large percentage of the baits that are used to catch rainbow trout. There are spinners, spoons, combinations of the two, stick and/or crank baits, and of course the well known and very productive artificial fly. I know many fly fishermen who would insist that artificials are the best bait to use when it comes to fishing for rainbow trout, and they very well might be correct.


    1. Live Baits – Live baits also make up a large percentage of the baits that are used to catch these beautiful fish. The most popular are live worms (either red worms or night crawlers), minnows, crickets & grasshoppers, and grubs & meal worms. Some less popular, but also very effective live baits would be cray fish and small frogs. There is no doubt that many people consider live baits to be the best bait that can be used to catch “rainbows”.


  1. Man-Mades – You may be asking yourself, “what are man-mades?” and the answer would be any trout bait that has been “made by man” and manufactured specifically for catching trout. These baits would include flavored marshmallows, extruded trout bait such as “Powerbait”, and even jarred salmon eggs. Although trout fishing purists tend to scoff at baits such as these there is little doubt that they are very effective choices, especially when you are dealing with trout that have been “stocked” is a body of water.


So there you have it, the three main categories of bait that can be used to catch trout. So, what is the best one to use? The truth is that the “best” is the one that has been the most effective for you. Every fisher person has his or her favorite and whatever that choice is, is the best bait to use for rainbow trout. For those who are new to the world of fishing for rainbow trout, the best bait will be found among the three aforementioned choices, there’s no doubt about it

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