Finding those good trout lures for winter requires some work. Your pursuit will result in time spent onshore and adrift, testing new colors and actions, often skunked.
But, once you’ve narrowed it down to a solid few, they should remain part of your arsenal. I’ve concluded after much time fishing those frigid mornings that my five trout lures ( explained below) would remain in my box all year and take center stage as temperatures drop.
So what’s in this mystery box?
1.) Rapala Minnow
These lures have dominated the market for decades, and for good reason – they catch fish! I’ve been fishing the Rapala Original Floating Minnow for years, and I plan to use it this fall and winter for Stocked Rainbows and wild German Brown.
Trout, like all predator fish, will chase down and eat smaller fish. Contrary to many beliefs, winter hardly gets in the way of this. Yes, the cold will produce slower results and you’ll have to be persistent.
But a trout’s primary functioning, those simple yet deadly primitive faculties, are still operating.
Using the right trout lure will activate them to feed. Try matching the hatch with a life-like jerkbait with color patterns ranging from silver up to trout pattern; brown trout and rainbow.
When trying to reach a lower depth, use the countdown minnow – Rapala’s sly option for presenting your bait to weary, deep-dwelling trout.
Trout Lures: Fishing a Single Hook
Follow your local guidelines before casting treble hooks. Running a single hook could be the difference between receiving a fine, causing injury to the fish, and a good day on the water. Another benefit of running a single hook – it’s a quick easy release! Just be sure to wet your hands before handling a trout.
I carry a small box of trout lures outfitted with single hooks for just this occasion. Another option is to carry a handful of split rings and spare hooks for a fast modification if needed.
2.) Rebel Tracdown
One popular tactic (if you have a boat) is trolling the Rapala minnow. I like using a slightly larger profile minnow – 3″ to 4″ either from Rapala or Rebel and with brown trout and rainbow colors.
Trolling is a great way to drop that lure in front of larger fish. So why not go with a larger profile bait? My top choice for trolling waters known to hold large Lake Trout and Brown Trout:
- Rebel Tracdown 4″ Brown Trout Color
- Rapala Original Floating Minnow silver color.
Other good trout lures for trolling are Panther Martins and Rooster Tails. I prefer matching the hatch with a life-like minnow lure and seeing that it drops right into the strike zone.
3.) The Rebel Craw
The Rebel Craw is an underrated Trout lure. It works wonders in the late fall and early winter. The late fall period can produce excellent results as a trout’s forage is robust and the fall spawn, in many states, is in full swing, producing heated aggression.
This lure is also dynamite for stocked rainbows.
Trout Lures: How to Fish the Rebel Craw
Like a crankbait, you can retrieve this lure on a straight, steady retrieve or a twitch and pause as you knock the bottom, causing a commotion. Check out your local tackle shop and select a variation of colors and running depths.
Run this little bugger along rocky bottoms and in shallow water with below overhangs and structure about. Give it a pause, intermittently. Give those hungry trout a reason to slam it.
When fishing it, begin with a steady retrieve, and later, transition to the occasional pause and twitch. Let the lure handle the movement, as it imitates a fleeing, succulent little crawdad.
4.) Trout Lures: The Little Cleo
Are you in need of a great trout lure for lakes and drop-off points? In terms of versatility, the little Cleo is a must.
When fishing from the bank, drop your Cleo ( Or any spoon lure) down along the bank or wall.
Let your lure hit bottom and slowly jig your way back to the surface, allowing time for a flutter and flash. I’ve had success simply jigging the spoon along the edges. Additionally, you’ll be able to watch as your spoon flutters and then vanishes into the mouth of a buck rainbow.
Winter months are well known to drive trout deeper at certain points in the day. Having a spoon to flash at their depth is a perfect tool to cover the entire water column.
River Fishing Your Spoon
When casting up or downstream, make long casts into calm pockets along the seems. When bringing your spoon in, allow the current to pick it up and carry it as it will flutter down with a natural, wounded presentation. As the current drifts it past you ( now retrieving upstream) you’ll feel the lure presentation without even reeling.
I like to allow the lure to sweep out from the main current into the seem and toward the bank. By doing this, you can brush the lure past a trout’s snout.
Keep in mind, that your line will go slack in the current. Manage your line by giving several cranks to straighten it out. By doing this, you’ll up the chances of feeling a strike, especially if a fish catches your spoon
5.) Panther Martins
No list would be complete without mentioning the Panther Martin. Some have argued these spinners are the best trout lures for ponds. I use this lure all year and in an abundance of environments.
Like the little Cleo, Panther Martins attract an array of species by imitating fleeing a baitfish. I’ve used these for wild German Browns on moving water and stocked rainbows in lakes and ponds. I have yet to find a real issue with these spinners and their action.
Any good fisherman would agree that advice is simply advice. Try out some of these lures, but I would recommend you go outside the box and try those outcasted shapes and colors and find your perfect arsenal for each season.
Your body of water may hold specific bait fish requiring a much different lure presentation.