Does it ever seem like you’re doing everything you can to land a trout and start thinking maybe there isn’t any in the water?
I’ve had my fair share of days like this. Last summer I decided to order more lures, different sizes and colors to have my best shot.
Sometimes it’s not about how or where you’re fishing but what you’re fishing with at that spot.
We get complacent because we’ve had success in the past with a certain setup.
I switched it up and started trying new options which made a big difference.
Because of my success from last summer and knowing I’m not the only one who has experienced this, I put together a list of the 7 lures that changed my luck:
1. Mepps Aglia
An in-line spinner is a classic way to attract trout and the Aglia version by Mepps is one of the most popular spinners to this day, proven effective even with the most resistant trout. Mepps offer variations of the Aglia, whether you wish to use a treble or single hook, 6 different weight sizes, several colors and the option for a dressing tail.
Mepps recommends a clinch knot directly to your line (no swivel as this alters the action of the lure). The Aglia offers vibrations and flash from the spinning blade that makes it versatile for many conditions from clear to murky water and from clear skies to the most gloomy days.
Since most of my trout fishing occurs in smaller brooks & streams, I tend to go with sizes #0 & #1 with no dressing – switching up the color depending on the aforementioned conditions.
The best way to fish the Aglia is to cast across the stream at a slow retrieve. The build of the Aglia blade is wide and rotates while at a 60 degree angle – at a slow retrieve it will give off the perfect amount of action to be appealing to the trout – this is why the Mepps in-line spinner is still a popular choice among bank anglers.
2. Panther Martin
Another classic in-line spinner is the Panther Martin Regular, my go-to preference is the black and yellow body with a gold blade #2 (1/16 oz).
Several different sizes are offered for this lure, single or treble hooks, multiple color patterns and optional dressing. Just like the Mepps Aglia, you can fish this lure fast or slow and let the reflection and vibration of the blade do the work.
The blade is described by Panther Martin as “concave-convex” providing a unique rotation of the blade from water flow passing by the blades shape. The rotation of the blade changes formation each time it spins adding an unpredictable allure to the trout. This irregular rotating pattern is from Panther Martins design of having no clevis from the blade to the shaft as you can see in the image above.
Blue Fox Vibrax
Another spinner that I’ve had luck with is the Blue Fox Vibrax. The body of this lure looks like a bell with it’s two components, one inside the other. This creates the vibration in the water to attract fish while the blade ranging from 1/8 oz (size 2) to 5/8 oz (size 6) provides the flash. When I began fishing I found the Blue Fox reassuring as I could feel the vibration as I retrieved – knowing that it was working as it should.
This lure is great if you want to fish closer to the bottom so a bit of skill is involved to keep it from getting snagged. I’ll often make shorter casts across the stream and a bit above me, speeding up my retrieve and raising the rod tip if I feel it’s starting to snag.
The Blue Fox Vibrax is offered in multiple solid colors as well as multi-color patterns with a treble hook. I’ll tend to throw the gold body with gold blade or the silver blade with blue body, usually the #1 (1/8 oz) or #2 (3/16 oz) blade size but you have excellent chances matching other colors depending on water conditions.
Worden’s Rooster Tail
With over 100 colors and 10 different sizes, Woorden’s Rooster Tail has a timeless dependable design and provides a great presentation to trout with both the blade and dressing being irresistable. I’m not sure if it’s the alluring presentation or the fact the Rooster Tail annoys the trout but this lure works well and that’s why it’s still a popular choice.
A few colors I have in my bag are Flash Black, Chartreuse Dalmation and Brown at a 1/16 oz to 1/8 oz weight and have had some good luck with these. I pull out the Flash Black on clear sky days and use the Chartreuse Dalmation on those cloudy, gloomy and sometimes rainy days.
If I can find good coverage along the banks I will target those areas first but will switch it up and cast across the stream. I’ll take my time with a slow retrieve each time I cast across, but similar to the other spinners in this list it’s important to speed up the retrieve or slightly raise your rod to keep the Rooster Tail off the bottom.
The Acme Kastmaster requires a bit more attention to detail to land a trout. You can get some good distance with this lure, I like to set it up while in my kayak on a lake. Attention to detail in this case refers to the speed of your retrieve. Unlike the 4 lures above, you need to reel it in faster for the spoon to give off the right action. The action is a wobble, so if you go too slow this won’t occur, but if you go too fast it will raise in depth quicker and eventually break through the top and skid. Practice makes perfect.
Silver and gold are popular colors, I just have the gold in my bag for when I break it out and I only have a 1/8 oz. I like to cast the Kastmaster out towards the middle of the lake, let it drop (I gauge the depth the first few casts) and then start retrieving at a medium fast pace.
Some believe you need a swivel for the Kastmaster, but Acme states there is no line twist and I can support this statement as I haven’t experienced any myself. Next time you’re on a large body of water with good depth give it a try and let me know in the comments how you made out!
Joe’s Flies Short Striker
The short striker is an interesting lure, it looks like a hybrid breed between a fly and a spinner. In my opinion, if you’re going this way you may want to pick up a few variations – just like fly fishing with flies you’ll want to imitate the trout food on the water with what you tie on.
Brown Hackle, Brown Woolly Worm and Black Woolly Worm (all size #8) have been dependable for me. You get the mix of the glare from the gold blade as well as a tied fly on the body.
Rapala Original Floater
Going a totally different style for this one, the Rapala Original Floater is a great option to lure out those resilient trout. The Original Floater is great for 2-6 feet of water and when retrieved, mimics a slightly injured fish.
When you reel, the minnow’s presentation displays a rolling action, and short rotations with a pause at the reel creates short darting stops increasing the interest of the trout.
The loop knot is what you should tie as instructed by Rapala for this lure to perform correctly, no swivels/snaps needed.Go with the silver option that has two treble hooks, choose the 1/16 oz and you won’t be disappointed.
The Bottom Line
The last thing you want is to be out on the water doing the same thing you did last time with no action. This list of lures contains some that have been used for decades by avid anglers.
If you’re not sure which one would work best for you, I would recommend picking 2-3 and varying the colors and weights to start with. Go from there, see if your luck changes and come back here to let me know in the comments what you think!