5 Must-Have Trout Fishing Lures and Baits for Stocked Trout

Stocked Trout Fishing Lures | 5 Great Lures

With trout stocking currently taking place across Pennsylvania, now is the time to restock your tackle box. Sometimes stocked trout will hit anything you throw at them and other times you can’t get a bite. To make sure you can catch them no matter the conditions, you must have these five trout fishing lures and baits in your arsenal! 

Leland Trout Magnet Crankbait – Specifically designed for trout fishing, this 2½-inch crankbait imitates a minnow perfectly and works well in both fast water and slow, deep pools.

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  • Trout Magnet Crankbait specially designed for trout fishing 
  • Long slender design with trout-specific colors 
  • Unique stop and go action 
  • Evenly weighted for proper feeding depth 
  • Best fished with jerk bait type action 
  • Length: 2.5 in. 
  • Depth: 2-4 ft. 
  • Sound: Rattle

Berkley Gulp Floating Trout Worm – Soft-plastics are deadly trout lures that few anglers fish. When the bite is tough, these 2-inch floating worms fish well drifted through large holes. Natural colors like nightcrawler work the best for spring trout fishing.

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  • Shorter, fatter trout-attracting worm 
  • Unique shape is great for wacky rigs 
  • Expand your strike zone with 400x more scent dispersion than plastic baits 
  • Over 15 years of Gulp! evolution…the best keeps getting better

Worden Rooster Tail Spinner – The must-have trout fishing lure has to be the Original Rooster Tail Spinner. Carry a variety of sizes and colors to match water conditions and fish activity effectively.

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  • 10 sizes 
  • 100 different colors 
  • Attractive spinning action 
  • Pulsating hackle tail

Berkley PowerBait Trout Bait – A staple on the stocked trout streams and lakes. Always have a few jars in the best colors such as yellow and chartreuse. Fish it with enough weight to drift it a few inches from the bottom.

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  • Moldable and easy to use 
  • Floating formula enhances dispersion of scent and flavor 

Panther Martin Dressed Spinnerbait – Just like the Rooster Tail Spinner, the Panther Martin Spinnerbait is deadly on the trout streams. It offers a slightly different action than the Rooster Tail Spinner that can be the difference when trout are hesitant to bite.

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  • Unique Shaft through Blade Design creates Easiest and Fastest Spinning Action in the World 
  • Convex/Concave Blades Send out Sonic Vibrations that are Irresistible to Fish 
  • Heavy Weighted Bodies Cast like Bullets and Go Down Deeper 
  • Super Sharp Premium Quality Hooks Keep Fish Caught

Take full advantage of the trout stocking in Pennsylvania with these top 5 must-have trout baits and trout lures!

If you haven’t yet, check out our tips and tactics for Pennsylvania stocked trout fishing!


Pennsylvania Trout Stocking Opportunities and Tactics

Capitalizing on Pennsylvania Trout Stocking

Millions of trout are on their way to streams and lakes all across Pennsylvania. Throughout the month of March, spring trout stocking will be in full force in preparation for the opening days of trout season!

Spring Pennsylvania Trout Stocking Fishing Opportunities

Trout fishing season in Pennsylvania is a tradition. Anglers wait all winter long for those early spring days when trout season opens. Streams and lakes across the state will be packed with stocked trout and ready for anglers. With multiple opening days for trout, anglers have plenty of opportunities. There are both regional and statewide opening days as well as special opening days for youth anglers.

PennLive.com, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission waterways conservation officer Mark Sweppenhiser explains how the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks brown and brook trout in Stony Creek near Dauphin Borough.

In addition, many Pennsylvania trout streams and lakes receive additional spring trout stockings well after the opening days of trout season. Most waterways typically receive several stockings in the spring, which adds additional opportunities to trout fish. The opening days receive a lot of pressure so fishing can be challenging. However, if you stick with it there are opportunities to catch trout beyond opening day.

Review the Trout Stocking Report

By stocking report, we’re referring to the trout stocking report that has all the details of what was stocked and where. The trout stocking schedule from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has all these details, and they can help you when trout fishing this spring.

Two important facts can be obtained from the stocking report. First, it tells you what type of trout are going to be stocked. Brook trout are more tolerant of cold water than brown and rainbow trout. What this means is that you will have better success fishing streams and lakes that have had brook trout stocked if waters are cold than if browns or rainbows were stocked. The other fact you should review in this report is the time and location of the trout stocking. You want to know exactly which segment of the stream is being stocked, not every section of water is stocked on a particular day, and at what time they plan to stock. This will help you plan your spring trout fishing accordingly.

4 Ways to Catch More Trout in Stocked Streams

Fishing for trout in streams throughout the spring can present multiple challenges. The potential to catch fish will fluctuate with the changing weather and stream conditions. However, because of spring trout stocking in these approved waters, there are certainly plenty of fish to go after on opening day and beyond. This allows plenty of fishing until the conditions are more favorable.

To capitalize, here are four ways to catch more trout in stocked streams.

  1. Go off the grid. Rarely is trout stocking done by float stocking them via a watercraft throughout the stream. Instead, trout are stocked at strategic areas, which are accessible by both anglers and stocking crews. These are typically the areas where fishing pressure is applied most. Stocked trout will relocate.  To find them locate ideal water upstream or downstream of stocking locations where fewer people tend to fish.
  2. Use ultralight tackle. Stocked trout quickly adapt to their new home. To catch them, you have to go ultralight. Start with a 5- to 6-foot ultralight trout fishing rod matched with a small reel and 4-lb test fishing line. Also use micro-size hooks, such as size 18 treble hooks, for bait fishing or small trout spinners in baitfish colors.
  3. Fish fast water. The big holes are always full of anglers. However, spring trout fishing can be very productive in areas many anglers bypass. Fish riffles above and below large holes instead. Fish baitfish imitations using the drift fishing technique that is also popular with spring steelhead anglers.
  4. Wait before fishing. Instead of following the stocking truck and then trying to catch freshly stocked trout, wait until later in the day to fish. Trout fishing later in the day is more productive because trout will have had time to adjust to the stream and water temps will also be a few degrees higher. Both factors activate trout into feeding mode and lead to more bites.

4 Trout Fishing Season Tactics for Lakes

Lakes offer a different type of spring trout fishing. These waters also receive plenty of spring trout stocking but escape the changing water conditions streams are susceptible too. In lakes, you can catch plenty of stocked trout if you know how.

  1. Try soft-plastics. Small soft plastics designed for panfish are great lures for catching trout in lakes. While most anglers are casting paste baits and live bait, a different presentation can trick a stocked trout. Use small soft plastic worm imitations and tiny swimbaits in natural colors. Don’t be afraid to fish larger soft plastics for catching bigger trout as well.
  2. Locate changes. Many trout stocked lakes in Pennsylvania are smaller bodies of water with limited structural diversity. However, if you can find springs, channels, drop-offs and other structural changes in the lake, you will find trout.
  3. Mix it up. To have a productive trout season on lakes in the spring you need to mix it up. Change trout fishing lures frequently and fish at different depths. Trout, unlike bass, are not always focused on one type of lure at a particular time. Changing lures can increase the numbers you catch. Also, trout will move throughout the lake and positioning your bait at different depths will increase the number of bites you get.
  4. Communicate with the trout. Don’t try and talk to the trout but you should listen to them! For instance, if you repeatedly see trout following your lures but not biting them, there is a reason why. The trout are telling you that they are hungry but what you fishing with is just not fooling them. Either change the size of the lure youre using or change the color to get them to commit on the next cast.

Most every angler in Pennsylvania can’t wait until spring trout stocking gets underway. only weeks away from the opening days. Capitalize on spring trout stocking opportunities with these tactics for trout fishing streams and lakes.


Spring Fishing | 7 Early Season Fishing Tips

Spring Fishing Tips and Tackle Preparation

Being able to hit the water in the spring is a welcomed prospect after a long winter. The weather is improving and fish are emerging from their winter habitat. To be ready, brushing up on a few essential spring fishing tips and tackle preparation will be key to your success on the water.

7 Essential Spring Fishing Tips

To get you started, here are 7 spring fishing tips that will help you catch more fish.
  1. Play the Weather. Early spring fishing weather is probably more variable than any other time of the year. For that reason, it’s important to plan early spring fishing trips around the weather. Fish days that are unseasonably warm or the days leading up to an approaching cold front for better success.
  2. Fish Warm Waters. Most of the best spring fishing locations will still have cold water. However, if you can find areas that are slightly warmer than the rest of the waterway you’re fishing then you might be in business. For example, seek out shallow areas to fish that warm faster in the sun. Warmer spots will aggregate forage and ultimately more fish.
  3. Focus on Afternoons. Going hand in hand with seeking warm water, the best fishing in April and all of the spring for that matter will be in the afternoon. The sun will marginally warm a body of water throughout the day, but the slightest increase in temperature, often unnoticeable to the angler, is enough to trigger a healthy late afternoon bite.
  4. Fish the Changes. With the variable weather, water also is changing a lot during spring. Water temperature, clarity, and levels all vary during spring, more so than other seasons. Great places to fish in March are where the water changes. Fish where the current changes, the water clarity is different or again in areas of the water that have temperature differences. One of the best spring fishing spots on lakes is around riprap. The sun heats these large boulders all day and they, in turn, warm the water, which attracts fish.
  5. Small and Slow. The spring bite is much less explosive than say summer top water fishing for bass in the summer. Fish are reluctant to strike anything, especially fishing lures that are big and moving fast. Probably the most important early spring fishing tips are to downsize your baits. It doesn’t matter what species you’re fishing for, smaller baits worked deathly slow will get you bit more often.
  6. Live Bait Helps. If catching a bunch of fish is all your about, then you better bring some live bait. It is easy to fish slow and requires less computation from a fish’s perspective. That is, a fish doesn’t have to think twice before biting like it may do when presented with artificial lures. Nightcrawlers and minnows bottom-bounced on a jig or rigged on a single hook and a bobber are always effective.
  7. Wait to Set the Hook. The final spring fishing tip is to wait to set the hook. Fish are slow to bite and just as slow to eat your fishing lure. When you feel a bite, wait for a second longer to set the hook. Also, don’t set the hook as deliberately as you would other times of the year. Instead, simply just pull up and tighten the line and begin to reel.

The Most Important Spring Fishing Tip

Fishing in the spring can be tough most days even on the best spring fishing spots. Cold water mixed with variable weather can leave you catching little to no fish. The absolute most important fishing tip for spring is to not get discouraged when you’re having difficulty catching fish.
When times are tough, the best thing to do is experiment. Your spring fishing destinations are perfect for trying new fishing lures and working on different casting techniques. Furthermore, instead of getting discouraged move on and scout new fishing spots. Using days when the bite is not on or you just can’t figure them out to experiment will only help to make you a better angler.

Basic Fishing Tackle Preparation for Spring

Other advice for the early spring fishing season is to prepare all your tackle for the rest of the year. Early spring fishing trips can reveal some holes in your fishing gear. Now is the time for gear maintenance and restocking fishing tackle in preparation for all the rest of the days on the water you have planned for the year.

  • Rod and Reel Maintenance Quality fishing reels need routine cleaning and lubrication to perform as designed. Refer to your reel manual for proper maintenance. Also, wipe down fishing rods and check eyelets for damage or burs that can harm your fishing line.
  • Fishing Line Every year should start with new fishing line. There are only two exceptions. First, backing can be reused on your reels but be sure to replace the fishing line in front of it. Second, braided fishing line can be used another season as long as it is not faded or damaged.
  • Organize Tackle Before fishing in the spring, take time to organize your tackle. Break tackle out into different types of fishing such as trout fishing gear, bass fishing tackle and so on. Label tackle boxes for quick access and clean out tackle trays and remove old rusted hooks or other overused tackle. This will keep you more organized and prepared on the water.
  • Restock Tackle After organizing, you’ll have a better sense of the tackle you need to restock for the coming year. Replenish soft plastics, baits for trout and all your terminal tackle from your local sporting goods store.
  • Other Fishing Gear Besides tackle and rods and reels, there is other fishing gear you have to get prepared. Compile a fishing gear checklist first to make sure you don’t miss anything. If you have a boat, there is that to get ready such as yearly servicing and cleaning and safety gear like vests. Check other gear like rain gear, sunglasses and personal items like sunscreen and bug repellent.
The 7 spring fishing tips outlined above along with making sure your tackle and gear is well prepared will make for successful days on the water this spring! If you find your gear looking a little too worn out or you discover you need more lures, visit Kinsey’s Outdoors for all your fishing gear needs!