Take a chance at bass fishing for troutBy Lawrence Taylor
Ron Wong is a bass fisherman to the core. He’d rather be casting for largemouth bass than just about anything else, and he’s good at it, too. He writes about bass fishing and bass fishing techniques for a variety of publications. Every waking second he’s either bass fishing, planning a bass fishing excursion or day dreaming about bass fishing.
“It’s bass fishing for trout!” Wong said. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell people. This is bass fishing. We’re not out there with fly rods and tiny midges. People just don’t understand that you can take your regular bass gear and come out here in the middle of winter and use bass tactics and catch really big trout.” Photo by Len Harris
Gaston’s Resort on the White and Lindsey’s Resort on Arkansas’ Little Red River (where the former world record brown trout was caught!) hold annual media events in February or early March. Writers and photographers are invited to spend a couple days fishing for the river’s whopper brown and rainbow trout.
Those two tailrace rivers are premier trout waters that attract both Orvis-model fly fishermen and 5-gallon bucket bait fishermen, but using bass fishing gear, lures and techniques normally results in better quality fish. During our trip in early 2009, we caught a few stocker rainbows on XCalibur XT3 and XT3D Twitch Baits. But we stacked up the big browns, and the average size was much better than what the bait fishermen were catching.
Most bass-fishing-trout-anglers select a slender minnow lure such as the XT3 and XT3D, Smithwick Rogues and the Bomber Long A, both the 3 ½-inch 14A and the 4 5/8-inch 15A versions. Color patterns vary but think “baitfish.”
“The short Bomber Long A’s are our go-to bait,” said David Rose, a fishing guide and outdoor writer who bass fishes for trout in northwest Michigan. “I’ve gone out with a buddy and landed more than 20 fish more than 20-inches long.”
Rose said that once you pattern where the trout are holding, you’ll find them in similar areas all day long. If you pick up a fish in a deep hole, you can expect to find them in other deep holes. He also brought up a good point about brown trout – they feed upward.
“That’s why I don’t use the Smithwick Rogue much in my area, because it runs deeper than the Long A and catches too many walleye and pike,” he said. “I prefer a wide-wobble, high-floating lure. When they hit it it’s like a shark attack.”
Glenn Wheeler is an outdoor photographer in Arkansas who fishes the White River for big browns. He prefers throwing Twitch Baits and Rogues when the water is high with a strong current. He advises using an aggressive jerking retrieve to mimic an injured shad or trout.
“For calmer water, various sizes of Rebel Crawfish lures in natural colors like Ditch and Green Crawfish work well,” he said. “Trout, like largemouth and smallmouth bass, know a good meal when they see one. I use a slow to medium retrieve with these time-honored crawfish patterns.”
Wheeler also suggests the Rebel Minnow and Tracdown Minnows for shallow water and finicky trout. The Tracdown Minnow is a smaller lure that should be thrown on a spinning rig. He prefers the Cutthroat Trout and Rainbow Trout color patterns.
Even if you don’t want to brave the cold for bass, give bass fishing for trout a try. One trip and you’ll be hooked.
Lawrence Taylor is the public relations manager for Pradco Outdoor Brands Fishing. Visit www.lurenet.com for more fishing tips and information.