Considering that the water is high, the temperature is still down, and the fish are lethargic, trout fishing in the spring can be an incredibly difficult challenge. There is floating debris, torrential flows, discoloured water and even freezing drizzle at times, but these are all part of the game if you want to catch trout early in the season.
It may not be easy, but good anglers can hook into some aggressive and decent sized trout, as long as they adapt their technique to early season conditions. While live bait is a popular choice, you would be amazed at the inappropriate tackle that fishers often use at this type of year. You will see anglers out there with bass fishing rods, 10 pound test line, huge hooks and even a monster bell sinker. The thought is that trout are not suspicious at this time of the year, but using gear like this is just asking them to commit suicide, and that isn’t going to happen.
Downsize your Gear
Heavy line, such as big monofilament, can often stiffen in cold water and float right up to the surface, which is the last thing you want to happen. Heavy sinkers may take the bait down to the depths where trout are but it forces it to stay in one place and flop about, which trout know is not a natural motion.
A more appropriate set up would be an ultralight rod, 4 pound test, a #6 bait hook and maybe one or even two split shots fastened onto the line. You may need to experiment with the weight in order to keep the bait moving appropriately so feel free to add or subtract split shots as you feel necessary. Trout will be lurking near the bottom, so that is where you want to be. However, if you find yourself snagging too much then lighten the weight but to be sure to set the hook every time your bait stops. Half the time it may be the bottom, but the other half you could be hooked into a hungry, fight filled trout. 4 pound test is also essentially drag free which makes it a lot easier for you to notice soft strikes of trout that can come in spring water.
Lures for Early Season Trout Fishing
While bait is the best thing to use in many early season situations, lures can be beneficial as well. Anglers who are skilled with lures have the ability to put their line right in front of a trout far easier than people using bait, and thus will often catch more fish. To do this though, you need to know which lures are best for the early spring.
If you have to go with one lure, then your best bet may be an in-line spinner. A spinner that flashes can mimic small minnows which are often the favourite food of large, spring trout. Opt for a wide blade that revolves slowly and the sound and flash can trigger a number of strikes that may not happen with bait. Always carry a few blades of different colors and try to keep them in the range of 1/32 to 1/8 ounces in size.