Simple fishing tricks can often work when you are using live bait and want to catch any kind of trout, no matter the size. However, if you are purely after big trout and lunkers, then you need to be willing to switch things up, take chances, and catch less fish in the end.
All fish get their energy from the food they eat, so it is easy to see that large trout will get most of their calories from other fish, crayfish, and other bigger, meatier food. While flinging flies can hook you a lunker from time to time, the answer to catching monster trout is using big, live bait. Live bait such as nightcrawlers, crayfish, and minnows are the best way to attract the monsters lurking below that you are seeking.
Take this bait to inlet streams, deep holes or lakes but be prepared to wait. Using bigger bait means you are going to get far less bites and far less fish at the end of the day. However, as we all know, one huge trout can make the day a complete success.
The best time to fish for large trout is at night, wherever it is legal of course. If you are working waters where night fishing is not allowed, then early morning can also be a beneficial time to get your line wet. However, considering how long it can take to find big trout and attract them, this doesn’t mean you should simply pack it in after the optimal fishing time passes. Keep at it and work different areas as large trout are willing and ready to eat for most of the day, as long as you find the right spots and present your bait appropriately.
If live bait isn’t your thing, you will be pleasantly surprised at how well plugs can work when trying to attract larger trout. Simply trolling with large plugs in the fall or spring is one of the easiest and most effective tactics you can employ. Use this approach when the surface of the water ranges between 55 to 65 degrees, and consider using 8 inch minnow plugs while dragging them about 100 feet behind your boat. Just remember that lighter line, such as 4 to 6 pound test, usually means more hits in general.
While trolling covers more water, you can also consider casting large spoons into ponds, outlets, inlets and towards areas of a lake with a current. The biggest trout are usually hiding under rocks or branches along the most inconvenient bank of streams.
Every one of these approaches can work when there are large trout lurking the waters below. If you enjoy fishing at dusk or dawn then keep at it and stay patient. If one of these approaches isn’t working after some time then move onto the next. Remember that one of the golden rules for lunkers is that the bigger the fish, the longer you will have to wait. Pack it in early out of frustration and you might be missing out on the catch of your life.