How to Bait a Hook for Trout Fishing

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Trout fishing is exciting, and most anglers begin the sport by fishing for this fish in a trout fishery or lake. If you have not yet learned how to bait a hook for trout fishing, you are missing out on some big adventurous fun.

How to Bait a Hook for Trout Fishing

Trout is a fast and energetic fish that feeds on small bait fish, worms, and insects. People who have been out fishing for trout know that many times they face disappointment because the fish ate the bait and swam away without getting hooked!

If you want to come home with some big fish in the creel, learn to bait a hook properly to ensure that the fish you catch does not feel like a guest who has been served dinner! Biting the bait should mean getting caught.

A person holding a freshly caught trout

The Hook Size for Trout

The ideal hook size for trout is between four and eight. New anglers often get confused with the number on the various hooks. As the hook numbers go up, the size of the hook gets smaller. This means that a size 12 hook will be much smaller than a size three or six, and this size can make a lot of difference.

When you go fishing, select the hook size that is small enough for trout to bite. However, it should not be small enough for it to swallow, as the aim is to get the hook caught at the corner of the mouth so that the trout do not get injured, and it is easy for anglers to remove the hook when they retrieve the fish.

For trout fish on farms and man-made ponds, the size of the hook has to be smaller because these fish are fed corn pellets and dough balls, which can only be presented to the fish on a smaller hook. Larger hooks will be needed for trout in rivers and big lakes, where they breed and grow in a natural environment.

Hook Size According to Species

There are various kinds of trout fish, and the smaller variations require particular bait therefore, the hook size has to be selected accordingly. However, you cannot use hooks less than size four because they are large enough for the fish to detect, and they can eat the bait off them, leaving the hook while taking away the food.

Brook trout is smaller than rainbow or brown trout, and therefore, you need a smaller hook like size 14 or 16 to attract this fish without making it prominent and driving them away. Anglers often plan their trips to catch brown trout in lakes. Nevertheless, the size of the hook for trout depends on the size of the fish and the kind of lure or bait that you use.

The Bait for Trout

Trout in farms and ponds are usually fed on dough balls, corn, or even bread. If you go fishing in a man-made pond or farming pool, the fish will be used to eat corn and dough. You can buy the same food and use it as bait. Anglers can pierce the corn with the hook and lower a few corn pellets at a time.

Similarly, dough balls can be wrapped around the hook to conceal it completely. Once the trout fish bites into the ball, the hook gets caught in the mouth, and you can begin pulling the fish gently towards the boat.


One of the popular artificial baits is the Powerbait, which is a dough-like matter which also has an appealing scent to attract trout fast. This lure is available in various colors and can be used as a ball with a hook hidden inside.


A safe and successful lure for trout in all kinds of water bodies is plastic worms. These small, soft plastic objects are made to look natural and move in a way that trout fish get attracted to. You can use this lure by piercing one end of the worm and moving it to the end of the shank. The loose end of the worm will move with the water to attract fish.

Bubble Floats

A bubble float is a topper that floats on water and is useful for fishing trout swimming close to the surface. The bright colors of these floats work wonders for fish in summers. Anglers must ensure that the hook and line are not visible when the trout comes up to bite.


A ledger rig works contrary to the bubble float. This type of lure is best for fishing trout deeper in the lake. Without attaching any lure that looks like fish, the rig is a setup of a leader with a swivel and bead to lower the hook to the depth of the water.

How to Set Hook When Spinning

Setting the hook while spinning is quite straightforward, as all anglers need to do is snap the rod upwards or sideways to set the hook in the fish’s mouth. Continue to reel in and make sure to keep the line tight, if you get slack in the line, the hook may release. 

A freshly caught trout near a fishing rod

If you know how to tie the knot and attach the lure, there is going to be no problem in reeling in the trout when it gets caught. Make sure to get a hook set by snapping the rod so that the trout do not get away. 

How to Set Hook When Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is a common technique to catch trout. There are various ways in which you can set hooks for trout fishing when you decide to fly fish for this species. The strip set, or the lift set, which varies according to the movement of the fishing rod to pull the line when the trout gets hooked.

Unhooking the Trout

When you successfully get the trout onto the boat, removing the hook from its mouth is a crucial step. You must hold the fish from its chin, or around its head, above the gills. Grab the hook and push it back towards the belly. The hook will be free, and there will be no injury or damage to the trout.

In case the trout swallows the hook, you can remove them from the throat with the help of needle-nose pliers. However, if the hook is deeper inside the fish, you can unhook it through the gills with pliers. Anglers must hold the trout firmly without hurting it so that the movement is minimal as they unhook.

Some Tips for Trout Anglers to Bait a Hook

When you are setting bait on the hook for trout, remember that the use of lure is most important. Additionally, selecting the right rig is integral in ensuring success in catching fish.

A lightweight rod and a light reel and line will ensure that anglers can bait the hook for a catch.

  • The ultralight line will ensure that you can feel the fish as it tugs on the bait and hook.
  • Carry multiple types of baits to use according to what the trout in that place will eat.
  • Use the appropriate size of hooks so that the bait works every time.
  • Anglers will need a license to fish for trout in various places.
  • Plan your trip at a time when trout feeds more.


Anglers who know how to bait a hook for trout fishing can return home with more fish, and the adventure of catching a fast trout also heightens. You need to plan the trip with the right rig and learn the technique of using the right bait to have more fun and make a memorable trout fishing trip.