Winter Trout Fishing With a Spinning Rod Setup

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Get your gear in order if you want to go trout fishing this winter. Anglers often believe that fishing is not easy during the winter months, however, if you know how to winter trout fish with a spinning rod setup, you can expect to catch many of them during a day trip.

Winter Trout Fishing With a Spinning Rod Setup

The idea that fly fishing is a good technique to catch trout during the colder months is half-true because while this technique is good, there are other techniques that also prove successful. Spinning rods can be a great way to approach fish in winters.

A boy holding a spinning rod

While numerous anglers spend time and money on getting their fly fishing equipment ready, you can set a better pace by using a spinning rod for trout in winter to lure it out of its hiding places and come for a bite that will get it hooked within minutes. A Spinning Rod Setup can be a great way to success.

Gear for Spinning for Trout in Winter

Winter is a slow time for fishing. However, adventure-seeking anglers can plan a trip to the lake and enjoy a large catch. Trout moves lower into the water during winter, and fly fishing may not be the best method as the lures keep floating on the surface.

When trout fish sees a lure that is moving like real bait fish, it will expend some energy that it stingily holds on to during winters to come and bite the lure. What you need is the right equipment and skill to make the trout decide to move from its place and come for the bait.

Before you plan to go spin fishing for trout in winter, there are a few things that you will need to add to your tackle box, along with some equipment that will prove to be a game changer for all anglers who doubted spinning as a successful technique for this particular fish species.

The Spinning Rod and Reel

The rod used for trout during the cold season can be a lightweight spinning rod of length between six to eight feet. The six feet pole can be a good device for those who are heading to a narrow stream or lake area where trout have moved down to the bottom due to the cold.

Couple the rod with a lightweight reel and a monofilament line that is hard for trout fish to detect. Moreover, the light line with a thin cross section will cut the water tension and sink the lure into the depth of the water where the fish can see it. If you have the proper set up it will get you some big catches.

The Bait According to the Quarry

Whether you go fishing to a lake where wild trout are found, or you fish at a reservoir where lake trout is harvested and bred, the bait must be according to the feed that these fish get. If you are headed to the lake, you can take lures that look like crayfish, or minnows.

However, if you are going to a man-made pond with trout, 

  • Dough balls, 
  • Bread, 
  • Cheese, 
  • Live bait fish, and  
  • Corn. 

Know the feed of your target fish to entice it enough to leave its resting winter spot and come out to take a bite. 

A close-up image of a spinning rod

For wild trout, good bait includes all kinds of small creatures like 

  • Crayfish, 
  • Crustaceans, 
  • Worms, 
  • Larvae, and 
  • Any plastic lure that mimics real fish. 

Trout in winter can seem like a challenging target, however, the bait you use plays an integral role in catching the fish, and that too within a short time. 

Spinners and Jigs

Using spinning lures that create noise are an excellent idea to find trout in winter and get it hooked. These small lures have a metal strand among plastic, colorful strands attached to the bottom of the lure. The noise created by this metal part will get the fish’s attention. 

Jigs are a colorful lures that mimics the natural movement of small fish swimming near the surface. From the darker parts of the lake where trout settle during winter, this lure will be visible, and its movement will make it irresistible. 

Special Spinning Techniques for Trout in Winter

Winter fishing is slightly different from spring or summer fishing because the water current and even the density of water are high. Anglers must know how to cast and retrieve their lure to ensure a quick catch. 

Casting in Heavy Cover

If you are casting your bait in a place where there is heavy vegetation, there is a high chance trout fish will be hiding there too. You can cast the lure by casting it away from the boat, and there is a chance that it will land somewhere above a trout! 

As you give enough line, the lure will sink to the right depth and movement in a way that trout will be attracted without getting suspicious. Getting the first cast on the spot is only a possibility with a spinning rod in winters.

Casting Upstream

When you head out to a river or lake, look for the direction of water, and cast the lure against it. As the bait will move with the slow speed of the water, it will look natural and enticing to the trout hiding many feet below the surface.

A boy sitting while holding a spinning rod

Retrieving the Lure

A slow and steady movement of the lure as you retrieve it gently will ensure that it moves like a real fish moves in the cold season. The gradual motion will be enough to get the trout out of its hiding place to eat the bait.

Spinners have a slow presentation, which is a favorable action through the water column in winters. More than catching the trout, this kind of lure will locate and attract it, which works for all anglers who are trying to blindly play the lure to catch a hungry fish.

Fishing with spinners can be much easier than most anglers anticipate. Trout is not aggressive in winters, although it may be hungry and trying to find something to eat. The motion of spinners will be a great way to attract fish when it is deeper in the water.

Winter Spinning Techniques Are Different Than Summer Technique

The behavior of any fish species will indicate how different the fishing technique should be during the varying seasons. In spring, early summers, and fall, trout swim close to the water surface and feed generously. However, in winters, it moves lower into the water.

Anglers can use jigs and toppers or flies that have a superficial movement and can attract trout in all seasons except winter. In winter, you would need to spin the bait in a way that it goes a few feet into the water for trout to see it and then come out of its spot to catch it.

During all of this, anglers must keep in mind that the water will be clear in winter when the current is low. However, if it rained on the day you planned your winter fishing trip, the visibility of the fish will be extremely low, and you will bank on the movement of the lure to entice it.


Winter trout fishing with a spinning rod setup is not common practice. However, if you do it once, you will be going back to the lake or river to trout in the winter season! If you have the right rod setup and the appropriate lures and technique, you will be able to return with many catches.