Set Your Hook

Trout Fishing From Shore

I spend a lot of my free time camping and fishing, but, when I can’t get out and camp or fish, I spend my time searching for great tips that I can bring to you. What I’ve discovered is that there are a on of great tips and information available about how to catch fish, but very little of this information makes any sense, even to me! Too often, really great sites like (yes, that is Berkley, as in PowerBait) have great tips, but they aren’t explained enough and are far too technical.

Here’s a great tip I found on called Shorecasting For Lake and Brown Trout, but it has a lot of terms and techniques in it that I’m not sure you’d recognize. So, I’ve added in some definitions and explanations (in normal English, not the techno-babble that tournament fishers use) so I can share this great tip with you. You might also need this photo to make sense of some of the terms!

All these lures work well for trout.

On larger lakes, trout move shallow where shore casters can target them with spoons and swim baits.

This means that you will cast out and then reel in, pulling the lure towards the shore as you reel in. You should be reeling in fast enough to keep the lure off the bottom. This is a great technique if you:

  1. can cast easily and with any accuracy
  2. are fishing a shoreline that is relatively weed and rock free
  3. are good at getting your line unhooked from snags.

If you’re NOT good at getting unhooked, you’ll need my three part series on the right (and easy) way to get unstuck! If you missed it, it was published on June 10, 2010.

Good areas to fish include mouths of tributary rivers, points, and other access areas like piers. Start by targeting areas closer to shore earlier in the morning and progressively cast to deeper water later in the day to find fish.

You’re looking for areas where you can easily fish the shallows of the lake but can also cast into deeper water later in the day as the trout move to deeper water when the shallow water gets warmer.

Cast spoons in the 1/4- to 1-ounce sizes and 5- 6-inch swim baits, or use thumper-style soft baits on 1/2 to 1-ounce jig heads.

A spoon is a cupped metal lure that swims through water like a wounded baitfish. These can be unpainted or painted metal and have a treble hook attached. When I troll for trout, I use a spoon lure called a flatfish.

Swim baits are artificial lures that resemble a swimming minnow when they are pulled through the water. Mostly these are hard wood or plastic, and are jointed so they move their “tail” back and forth in the water as you reel in, i.e. they “swim.”

Soft bait are those jiggly rubber worms that are also used for bass. They come in a variety of colors and sizes and (new and without hooks) are a hit with kids to play with in camp. If your soft bait lure tears, you can heat a straightened paperclip (on the camp stove) and gently melt the edges of the plastic back together by dragging the heated clip through the tear and pressing the edges back together. (Use pliers to grasp the clip and gloves to protect your hands!)

Jig heads are a small, hard plastic lure with a single barbed hook attached. There are different types, but basically think a round ball with a painted eye on it and a hook sticking out. There are round head, axe head, bean heads and more.

Experiment with retrieve speed and color. Good color patterns to start with are those that mimic natural baitfish.

This means that you’re going to test how fast to reel in and what color of lure you’re using. This is where the science of fishing ends and the experimentation begins- keep trying different combinations until you find the one that catches trout.

If you want to catch trout, and if casting and reeling in aren’t really your thing, then you’ll want to check out my Sure-Fire, Trout-Catching Set-Up for a great way to bottom fish for trout. Did you miss my Sure-Fire, Trout-Catching Set-Up? It was published on on May 6, 2010.

Readers Weigh In:

  • What are your favorite trout fishing techniques?
  • Do you have a favorite lure or bait that you use?
  • Do you prefer to use lures (cast & reel method) or to bottom fish?
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