Trout are found in most of the major ponds, rivers, and reservoirs throughout North America. Rainbow trout is one of the few species of trout that is native to America.
They are spawned and farmed in hatcheries and stocked in ponds in many states. So, if you are into fishing, not professionally but rather casually, every once in a while, rainbow trout is a great choice of fish to aim for. But how do you catch rainbow trout from a stocked pond?
The best method of catching trout is using a light-ish rod/reel combo with power bait or other artificial bait. Stocked trout are used to having artificial pallet-like meals.
So, power bait, lures, like spoons, close to each other and feed on food pallets. When released in the stocking ponds, it takes them time to realize and expand to outer water and natural food. An experienced angler can easily capitalize on this.
Table Of Content
Catching Stocked Trout
Rainbow trout is one of the top sport fish in North America. Both professional and casual anglers consider rainbow trout as a good catch. Rainbow trout is one of the few trout species that are native to North America. Rainbow trout is freshwater fish and spends their entire life in freshwater.
They can adapt quite well in both moving waters like rivers and canals as well as still water like ponds, reservoirs, and hatchery tanks. This is why trout are stocked in ponds so frequently and in such a large number.
Thus, you will not need to travel far to catch rainbow trout from a stocked pond. Chances are, there is at least one pond nearby.
Since trout are used to artificial food, you don’t need a very specific setup or lure to get their attention. As long as you know the when-to and how-to’s, you are good to go. So, here is what you should consider –
Where To Find Rainbow Trout
Stocked rainbow trout are found all over North America, in most of the major ponds and lakes. For detailed information, you can search online or ask at the local bait shop if trout are stocked near your area.
Once you locate a convenient pond, look for the best hiding spot for them. Trouts prefer lower light and cooler water. Thus, underwater vegetation, submerged logs, rocks, or other structure, shades from overhanging canopies, or deep water, in general, is your best bet.
However, the jackpot is where they were released. Trouts prefer to stay close to their hiding spot. More trout will find and choose their hiding spot near where they were released than venture out.
Trout Fishing Gear
The list of gear for trout is very short and simple. Trout fishing doesn’t need a lot of specialized gear or equipment. The basic fishing setup is all it really takes. However, if you are starting, then get the following setup going.
- A simple, lightweight 6-feet spin casting rod.
- 4-6 pounds transparent monofilament line.
- A box of power bait and a handful of spinner lures(Optional)
- Some size 8-10 fishing hooks. (If you are planning on releasing the fish, use barbless hooks)
That’s pretty much it. Trout fishing doesn’t take much. If you are already fishing, chances are, your existing fishing setup will do, as long as your setup is overwhelming for the fish.
Some Tips On Trout Fishing
Here are some useful tips for trout fishing. They are not essential, but if you follow them, you can hope for better luck.
- Fish In The Early Morning
Trouts aren’t nocturnal fish, but they are not a big fan of heat and light either. They are comfortable in lower light and cooler temperature environments. Thus, they mostly feed in the early morning and late afternoon, when the light is dimmer, and the environment is relatively cooler.
Before sunset, the water is not very cool either. So, trout prefer the early morning until the water starts heating up. So, if you want to fish rainbow trout, you better be ready and be there around when the sun rises. That is your best bet to get the most number of bites.
- Fish In Deeper Water
The deeper under the water you go, the cooler it is. Trouts, preferring cooler water, like to hang out deeper than many other gamefish do. In colder seasons, you will get rainbow trout regularly at 6-8 feet depth.
But in the warmer seasons, especially during mid-day, they stay below 15 feet. If you are fishing in the early morning when the water is the coldest, they float and linger at a lower depth. But it is still safer to be ready to cast around 10-15 feet depth.
Suppose you are going to fish at noon or afternoon, cast at least 15 feet deep. You are not guaranteed to get a bite super frequently, but it is your best bet. Unlike Bass, trout aren’t the most active during the daytime.
- Use Power Bait
Stocked trout are accustomed to food pallets. Ever after getting released to the ponds, it will take them a while to get used to living on natural food sources. They will, thanks to their million years of evolution, bite and feed on worms, other fish, eggs, or crustaceans.
But they will hesitate considerably less when they see pallet food like power bait. So, putting power bait on hook can be a good option to catch them. You will also have luck with different types of lures, such as spoon lures or spinner lures.
Keep in mind that stocked trout aren’t particularly familiar with natural food sources. So, using highly specialized lures that mimic other fish or worms might not be the best choice even if the mimicked thing is in the trout’s diet simply because the fish have never seen it in their hatchery.
Using live bait is a different story. Nightcrawlers or similar live bait are natural bait. Their scent and movement will not fail to trigger the instinct of the trout. But even when the fish is intrigued, they might not fully commit or be hesitant.
- Cast Where The Fish Were Released
Since stocked trout grew up in a relatively small tank and very close proximity to each other, they are used to the habit and tend to stay more or less to the same area where they were released.
They do venture out and expand over time, but it takes time. Even after a couple of weeks, the spot where they were released tends to have the highest concentration of fish.
So, If you want to get the highest chance of getting bites and landing catches, try to find out where they unloaded the fish and cast at the most suitable spot nearby. Speaking of stocking the pond, try to fish as soon after the stocking as possible. You can hopefully find the data online if you do some research.
As mentioned above, they are comfortable hanging nearby each other. Thus, after release, they will stick close to each other for the first few days. So, if you know the time, you can score big numbers.
Trout is one of the popular game fish in America. But stocked trout is a different story from the natural ones. Not only does their behavior differ, but they also need the best fishing technique. Stocked trout are relatively easier to catch if you have the basic knowledge about how to catch stocked trout.
Trout is not only a good option as a sport but also makes for a great meal. Trout is tasty and healthy. Catching trout from a stocked pond is a good choice for new anglers to start out.