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July 26, 2021

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How to Teach Trout Fishing to New Anglers

How to Teach Trout Fishing to New Anglers

Trout fishing is one of the best entry points for new anglers. Trout are abundant in many waters all over the country, after all, and they present enough of a challenge for anglers who want a bit of excitement in their first foray. So if you’re looking to introduce someone to fishing, there’s no better fish to start with than trout. Here are just a few things to keep in mind when teaching a new angler how to fish for trout:


1.Find Out the Trout Fishing Regulations in Your Area

Before beginning, teach your new angler the importance of following fishing regulations. Find out if you need a specific fishing license when targeting trout in your chosen area, the open and closed seasons if there are any, as well as bag limits or if there are strict catch-and-release seasons.


2. Start with Stocked Lakes

One of the best ways to keep a new angler interested in fishing is to ensure success at the onset. Keep the challenging waters for later when the angler is properly hooked (pun intended) to fishing. For now, stocked lakes are your best bet. Teach your new angler where to best spot a trout in the lake. They are often stocked during fall so that’s a great season to catch them. During fall, they are often on or near the surface, usually near any structure and vegetation that will keep them hidden and protected from predators, or near stream inlets that bring colder water and forage. During warmer months, they will be in the deeper parts of the water as they are cold-water species.

If you can, find lakes with clear water so that the fish are easier to spot and watch out for. However, do teach stealth techniques because if the waters are so clear that you can easily spot a brown trout, that most likely means it can also easily see you. And if it can see you coming, you might easily spook it.


3. Get Armed With the Basic Gear First

Fishing for trout doesn’t have to be complicated. Advise your new angler to bring the following gear:

  • A medium-weight rod, about 6 to 7 feet
  • A spinning reel with 4- or 6-pound monofilament line
  • A nice stock of sinkers, swivels, size 8 hooks, and red/white bobbers
  • Live bait: insects, minnows, fish eggs
  • PowerBaits or PowerEggs
  • 1/16 oz. spinners

A good rule of thumb to teach your new angler is that the size of bait will likely determine the size of your catch. For example, big or trophy-size trout will go for smaller fish or bigger insects, while those of the smaller size will take just about anything.


4. Try a Few Simple Techniques

Here are just some techniques that you can practice in stocked lakes:

  • When fish are near the surface, try suspending your bait under a bobber. Attach your bait on your bait hook, then add your lead weight that should help your bait sink, and after that, a bobber at least 1.5 feet above the hook. Cast out where you’ve seen trout and wait for the bobber to make any movement before retrieving.
  • When fish are in deeper waters during warmer months, like late spring or summer, it’s better to venture out on a boat and fish with bait off the bottom. This one is pretty much the same as the technique above, but without the use of a bobber. When you cast out, your lead weight will sink, while your bait will float.

If you’re using a spinner, or an artificial lure that mimics small minnows and other trout favorites, cast out, then let it sink for a few seconds to a full minute before reeling it in. There is no exact formula for this, so encourage your new angler to experiment. Switch up the amount of time of your spinner in the water, as well as the speed with which you reel or retrieve it.


5. Target Rainbow Trout for Starters

Rainbow trout are beautiful fish that are highly adaptable, making them some of the most commonly cultivated fish species in America. This means you can find them in almost any lake that’s stocked. The best seasons to target them are during spring and fall. Stocked rainbow trout likely go for PowerBait Trout Nuggets, worms, or live minnows. You can also bring kernel corn or marshmallows. 


6. Stress the Importance of Ethical Fishing Practices and Catch-and-Release 

It’s never too early for a new angler to understand the importance of ethics in fishing. And the best way to teach it is to show how it looks like in practice. Aside from following the rules and regulations for fishing in your area, teach your new angler to take care of their environment while fishing. This means keeping the fishing area clean and picking up after oneself during and after fishing. Being respectful of other anglers comes into play as well. Respect their space, avoid crowding, and keep the fishing areas as quiet and as peaceful as possible.

Catch-and-release is one of the most important practices that a new angler must learn at the onset.  To ensure a successful catch-and-release, make sure to use barbless hooks. Don’t tire out the fish - land it as quickly as possible and try not to remove it from the water. If possible, use a net to keep it in the water. Keep your hands wet when handling the fish, and if you’re going to take a picture, make sure you already have your camera ready before you even lift the fish. Bring needle-nosed pliers, forceps, or a proper de-hooking tool to safely remove the hook. And make sure to revive the fish in the water before you let it go.

Trout fishing is indeed a great way to introduce anyone to the joys of sports fishing. They are relatively easy to find as they are stocked in many parts of the country and still offer a nice and exciting challenge for any angler who wants to experience what makes sports fishing a worthwhile hobby and passion.