Fishing for stocked trout seems simple enough. The state or other group throws trout into a lake or stream and you catch them. The problem is that often enough the trout don’t want to cooperate. Here are some tips and advice to catch stocked trout when fishing in your area.
The key to catching stocked trout (as with all fish) is to find what they are hitting. You can be certain that the stocked trout are there, the only problem is finding what they will hit.
The first tip that I would advise is to ask other fisherman what the trout are biting. While some people might not want to share their secret, often they will indeed tell you what they are fishing with. The best place to ask is when you see a guy heading back to his car or truck with a filled stringer. They have already done the work to determine what is working, you might as well use that information. Often it seems that stocked trout prefer a certain color, certain presentation, and stay at a certain depth.
Stocked trout are not used to eating food in nature, it seems that often they won’t strike spinners, grubs, and other lures that are dynamite in a trout stream. Berkley’s Power Bait is a standard fishing bait, but again, color seems to be a big factor in success. Berkley also makes a Power Bait that is designed to look like hatchery food that is called Hatchery Formula Trout Power Nuggets. I have personally not had much luck with them but they seem like a great idea for recently stocked fish. Be willing to try a variety of lures and baits for stocked trout to find whatever is working.
As most stocked trout fishing occurs in lakes and ponds you should bring along multiple poles (if this allowed in your area). Fishing for stocked trout with multiple poles allows you to throw out a variety and see what happens. You should rig each pole with something different in different presentations. Throw a worm on the bottom, one from a bobber, Power Bait on a slip sinker, and Power Bait on a split shot to hold it near the bottom. Be patient and run with whatever the stocked trout are biting on in your area.
If all else fails when fishing for stocked trout, try these out of the box tips. Try fishing Power Bait, worms, or meal worms on the move. Cast them out and reel them in with spurts. Move the bait about 5 feet at a time and then let it rest. Perhaps the movement attracts them, I’m not sure, but I have seen stocked trout caught in this manner. As a last ditch measure, grab a handful of pebbles and toss them into the water above your bait. The theory is that this is how food was given to the stocked trout in the hatchery and it may start a feeding frenzy.
Remember this last tip: you will never catch a stocked trout unless you try. Get out there and give it a shot.