Best Bait For Catching Stocked Trout

WV Trout Fishing

The phrase “shooting fish in a barrel” may come to mind when thinking about fishing for stocked trout, but what better way to get young kids and new anglers interested in catching fish.  Catching stocked trout will help you gain a better understanding of the basics of trout fishing, enabling you to eventually catch trout everywhere. Increase your odds of successful by using the best bait for catching stocked trout.

With West Virginia Trout stocking underway, most trout you catch will come from one of the nine hatcheries in West Virginia supplying the WV DNR with the five different species of stocked trout

Keeping that in mind, you may want to rig your pole a little differently than if you were chasing native West Virginia trout in a remote mountain stream. Read ahead to see our pick for the best bait for catching stocked trout.

Powerbait Eggs for Stocked Trout

Best Bait For Catching Stocked Trout

When fishing for stocked trout in West Virginia, we like to use Powerbait Eggs.  Powerbait comes in a large variety of styles with different colors and scents, but our favorite is the Powerbait Egg with Garlic Scent. 

The powerbait eggs come preformed in just the right size to attach to the end of a size 12 or size 16 treble hook. 

Stocked trout are accustomed to eating feed pellets on a schedule.  They live in close proximity to other fish and quickly consume the pellets when dropped into the tank before the other competing fish can get to them first.  Raised in a hatchery, they may have never consumed a worm or other insects. 

Because of this, Powerbait is the simplest and best option for catching stocked trout fresh off the truck.  It is most like what they have been raised on and a newly released trout will certainly be able to identify your Powerbait as a suitable meal.

Best Bait For Stocked Trout

The jars are inexpensive and available in a multitude of colors and styles, so we like to keep a few different options on hand because it’s impossible to predict what the fish will be attracted to that day.  It may be a bit superstitious, but we like to always start off casting a chartreuse Powerbait Egg.  If that doesn’t work out, the baits are easy to switch out throughout the day as we switch to other colors.

Try this simple Powerbait setup to increase your odds of catching freshly stocked trout.

Our best bait Setup for catching stocked trout

  1. Take a length of line about 24″ long and tie on a size 12 treble hook with a Palomar Knot

  2. On the other end, tie a barrel swivel onto the other end using a Palomar Knot.

  3. Pinch a split shot sinker onto your main line coming off your rod.

  4. Connect your main line to the barrel swivel with another Palomar Knot.

  5. Put your Powerbait on the hook. Take one egg from your container and slide your hook into it.

  6. Cast your line and slowly take out the slack before setting your rod in the rod holder, keeping it horizontal.

  7. Hook a bobber onto the line on your rod, making sure it hangs about a foot below the rod but not touching the ground.  The bobber will make it easy to see when the trout bites your bait.

Setting up your rod and reel with this powerbait will bring your bait into the strike zone of the feeding trout.  A good cast will leave your splitshot sinker resting on the bottom of the water with the Powerbait Egg bait floating 24 inches off the ground, out of the weeds and vegetation that it would get lost in and go unnoticed by the hungry trout.

The bright colors of the powerbait are a visual attraction for the fish that closely resembles the food pellets that they have been raised on in the fish hatcheries prior to their release.  Adding the garlic scent creates an irresistible combination creating the best bait for catching stocked trout.

If you’re just getting started, this is a fun way to gain some experience reeling in trout.  Find a recently stocked pond and get out there and have some fun.

Remember, there is a daily harvest limit of 6 trout in any combination of species and anyone 15 years and older needs a valid West Virginia fishing license, a trout stamp and identification to fish for trout.  Licenses are available online at WVHunt.com

For an easy tutorial on tying a Palomar Knot to catch stocked trout see the video below

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