How To Catch More Stocked Trout

How to catch more stocked trout

Trout are the most commonly stocked fish in the world, making them a common pursuit of anglers of all ages. Stocked trout present a great opportunity to introduce newcomers to exciting world of fishing. Whether or not you consider catching stocked trout challenging, it’s hard to argue that it’s a lot of fun reeling them in. If you’re new to fishing or even very experienced, read on to figure out the what, when and where that makes up how to catch more stocked trout.

Where to catch more trout

This may seem obvious, but the best place to start when fishing for stocked trout is where they were dumped in.  You can find the biggest concentration of fish closest to where they were put in.  Look for boat ramps, docks, or other large flat areas that are accessible for a truck that would release the fish. 

Being raised in a hatchery, the trout are used to being near others and will spend time in the spot they are released before venturing into the other parts of the water.  If water conditions are right in that part of the water, the trout will stay nearby as their natural instincts kick in and begin their search for food. 

Eventually they will move off on in search of ideal living conditions.  Good places to look for them include:

  • Deep waters where the lower temperatures appeal to the trout
  • Fallen trees, underwater rocks or fallen structures
  • Overhanging trees where the trout may be lying in wait for their next meal
  • The mouths of streams where cool, oxygenated water is flowing through
Rainbow Trout Species in WV

When to catch more trout

Arrive early.  Again, we are stating the obvious, but you will be competing with other people trying to catch the stocked trout.  By getting there shortly after a lake or stream is stocked you increase your odds of being the one who catches the limit of fish.  Remember, you can only catch 6 trout per day in West Virginia. 

Additionally, early is better regarding the time of day.  Fish are going to be more active in the mornings as day breaks and evenings as dusk approaches.  Fishing gets slower during the middle of the day so get an early start.  Have your gear packed and ready so you can grab your favorite travel mug of coffee and get out on the water without anything slowing you down.

How to catch more stocked trout

What to catch more trout with

If you have read any of our other posts then you know how much we love Powerbait for catching stocked trout. However, if you want to try some active fishing with casting and retrieving we like to use spoons or spinners.  A stocked trout may have never been exposed to insects in captivity. 

Because of this, we steer clear of realistic baits and instead choose lures that attract with flashy colors and the reflection of light underwater created from reeling them in.

Remember, when using lures for trout, allow your lure to sink for a few seconds before beginning to reel it in.  A wounded fish won’t swim fast or straight so vary your retrieval.  Reel in your lure with irregular jerks and pauses, mimicking the way a wounded fish would swim to garner the most attention.

Powerbait for Trout

Floating Powerbait at the perfect depth is a sure thing for stocked trout who have grown used to eating feed pellets.  Since they haven’t been released into the wild for very long their instincts as predators have yet to kick in and the bright colors and alluring smell will bring them right to your hook.  Try out our simple Powerbait setup outlined HERE and kick back and wait for a bite.

Best Bait For Catching Stocked Trout

Spoons for trout

Spoons work by mimicking the motion of a wounded fish in the water, an easy meal for a trout.  A stocked trout may have never eaten a wounded fish before but their predatory instincts won’t be able to resist what they are seeing.

After making your cast, allow your spoon to sink for a few seconds before beginning to reel it in.  A wounded fish won’t swim fast or straight so vary your retrieval.  Reel in your lure with irregular jerks and pauses, mimicking the way a wounded fish would swim to garner the most attention.

Acme Kastmaster

A gold 1/8 oz Kastmaster is perfect trout lure for bight sunny days, catching and reflecting the bright rays of the sun through the water.  In cloudy or brown water the Kastmaster will still make its presence known to the fish as the light cuts through the low visibility environment.

Be careful, as the Kastmaster is known for getting hung up on weeds. Try your best to keep it off the bottom or you may find yourself fighting a snagged line.

Spinners for trout

Spinners have a flashing spinning blade that reflects light and sends vibrations through the water.  The nearby trout will notice this action and their instincts to attack will kick in.  A spinner excites a fish and will cause it to strike, hungry or not.

Mepps Aglia

The Mepps Aglia is the classic Mepps spinner.  A size #1 is perfect for a stocked trout in West Virginia and will even work on bigger fish.  The larger Aglias weigh more and they can be fished slower to in deeper water. This will help in later spring as the water begins to warm up and the trout start hanging out at the bottom.  Choose a color that provides good contrast against the water you’re fishing in. You want it to stand out as much as possible to attract the trout’s discerning eye.

In Summary

Catching trout in a stocked pond is one of the most fun ways to get started fishing. Don’t just take my word for it. Now that you’ve learned how to catch more stocked trout it’s time to hit the water. Start planning your West Virginia fishing trip today.

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