Targeting Trophy Trout

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Published on: Jul. 2, 1995

Last revision: Oct. 20, 2010

and I can't think of a better way to catch them than to give them something that looks, smells and tastes like food - in short, food itself.

Minnows? For sure! Worms? You bet!! Crayfish? Oh yeah!!!!

Let's use a bit of a nightcrawler to indicate how best to present baits to trout. First, however, we have to tie on a hook. I like a medium shank bronze #8 hook fastened at the end of the line - almost always 6-pound test in that river - with an improved clinch or Palomar knot.

Next you want to pinch some split shot on the line from 8 to 14 inches above the hook. The amount of split shot will depend on the current. It's a good idea to use small removable shot, so you can adjust the number of shot to match the force of the current. Start with two size 7 split shot, since we're going to be fishing a stretch of broken water with medium current.

Use a 7- to 9-foot long pole with at least medium action. Wimpy rods prove exasperating when it comes to pulling out of snags or setting the hook. I'm assuming you have a spinning reel - open face for extroverts, closed face for introverts.

Pi nch off a third of a large nightcrawler and run the hook point through it twice.

We're standing near the bank. The broken water looks to be about 4 feet deep and stretches from about 5 feet in front of us to the other bank of the river. Facing directly across to the opposite bank, cast about halfway across the river and about 30 degrees upstream.

Reengage the bail as soon as your bait hits the water to keep slack out of your line. Keep the rod angled at about 45 degrees.

No more reeling should be necessary. You now want to follow the bait downstream with your rod tip. Ideally, as the bait drifts downstream, you should feel the sinkers tick bottom, which indicates that your bait is down where the fish primarily feed. Once in a while the bait may hang up and you'll have to lift your rod tip gently to free it.

A mossy rock can feel like a fish but after hooking a few dozen of both, you'll learn when to set the hook and when not to.

The rod tip is tapping instead of ticking. Good gosh, we've got a bite !

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