10 Best Secret Baits For Rainbow Trout

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Sure, your normal baits like minnows, grubs, and even artificial lures work just fine for rainbow trout fishing. However, sometimes those trout just don’t want to bite.

Maybe it’s not feeding time or maybe they just don’t like the bait you are using. So, what are some of the best secret baits for rainbow trout that others don’t know about?

Well, some of the best and most effective bait options for rainbow trout are;

  • Grasshoppers
  • Marshmallows
  • Corn
  • Powerbait honey worms
  • Maggots
  • Shrimp
  • Cheese
  • Berkley Powerbait
  • Salmon eggs
  • Worms


10 Great Secret Baits For Rainbow Trout Fishing

Ok, so let’s get to it and take a look at our favorite 10 baits for Rainbow trout. Now, while some of these may seem like odd choices, the simple reality is that they do actually work.


grasshopper bait

Rainbow trout are well known for enjoying a variety of insects as food. Sure, you might use grubs and other such things, but one of the best that so many people don’t know about is the grasshopper.

Grasshoppers make for great bait, especially because they are big, they are brightly colored, and they make plenty of noise too.

To hook a cricket or grasshopper, use a small baitholder hook and gently hook it through one of its legs.

This will ensure that the grasshopper stays alive and continues moving.

Grasshoppers really don’t swim, therefore making this an excellent topwater bait.


marshmallow bait

Ok, so this is definitely one of these secret baits that you may never have thought of on your own, but the fact of the matter is that plenty of people use marshmallows for fishing bait, and here we are talking about the full size marshmallows, not those mini ones.

The good thing about marshmallows, for one, is that they are very white (and also come in other bright colors), which means that they are highly visible underwater.

Moreover, marshmallows do have a strong scent and will slightly dissolve in water over time, thus creating a whole lot of smell that fish can smell from far away.

Just remember that you do need a fairly large hook for marshmallows, and moreover, they do float, so if you plan on fishing the bottom, you will need some sinkers.


sweetcorn bait

Although corn may not seem like the tastiest treat for fish, for one reason or another, fish really seem to love corn.

For one, corn is of course very bright and yellow, thus allowing for great visibility. Next, corn does have a bit of a smell, and fish do really seem to like the smell.

Furthermore, corn may also slightly resemble large fish eggs, and trout to like eating fish eggs.

What’s cool is that corn can be used to fish the bottom (as long as you have a sinker), and you can use it for surface fishing too.

When hooking corn as bait, make sure to use very small baitholder hooks, or else the corn will fall off the hook. Most people will use two or three kernels of corn at a time.

Now, what is also important to remember is that many people will add a variety of flavors to the corn to make it just that much more enticing for fish.

Powerbait Honey Worms

If you don’t know what Powerbait is, this is a specific brand name of artificial plastic and rubber baits, ones designed to resemble various creatures, and as is the case here, the creature of choice is the worm.

This type of worm closely resembles those that rainbow trout are used to seeing and eating in the wild, which makes them a great choice no doubt.

Moreover, the color of this particular bait is ideal for fairly clear and bright days. Of course, the most important aspect of Powerbait like this is that it is scented.

This stuff is covered in oils and scents that are specially designed to attract fish.

When using Powerbait worms, as well as other words, your best bet is to use a wacky hook and O-rings to create a wacky worm rig.

This is by far the best way to go about it. Just remember that if you need to fish in deeper water, you need to get a wacky worm hook that has a relatively heavy weight on it.


Yet another good type of bait to use for rainbow trout is the maggot. Maggots are white and bright, so they attract a lot of attention visually.

Moreover, these little critters also wriggle around a whole lot, and they do stay alive for a while on the hook, thus attracting attention from fish due to lots of movement.

Finally, maggots also secrete very strong scents that fish can smell from a mile away.

Now, maggots can be hard to hook and keep on the hook due to their shape and size, so you do really need to use a proper baitholder hook for maggots.

Something else that you can try doing when using maggots as bait is a vertical jig.

When maggots fall into the water, they wriggle around, but they can’t swim, so they tend to just bob up and down in the water column, thus making a vertical jig a great way to go.


shrimp bait

Yet another type of bait that works well for rainbow trout is shrimp. Now, seeing as rainbow trout are freshwater fish, you do want to try using freshwater shrimp, as this is a scent that they may be accustomed to.

That said, some people recommend using real saltwater shrimp due to the fact that they have a much stronger scent that may be able to entice trout from far and wide.

Shrimp also have fairly bright colors and lots of contrast, so they do attract a good bit of visual attention too.

In terms of hooking a shrimp for fishing, a good baitholder hook will do fine, something that you can pull through the weeds.

Your other option here is to use a vertical jig with shrimp as bait.


cheese bait

Yet another secret bait that works really well for rainbow trout is cheese, yes, cheese.

Now, what kind of cheese you use is up to you, but that said, you do want a bright and strong cheese. Most people in the USA will use good old American cheddar.

In terms of processed vs fresh, processed cheese is easier to wrap around a hook, and is brighter too, but real cheese has more of a scent, but may also break off the hook easier.

If using real cheese, you do need to use a small baitholder hook for a fairly large chunk of cheese, because cheese cracks easily and may fall off the hook.

You can always try using a semi-hard or soft cheese, something that can really stick to the hook and will put plenty of smell into the water.

Using something like Camembert or Stilton will definitely put smell into the water.

Berkley Powerbait

Ok, so Berkley Powerbait is just another type of Powerbait, although a very good one, perhaps one of the most popular.

When buying Berkley Powerbait, go for the ones that are labelled as being for rainbow trout, as these powerbaits are designed for specific fish.

Just like with the honey worm Powerbait we discussed above, the best way to fish with these things is to use a wacky worm rig.

If fishing in deeper waters, use a wacky rig hook that is weighted, because the Powerbait itself won’t really sink.

Salmon Eggs

salmon eggs

One of the most popular secret baits to use for rainbow trout is salmon eggs. In the wild, salmon eggs are by far the favorite treat that rainbow trout like to snack on.

If you manage to get your hands on real salmon eggs, as opposed to artificial ones, then you should definitely catch something.

Salmon eggs are bright orange in color and have a heck of a scent to them, both factors that help to attract trout from far and wide.

You just need to get yourself two or three salmon eggs and then rig them onto a small baitholder hook.

Slide the eggs all the way to the end of the hook, right onto the bars, or else they will fall off. Some people even add a Powerbait worm to the front of the hook.


Ok, so we don’t know how much of a secret this is, but yes, worms work great for trout fishing, and the best option to go with here is the good old nightcrawler.

When using worms, all you have to do is to either use a vertical jig rig or a wacky worm rig, and then let the worm do its thing in the water.

What Are Rainbow Trout Attracted to?

When it comes down to it, the bait that rainbow trout are most attracted to are worms, particularly garden hackles, red wigglers, and nightcrawlers.

Trout just love worms. Moreover, another awesome bait of choice for rainbow trout is the salmon egg.

Tips to Catch More Rainbow Trout

  • Worms and salmon roe or salmon eggs make for the best rainbow trout bait.
  • When you are fishing in bright and clear waters, using silver spinners seems to work well, and if fishing in murky water, very large lures tend to work best.
  • If the water is still, using wacky rigs and worm jigs works quite well.
  • If you are fishing in moving waters, then tout flies are the way to go, as well as rooster tail spinners and crocodile spoons.
  • When fishing early in the spring, due to ice and snow runoff making waters cloudy, it’s usually best to stick to lakes, but during the later months of the spring and summer, fishing for rainbow trout is best done in streams and rivers.
  • When it comes to fishing in the early spring, search for rainbow trout in shoals and shallow waters that are less than 10 feet deep.
  • Remember that fish usually come to shallow water to feed at dawn and dusk, and will usually be out in the deeper parts during the day.
  • You do also want to make sure that you have the right kind of fishing hook. Trout are not big fish, they have small mouths, and good eyesight, so you need a small hook.
  • You also need to remember to use fairly light line, especially line that is not highly visible.
  • Using a three-way right is highly recommended as well.



The bottom line here is that fish eggs and worms don’t work, there are plenty of cool secret baits to try.

Now, they may not all work, but there is a good bit of trial and error involved here.

Jason Downs

I created Fishtackly to share my 30 years of fishing experience and knowledge with others with the aim to help, and hopefully get more people involved and educated in this fantastic hobby that I love.