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Fishing For Trout - Spinners And Lures

The musings of somebody who has fished for more years that he cares to remember. Interested in new fishing tech, lures and methodology.


I was always of the impression that rivers needed to be clear and the weather fine to catch trout. That changed the first day I fired a mepps lure into a river a hooked into a huge brownie.

The fish was well over twice the size of what I normally caught with my fly rod and really took me by surprise.

Roll forward ten years or so and now I carry both fly and spinning rod with me on every fishing trip.

I mostly use the spinning rod with lures when the water is cloudy, mirky brown or in a flood. I always though you could only catch trout in clear water. how wrong I was. Trout will savage your lures when the water is coloured but there are a few things to look out for:

Fish size is an important factor when lure fishing because there is no point in throwing a huge spoon lure into the water if the trout are on small. The mismatch in size will give you plenty of exercise reeling but you would be catching any fish.

Water condition is also a factor you need to think about. Black and blue lures work great in coloured water and something like a Mepps Aglia with a brightly coloured blade will draw the fish out. These lures tend to be smaller in size but the larger fish will still attack them.

Muddy river full of trout.

Muddy river full of trout.

Trout caught on Zerek Minnow

The above video by Robbie Andrews shows a few nice trout taking very brightly coloured minnows in muddy water. He is fishing with a Zerek Minnow this time around and is having great success.

To show how good lures are in dirty water just watch as he fires the lure into the same place three or four times and after a couple of misses he ends up catching the same trout - just shows how effective the lure is.

How to Fish Lures

Most of the time the best way to fish spinners or lures in a river is upstream and reel back towards you at a nice steady pace.

When the river is in flood you might be better off fishing across the stream or even down stream and reel back up. A lot will depend on the current and strength of the flow.

This flow will also dictate the spinner or lure used on the day.

How To Fish With a Spinner

Great Spinning Tips for Trout

The above video from Rick Romine goes into great detail on how to actually use a spinner to catch trout. He gives plenty of great tips on line and reel selection, travelling light which is great if you are hiking into a river deep in the forest.

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Another tip that helps everybody is removing the barbs off your hooks. This makes hook removal much easier on the fish. One thing to note here is to keep tension on the line when reeling in or the fish will most likely slip off.

Best Times to Catch Trout

Early morning or late into the evening are the best times to catch trout - especially if you are fly fishing. The evening 'rise' (this is when the newly hatched bugs rise to the top of the water) sees plenty of action.

Lure fishing can really be done at any time of the day because the trout find the brightly colored lures irresistible.

It depends on the river or lake you are fishing but I have caught Trout throughout the day with varying methods.

The one thing you always need to do is keep out of view and don't spook the fish. Move around a fair bit and fish different sections of the river.

Early morning Trout Fishing

Early morning Trout Fishing

How to Catch and Release Fish

One thing that really bugs me is watching people maul a trout when they catch it.

If you are planning to keep the fish and eat it then please dispatch it quickly and fish on.

If you are just sport fishing then you should understand the fundamentals of catch and release before you ever put a line in the water.

Here is a great video explaining how to practice safe catch and release techniques to make sure your trout swims away and ives to fight another day.

Great Catch-and-Release Video

My Favourite Lures

If I was asked what are my favourite lures for trout I would have to say I have a few.

For spinning I normally use Mepps, Panther Martin or a Rooster Tail. Most river systems I fish don't carry huge trout so these trout lures work perfectly fine for me.

Have you a favourite lure that you use in both fine and rough conditions? Would love to hear your thoughts on your lure choice in the comments.


What Do You Use to Catch Trout?

Nice Rainbow caught on the fly rod.

Nice Rainbow caught on the fly rod.


Daniel Perkins on May 29, 2018:

I have some lures that I inherited from my grandfather probably from the 50s 60s and 70s. He was an advocate trout fisherman and I'm wondering if these are good lures for trout fishing in lakes I don't know for sure. I'm not sure how to post a picture in this comment section. By the way I find just post extremely useful and well done! Email me at danh Perkins at

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