There is little doubt that one of the most important aspects of trout fishing are the trout fishing rigs that are used when fishing for trout. You may not be familiar with the term “trout fishing rigs” but a trout fishing rig is simply a way to rig bait for trout fishing. Sure some people simply tie a hook onto their line or attach a snap swivel to their line, clip on a snelled hook onto the swivel and call it good. While both of these manners of presenting trout bait might technically be trout fishing rigs they are by no means the most effective rigs that can be employed while fishing for trout.
In this article I will outline two very effective trout fishing rigs, one for use in rivers and streams and one for use in lakes, so that you can begin to catch more trout while fishing for trout. I have been fishing for trout for more than two decades and have learned and tweaked these rigs during that time to make them quite effective. The biggest factor to the success of any trout fishing technique or rig is the amount of time that you spend on the water putting said technique or rig into action. The bottom line is that the more time you spend putting these trout fishing rigs into action on the water the better they will perform for you.
With that being said let’s begin with the fishing rig that should be used in lakes. This rig is a basic bottom fishing rig that consists of a small treble hook (size #12 or #18), a small barrel swivel (size #12 or #14), a ¼ to ½ ounce egg sinker, and a 12 to 24 inch leader. The first thing that you want to do is cut a 12 to 24 inch length of line from the end of your line for a leader and set this ‘leader’ aside. Now slip the egg sinker onto the end of your line and tie on a barrel swivel (the swivel will act as a stopper for the sinker). If the weather is windy you will need to use a larger sinker, but a ¼ ounce egg sinker is the perfect size for this rig. Now the leader is tied to the opposite end of the barrel swivel and a treble hook to the end of the leader. The treble hook is now covered with Powerbait or similar dough style trout bait. The key is that the trout dough bait that you use floats. This rig is now cast into a lake containing trout, and the bail of the reel is left open until the rig sinks to the bottom, at which point the bail of your reel is closed. Your line is now retrieved slowly until it is completely taught and the rig is “still fished” until a trout begins to bite. The trout bait will be floating off of the bottom, while the sinker sits on the bottom. When a trout bites it feels no resistance from the sinker, thus making the hook set much more effective.
The second of the trout fishing rigs that I’m going to outline is for trout fishing in river fishing scenarios. This trout fishing rig is called a drift fishing rig and involves the use of a set of gang hooks (size 8 or 10), a small barrel swivel (size #12 or #14), and some split shot sinkers to add weight to the rig. A swivel is tied to the end of your line and a set of gang hooks is tied to the opposite end of the barrel swivel. Split shot sinkers are added to the line above the barrel swivel for weight. The size and number of split shot will vary depending an river depth and current flow, but the goal is to have your bait bounce or “roll” along the bottom of the river as it flows naturally with the current. The hooks on the set of gang hooks are now baited with the live bait of your choice and the rig is “drift” fished in the current of the river. Live worms are an excellent trout bait choice for this trout fishing rig.
The bottom line is that these two fishing rigs are extremely effective and should be added to any serious trout fisherman’s repertoire sooner rather than later.