When most people think of trout fishing, they think of Powerbait. This is how popular Berkley Powerbait Trout Dough has become over the years, and it has definitely earned its reputation as a trout slayer. Even though trout fishing with Powerbait is fairly simple, there are a few things you can do to fish more effectively. Fine tuning your technique will make a huge difference and help you limit out faster than ever. Let’s get to it.
Any flavor of Powerbait will honestly work, anglers just have their own personal favorites. What I’ve experienced, however, is that any of the standard bright colors such as Chartreuse and Rainbow usually work better for most people. Buy a few different jars and see what lands more fish.
- Hatchery Pellet
- Lime Twist
Proper Powerbait Rod
The action of your bait rod has to be soft enough to play the fish on light line with enough backbone to set the hook correctly. Thankfully, Berkley has an amazing line of Trout Dough Rods that are specifically meant for fishing Powerbait. These rods may look silly but they’re hands down the best bait rods you can buy in my opinion, especially for the low price. Double whammy.
If you are looking for other brands, try finding a rod at least 7’ in the 1-6lb line rating range. If you are more comfortable with a stiffer pole you can look into rods rated for 2-8lb line. Brands such as Fenwick and Lamiglas offer a great variety at an affordable price.
Finding A Decent Trout Spinning Reel
Honestly, your trout reel doesn’t have to be high-end at all. The drag on your reel will be set very low for light line anyways, meaning there isn’t much wear and tear on the drag system. However, make sure the reel offers a smooth drag since you’ll be experiencing long runs with bigger fish.
I use a Shimano Sienna 1000FE since it’s dirt cheap, durable and very smooth. Any reel in the $30-60 range will most likely give you what you need in terms of decent quality.
Here are other great spinning reel options:
Go light. When fishing Powerbait, never go over 6lb test. I personally never use more than 4lb. Trout are definitely line shy and when it comes to soaking something they can stare at for awhile, you’ll need to use light line.
Use monofilament only. Sure, fluorocarbon line is more invisible but it sinks and you’ll need your bait to float as much as possible. Mono is also a bit stretchier, giving you a much-needed buffer when fighting big trout.
Powerbait Trout Rigs
Use a small treble or single hook for Powerbait. I use anywhere from a size 10-14 size hook. Use just enough Powerbait to cover the hook, you don’t want a big glob on there and neither do the trout. If you’re using a treble hook make sure it’s gold. The gold hooks are much lighter than bronze and will help your bait float better. The Eagle Claw Gold Treble Hooks are cheap and super sharp, making great bait hooks.
For weights you can go one of two ways. The first is the traditional sliding sinker method with an egg sinker, swivel and leader to your hook. Slide an egg sinker (no more than ¼ ounce) up your line first, then tie a small barrel swivel to stop the weight. Next, tie about 1-2 feet of 4lb leader from the swivel to your hook and you’re ready to bait up. The benefit of the sliding sinker setup is that the trout can pull on the rig without feeling the weight, increasing your hookup ratio.
The second method is to use small split shots. Simply clamp 1-2 split shots a few feet above the hook and you’re ready to go. I use this method since I don’t have to spend the extra time tying leaders, especially when the bite is hot.
Trout Fishing With Powerbait
- Make sure you have the right kind of rod holder. I use the Y-shaped holders because you want your pole as horizontal as possible. This is so the trout don’t feel your rod pulling back as they take the bait. Many anglers will prop their rods straight up in the air and although this works, the fish are more likely to drop the bait after feeling any pressure.
- Find a small, light clip-on bobber and attach a small snap swivel with the snap facing away from the bobber. Then pry open the snap wide enough so you can hang it on your main line without it falling off. After casting, hang the bobber between two guides and wait for it to either shoot up or down. If the bobber drops to the floor, the fish is coming towards you and if it shoots up, the fish is swimming away from you. The purpose of hanging the bobber is to provide visible bite detection while taking out all the slack from your line. This is especially important when it’s a bit windier and you need to keep your line from flying around. When you get a bite, take off the bobber before setting hook. Last thing you want is for the line to wrap around the bobber break off.
- Bring a pair of hemostat pliers. Most trout will swallow your hook completely and hemostats will be a godsend. I keep mine clipped onto my shirt, pants or jacket at all times.