top 5 trout baits

Top 5 Baits For Rainbow Trout and How To Fish Them

When it comes to a trout bait selection for rainbow trout fishing, there is an array of bait options available from colourful artificial power baits to live bait. So what exactly is the best trout fishing bait for rainbow trout? In this article, we will be exploring the top 5 Rainbow trout baits you should be trying this season.

1. Berkley Powerbait

The go-to choice for any Rainbow trout bait angler is the tried and tested Berkley Powerbait that has accounted for more rainbow trout bait fishing than any other trout bait. Berkleys unique trout attracting paste/putty is made up of a unique formula that rainbow trout just can’t seem to resist.

This one of a kind formula not only oozes a distinctive fish-attracting scent but this trout bait also features unique floating properties. Meaning you can present a brightly coloured hook bait up off the bottom, making it highly visible to any passing trout.

Berkley Powerbait comes in a variety of colours so you can find the perfect bait colour to suit varying water conditions. Berkley also have other ranges in the Powerbait family including their glitter series, Garlic scent series and Glow in the dark series. All these options can provide you with an alternative bait option.

Top tip: If you see trout swimming near the surface, increase the length of your hook length so you can present a bait closer to the surface.

How to rig Powerbait on a hook

1. Take a small amount of Powerbait from the jar.

2. Using the palms of your hands, roll the powerbait into a ball shape. Ensuring there are no seams or cracks in the powerbait ball. (Seams or cracks allow water to enter the bait and this can work the bait off the hook a lot quicker)

3. Now take your Powerbait ball and push it halfway through your mainline above your treble hook. Then slide the powerbait down onto the hook. Ensure you have enough putty to cover the whole hook. Once the powerbait is covering the hook. Mould the putty with your fingers ensuring any creases or cracks are completely smoothed over.

These powerbait hooks have been specially designed to accommodate putty based baits like powerbait. The spring holds the bait to the hook better and eliminates the chances of the bait coming off during the cast or it initially impacts the water.

treble hook tied to hooklength

4. You are now ready to fish.

2. Berkley Powerbait Micetails

Taking its design inspiration from anglers that used an egg and grub cocktail hook bait. Berkley Micetails are a soft plastic bait that imitates a salmon egg and grub combined. The unusual-looking bait has made its stamp as a must-have trout bait.

mice tails

Mice tails have the same unique floating properties as Powerbait. However, what colour of Mice tail is best? They come in two contrasting colours - the egg of a Powerbait Micetail is one colour while the tail section has a contrasting colour. Providing you two different strike points on the same bait - we can say that all colours work but having a mix is best as each colour works with different conditions and water colour.

The tail design provides attractive movement in the water, giving you a bait that comes alive that rainbow trout cannot resist. While the egg provides the majority of the bait’s buoyancy. So if you’re looking for all the benefits of Powerbait but want a bait that will naturally move in the water. Micetails are the bait for you.

How to rig Micetails on a hook

There are two ways to rig a micetail. Below we show you how to do both. We recommend a size 10 Guru MWG hook for rigging mice tails.

Head Hooked

Take the mouse tail and thread the hook through the front of the egg of the mouse tail and feed the hook point out the bottom of the egg. So the egg of the mouse tail is sitting on the shank of a single hook. See images below.

This rigging method allows the tail to move freely and creates an enticing action in the water.

Tail Hooked

Tail hooking is advantageous as it leaves more of the hook point exposed compared to the aforementioned head hooked rigging option. This provides a slightly better hook up ratio.

With the hook being inserted into the tail section of the bait. It allows the most buoyant part of the bait, the egg, to freely sit above the hook itself. See images below.

3. Maggots


An all-round classic bait for both Rainbow trout and Brown trout. Maggots have been a firm favourite bait for trout anglers for decades.

The small white grubs provide a tasty wriggly snack that trout struggle to refuse. Presented on the right day, maggots can outfish artificial baits. This cost-effective bait can be presented in a variety of ways but we recommend a popped up ledger rig.

Maggots are white in colour. However, they do come in various colours. The maggot colour is added during the growing stage and is integrated into their feed. This ensures the maggots are coloured on the inside and out.

Top tip: We recommend tipping your maggot hook bait with one different coloured maggot. This acts as a visual hotspot.

How to rig Maggots on a hook

Take a maggot and hold it by the tapered end ensuring the flat end is towards the hook point.

Then simply thread the maggot onto the hook point. You want to nick the hook just under the skin of the maggot. If you hook the maggot too far on the hook you may risk masking the hook point.

Thread on 3 to 4 maggots to fill the hook. You can experiment with the number of maggots you fish with on the hook. There is no set rule for the number of maggots you can apply to a hook.

You can fish maggots straight on the lake/loch bottom. However, if you are fishing over a sandy or silty bottom. Your maggot hook baits can become lost as the maggots work their way into the soft bottom. To ensure they are visible, we opt for a ‘popped up’ rigging approach. This allows your maggots to be presented up off the bottom.

Maggot pop up

We opt for a piece of cylindrical foam that we roughly cut to the shape of a maggot. Once the rough shape has been created, roll the piece of foam between your forefinger and thumb. The heat from your fingers will smooth the cut edges giving you a more realistic maggot profile.

Thread the pop-up maggot onto the hook first. This can be done by threading the flat end of the pop up on first. Then have the hook exit halfway out the body of the popup, then slide the pop up onto the eye of the hook to hold it securely in place.

Pro Logic’s bait balancing kit is perfect for creating these realistic popups. They also come with 6 different colour foam cylinders. So you can test different colours to see what works best.

To rig maggots on a hook, simply pinch the maggot hook between your forefinger and thumb and hold it around the eye of the hook.

4.Berkley Powerbait Honey Worms


The Berkley Powerbait Honey Worms are the dark horse in our top 5 rainbow trout baits. These small worms are designed to emulate insect larvae on which many trout feed on.

The one-inch artificial bait comes in a convenient little storage jar and contains 55 worms!


Impregnated with Berkleys unique fish-attracting scent and flavour. These life-like insect imitations have started to grow in popularity on rainbow trout fisheries. They come in various colours for use in varying water conditions.

Unlike Berkley’s Powerbait and Micetails, the Power Honey Worms give you a more natural bait presentation that benefits from the same scent and flavour properties as our top 2 baits!

How to rig Power Honey Worms on a hook

Take a honeyworm and simply thread it onto the hook point from the back end of the bait. You want to threead the bait onto the shank of the single hook. Make sure the hook point exits the bait halfway down the body of the bait.

This allows half the bait to hang from the end of the hook. This gives trout enough time to take the bait confidently before they realise something is not right with their free offerings.

We recommend a size 10 Guru MWG hook for rigging Honey Worms.

5. Berkley Trout Bait Nuggets

power nuggets

These highly effective pellets replicate the food source that stocked rainbow trout are fed on. So what better imitative bait to have in your armoury. The soft brown pellets are ideal for moulding together and forming around a hook.

Trout Pellet

This versatility allows you to shape or mould the bait onto and around the hook. The Berkley Trout Nuggets come with the same scent and flavour that all the other Berkley bait range are renowned for.

These bait nuggets have the same floating properties as Powerbait but are only available in one colour. There are two flavours available though. A natural and a cheese flavour. So you can experiment with various flavours to see what works best.

How to rig Trout Bait Nuggets on a hook

As we previously mentioned, Berkleys Trout Bait Nuggets can be moulded and shaped. Allowing you to incorporate a small or large hookbait. You can also mould the nuggets into various shapes.

This versatility allows you to shape or mould the bait onto and around the hook. The Berkley trout nuggets come with the same scent and flavour that the Berkley powerbait range are renowned for.

These bait nuggets have the same floating properties as powerbait but are only available in one colour. There are two flavours available though. A natural and a cheese flavour. So you can experiment with various flavours to see what works best.

We recommend a size 10 Guru MWG hook for rigging Trout Nuggets.

The Rig To Fish These Top 5 Baits

The rig is very simple to tie. Anglers of any level will be able to tie the rig up in a couple of minutes. The rig itself consists of a 1oz inline lead, a rubber bead, a size 10 swivel, a 24” fluorocarbon hook length and a hook. Below we show you how to tie up this simple rig.

This running ledger rig is designed to fish on the bottom of the lake/loch bed. The inline lead allows the line to run freely through the lead thus the name running ledger rig. The length of your fluorocarbon hook length will dictate how high up your bait will be fishing in the water column. ie: The shorter the hooklength the closer your bait will be to the bottom of the lake/loch bed. The longer the hook length the higher up in the water column your bait will be fishing.

1. Thread an inline lead bullet onto your mainline. This lead can be up to 1oz in weight.

Thread inline lead onto mainline

2. Now thread on a rubber bead at the back of the lead. This bead will act as a shock absorber and will protect the knot that we tie directly to the swivel.

Thread rubber bead on

3. Now tie your swivel to your mainline. The swivel not only acts as a connector from our mainline to our hook length but it also eliminates any unwanted line twist.

4. Now take a length a 24” length of 6-8lb fluorocarbon and tie one end of it to your swivel. The fluorocarbon leader should be of a lighter breaking strain than your mainline.

This is in case your hookbait becomes snagged on the bottom. It will ensure you do not lose your full rig. You should only lose a hook at worst.

Tie in fluorocarbon hook length to the swivel

5. Now tie your hook in, in this example, we use a size 12 treble to the other end of the fluorocarbon hooklength. As you will see from the picture. The treble hook has a spring located around the shaft of the hook.

Completed rig

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