You might think brown trout and rainbows are the same. Sorry guys, you’d be wrong. Brown trout are much more territorial and a little harder to catch.
But don’t worry, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve, and I’m going to share.
I want to show you the best brown trout lures around. Today I’ll talk to you about how they work and even where you might consider using them.
When choosing lures for brown trout in lakes, you need to appeal to their territorial nature. Anything that will annoy them into biting should do the trick. Lots of color and movement is a good place to start.
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Best Fishing Lures for Brown Trout | Detailed Buying Guide
Right, before we dive into my list of good brown trout baits, let’s take a detailed look at the qualities most good lures require to be successful. From there, you can have a browse at some of my favorites or use this knowledge to choose your own.
Wondering what lure you should use for brown trout?
Here’s your answer:
Unlike when you are fishing for bigger species, such as northern pike, bass, or musky. Brown trout lure fishing is a much more delicate affair. Sure, they can grow up to double figures, but generally, you’ll be after the smaller 3-4 pounders as a maximum.
As a result…
You are going to need to downsize on your lure a little.
Rainbow trout will attack just about anything, but for brown trout, you might need a more subtle approach. Smaller lures still catch plenty of big browns, but bigger lures will scare 90% of the fish away.
To avoid spooking brown trout, I’d suggest 2 – 3″ as a maximum size for your lures.
As I said at the start. What you are looking for is plenty of movement.
Brown trout are reticent even at the best of times. Whereas I normally advocate going for natural-looking patterns with most species, brown trout are slightly different. Sure, if you are fly fishing, go as natural as you can.
But lure fishing is a different beast altogether.
Your aim, with lures, is purely to annoy to the point where brown trout will lash out with territorial aggression.
To get that effect, you will need something that moves, a lot.
Look for lures with spinning blades, fluttery feathers, and bright colors that will have a brown trout twitching with anger.
Surface or Subsurface?
This can vary day-to-day. I’d advise going for a lure that sinks 9/10 times. That way, if the fish are on top, you might still catch them but also have the option of sinking down into the deep.
Take a minute when you arrive to assess the situation. If you do not see many splashes on the surface, then a deep sinker is the lure you need to reach for immediately.
What Color Lures do Brown Trout Like?
As any fly fisherman will tell you. Trout change their mind regularly as to what their favorite color is. One day it will be white, the next green, the next… Who knows? But that said. There are a few that seem to work well.
I’m going to give you a general rule of thumb here that I learned when fly fishing:
Dark Day, Dark Lure
Light Day, Light Lure
When it comes to the best colors, it really pays to get a selection. Here’s what I’d recommend:
You can go for a few silver or bronze finishes too.
Want to know a secret weapon when it comes to brown trout lures?
Brown trout colored!
Like I say, they are notoriously territorial, and a few red spots on a brown background seems to really ‘trigger’ them.
Yeah, you heard me.
Brown trout are suckers for a nice set of eyes. Any that are painted on or even vaguely represent a set of peepers always seem to work. Still, lifelike and 3D holographic eyes are even better.
You’ll see examples of this in my suggestions below.
TOP 7 Best Brown Trout Fishing Lures
Ok, guys, with all of the above in mind, here’s some of the best brown trout lures for streams and lakes…
Remember how I just talked about brown trout colors being deadly?
This is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind.
This spinner is small and light enough to avoid spooking an already wary fish, but once it gets going, it will awake the beast within.
A bronze, bespeckled finish will trigger something primal and aggressive in most brown trout. I love the bushy tail, too.
It just adds to the action!
You’ll also notice a flash of red hidden on the treble. You’ll often find that a splash of contrasting color (and particularly red) will bring results when all other lures have failed.
I specially chose this one due to its small size and lower profile. It won’t cast too far, but it is perfectly suited for fishing for brown trout in smaller streams.
Small size, making it one of the best fishing lures for brown trout.
For a single spinner, I find it a bit on the high side price-wise.
Not ideal for bigger waters when you want to cast further.
Spinners have long been a firm favorite of trout fishermen. This particular spinner is a solid choice. The blade turns easy, making it ideal for slower retrieves. The color is absolutely A1 if brown trout is what you are after.
Is red, green, yellow, orange, or black the best color for catching brown trout?
Why make a choice when you really don’t have to. This spinner is a mix of all of the above. When you throw in the fact that it comes in various casting weights (making it perfect for use on lakes and streams), you’ve got something that is a perfect all-around lure for brown trout.
Because the blade and tail are multicolored, you won’t need to worry about which color is right on the day. The trout will simply select the one that annoys them, even if they ignore the others!
Want a top tip.
Go for the 1/16oz if you want to be covered for most situations. Like I said at the start, small lures still catch big fish!
Panther Martin is a trusted brand for making the best brown trout baits, and this is proof. They are also pretty cheap, meaning that you can pick up a few different variations to cover yourself completely.
A trusted brand, Panther Martin makes some of the best spinners for brown trout.
Plenty of color options.
Multicolored is great, but it makes it hard to nail down which color was the one that worked. But, that said, if you are catching, who cares?
I love individual lures that tick a lot of boxes. This one is bound to annoy the fish, is easy to see, and is actually really great quality. Oh, and it is also wallet-friendly. I’ve got one in my box, have you?
When it comes to picking great lures, either Rapala or Yo Zuri is the way to go.
This time, I’m choosing Rapala.
I chose this lure because it is the perfect size for brown trout fishing. It is right in the Goldilocks zone. Not too big, not too small.
This is one of the more natural-looking brown trout lures on my list. On a day when they are being a bit cautious, this might just be enough to put them at ease.
Large eyes always work well with lures, and the contrast created between the bright yellow eyes and dark body is sure to stand out.
The jointed swimming action looks pretty realistic too. I’ve had plenty of fish follow this lure right to my feet, so before you re-cast, let it rest for a minute and see what happens!
As crankbait, it also works wonderfully from a boat or kayak. Definitely one of the best brown trout trolling lures!
Realistic looks and swimming action.
A trusted lure brand.
Super sharp and strong hooks.
Over time the hinge on the body will ‘give’ a little. But don’t worry, the trout don’t mind!
It is a little on the high side if you are on a budget.
Rapala hasn’t let me down yet. This lure is a perfect size and is really effective. It also has a vague trout-like look which brown trout seem to go for. For trolling, this is one that you need in your box.
If you see brown trout sipping things off the surface, then it is time to get involved.
Brown trout identify their prey by association. If it’s got wriggly legs and they are eating big flies, a nice juicy spider looks like a gourmet meal.
Now, I’m going to be upfront.
These are big baits and might be a little too large for the majority of fish. But if you are going for trophy-sized trout and don’t want to be plagued by ‘tiddlers,’ these will work well.
I find that the darker colors work best.
Cast them out, let them float, and give them the occasional ‘twitch’ to get those legs working.
Great for surface fishing.
Not a budget lure for brown trout fishing.
They are a little large for your average-sized fish.
Ok, so they are a little different, but maybe that’s just what you need? If every man and his dog is throwing out a spinner and not catching, what are you going to do? I’d advise changing it up. These lures represent the ideal way to do this.
Well, take a look! First off, the neon pink color is easy to see and hard to miss! Occasionally, you’ll find that the trout get all excited by something new, and I reckon hot pink will just about do it.
You’ve got a touch of iridescence in there, too, with silver scales that will flash and glitter as this lure moves through the water.
And check this out.
Those googly eyes aren’t just there for show. They really work.
And there’s a hidden extra.
This lure actually contains a small chip that emits a tiny electrical ‘pulse’. This can be sensed by predators meaning they might just come seeking this out! Give it a try and see if it works!
I love the dual hooks, too. If trout come up short with their first attack, you aren’t going to miss.
Fancy chip technology.
Bright finish, perfect for darker water.
The eyes are what make this lure for me. A real brown trout trigger!
I wish they had included a swivel at the hook eye. It does twist the line quite easily.
Does the chip work? I don’t know, ask the big old brownie I caught last week! Whether it works or not, I have caught fish using this lure, and you will too. The red hooks are a nice touch too.
If I was a native American, this is what I’d want my name to be.
The war eagle lure looks like a feathery headdress and is as fierce as an Apache! With dual spinning tomahawk blades and a bright and vibrant fluttering jig on the other arm, it won’t fail to attract attention for all the right reasons.
I’ve had the best success pulling this along at speed. Making it ideal for warmer water. If it is a little cold, you will need to slow it down.
Any bad bits?
Not really. It casts further than I thought. I did get the occasional tangle. But that tends to happen with most lures anyway at some point.
You’ll find a whole host of colors. Get one light, one dark, and one somewhere in between.
My go-to color at the moment is white chartreuse pearl. It’s simply perfect for bright days (which also tend to be the slowest). Go early morning, and this is a brown trout magnet.
With two blades, you will get the occasional tangle.
It needs to move to work, so not ideal for winter fishing.
Look, no lure is perfect all the time. But for a good brown trout lure, this puts you right in the ballpark. Its bright, bold, and churns the water like a dervish. These are all things that will invoke a bite. A couple in your bag or box will see you with a fish.
Got a better idea about what goes into the best brown trout lures? I certainly hope so. All of the above will work well in a variety of situations.
Pick the right size, action, and color and experiment to see what works at your chosen venue. As I said at the start, brown trout and rainbow trout are slightly different.