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Using Live Trout for Striper Bait

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have a friend in upper East Tennessee who uses live rainbow trout for striper bait. It is legal here. He buys his trout at a fish hatchery for about $9.00/dozen, and has caught stripers up to 40+ pounds. If you use trout you have caught yourself, you can use up to 7 baits, as long as they were caught on hook and line. If you buy the rainbows at a fish hatchery and a game warden checks you, you must show your receipt.

After asking around, some anglers are convinced that live trout are more effective than shad, skipjack herring, chubs, bluegill, or shiners. Has anyone on this forum used trout for bait? Maybe because they are such an oily fish is why they're effective. I can get eating sized rainbows at a bait shop for about 2 bucks apiece. That's not bad, if the stripers don't hit, I can eat my bait!
post #2 of 15
I would like to use a trout for some pike.... but of course its illegal in my area. There are to many trout fishermen and they would get really but hurt if they seen you using there fish that they try to catch as bait lol.

The stripers may like the trout a more though because they are a softer fish than the others, lol and they sure do taste good to
Jacob
post #3 of 15
I have used trout as bait fishing for flathead catfish. They don't survive well in bait buckets or captivity because they need clean constant cold water. Once they hit the water of a normal river, they will die because of the high water temperature.



How do you think those stripers get so big in Tennessee? Not by eating small prey!
post #4 of 15
We use trout down here, too, up to 15 inches or so. Kinda funny when a guy decides to go and takes his bait of the hook and tosses it in the cooler for dinner.

Daignault tells a story of catching trout in fresh water and transporting them to the ocean for bait in his book Striper Surf.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetwater View Post
We use trout down here, too, up to 15 inches or so. Kinda funny when a guy decides to go and takes his bait of the hook and tosses it in the cooler for dinner.

Daignault tells a story of catching trout in fresh water and transporting them to the ocean for bait in his book Striper Surf.

i believe the lower saluda stripers feast on the stocked rainbows if im not mistaken
post #6 of 15
I use live trout from November up until the first couple weeks in March. Its an effective bait for bigger fish but there are times in the dead of winter you can run a trout right down the middle of a big school of stripers and not even get a sniff and then run a 2 inch threadfin shad and hookup immediately. Its a quality game with trout but the majority of stripers in winter on lanier prefer to gorge on slower moving threadfin shad most of the time. The best redeaming quality for rainbow trout for me since I live on the lake is buying a dozen of 12 inch trout and keeping them alive in my fish basket for the entire week sometimes more. Another good quality is multiple trips from one bait. Ive used the same trout at times 3 days in a row and he still has a lot of spunk.

One of the bigger ones I caught behind my house this year on live trout. Caught in December

Another one

one more lol

And one I caught off the dock while fishing for catfish with some leftover dead trout

And the little buggers that make it all possible. Its nice that they keep so well in the cold water its nice to come home and have some live bait to pull around and usually when a rod takes off its a decent fish.

post #7 of 15
When you live line a trout does the trout just go to the bottom and sit there or does it dart and swim around like a herring?
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishingnuke View Post
When you live line a trout does the trout just go to the bottom and sit there or does it dart and swim around like a herring?

Usually pull them freelined on a planer boards with about 30ft of freeline trailing behind the planer board. Or on a "downline" which is a carolina rig consisting of a 2 or 3 ounce egg sinker swivel and a 6ft flouro leader and a circle hook and sometimes a stinger treble if the bait is huge dropped down to around 15 to 35ft over a 40+ft bottom depending on where the fish are holding and then just slow troll them with the T-motor.
post #9 of 15
There are some reservoirs here in Maryland that have some huge Hybrid Stripers, Pike and Muskie. All the salts that fish there swear by using live trout for them. Of course its illegal.. I dont see why if you catch the trout and take it home to eat, its ok, but why cant you live line out one of your 5 that counts toward your daily limit.

They had a problem when the fisheries stocked the trout there as the big fish would have a field day at the trout buffet when the tank was dumping them in.
post #10 of 15
Highly illegal in California,,,, but ,,, i got this one 22 years ago the very first time i tried ''soaking a live Fillmore redfin'', otherwise known as a 14 inch stocker rainbow trout. I haven't done it in over 17 years and this one is still a Lake Pyramid record, 42-1/2 pounds.
525
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well folks, looks like Tennessee isn't the only place where anglers fish with live trout. Of course, whenever I try this I'm going to buy them at the bait shop and not fool around catching them by hook and line. And it will be when the water and outside air temperatures go down considerably. I have two places in mind, one is below a dam with plenty of current, another a steam plant with plenty of current. I see nothing wrong with this, since it's legal.
post #12 of 15
Bluefish1928, you would be right. I am good buddies with the trout fishermen because we both have the same interest in maintaining access to the river. And, I use lures solely, so there is no conflict. I do, however, know tactics and techniques that I do not regularly use.

In local rivers, we use three techniques with trout: live trout under a slip float, live or dead trout on a carolina rig off the bottom, and bellies as jig trailers.
post #13 of 15
Great fish Smirkplug, here in Jersey I would never even consider trout for stripers but that may just be me, I'll spend all day throwing plugs in the Ocean and Bay and I may even soak some bait to catch a fish like you have there, but I know of very few people using trout as bait......
post #14 of 15
Trout work...but not always! Just like some of the previous posts indicated. Also make sure its legal in your area!
post #15 of 15
whatever it takes to catch the biggest fish! I used a 14" brown this spring for flatheads and had a nice run but couldn't hook her. this fall I plan on trying to liveline some for stripers too
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