Trout Rigs for Lake Fishing

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Kyle Whitley

Trout Rigs for Lake Fishing

Fishing for trout in a lake can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but it’s important to have the right equipment. Trout rigs are essential for successful lake fishing, as they provide the necessary tackle and bait to attract and catch trout. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the best trout rigs for lake fishing so you can get the most out of your next outing.

How do you rig for trout in a lake?

The slip sinker rig is one of the most popular and effective rigs for catching trout in lakes. It consists of a weight, usually a split shot or bell sinker, attached to the line with a swivel. The hook is then tied to the end of the line, and bait is added to the hook. This rig allows you to cast further into deeper water where trout may be hiding.

The slip bobber rig is another great option for catching trout in lakes. This setup uses a bobber that slides up and down the line, allowing you to adjust your depth depending on where you think the fish are located. A hook is tied at the end of the line, and bait can be added as desired. This rig also allows you to keep your bait near the surface or suspend it just below it, making it easier for trout to find your offering.

Finally, there’s the spinner rig used by many anglers when fishing for trout in lakes. This setup consists of a spinner blade attached directly to your main line with a swivel and leader material such as monofilament or fluorocarbon. The hook is then tied at the end of this leader material

Best Lures and Baits for Lake Trout

As I cast my line into the depths of “The Deep”, I was surprised to feel a tug on the other end. After reeling in what turned out to be a lake trout, I realized that this part of the lake had been overlooked as a great spot for fishing. We had been so focused on catching walleye that we had completely forgotten about the potential for lake trout.

I quickly learned that the best lures and baits for lake trout were small spoons, jigs, spinners, and minnows. These worked well when fished near structures such as rocks or logs, or when trolled slowly along drop-offs. With these tips in mind, I was able to catch several more lake trout before our boat finally drifted close enough to shore for us to make it home safely.

Slip sinker rig

The slip sinker rig is one of the most popular and effective rigs for trout fishing in lakes. It’s easy to tie and allows you to present your bait within 1 to 2 feet off the bottom, which is an ideal depth for targeting trout.

To set up this rig, you start by threading your main line through a 1/8 to 1/4 oz sliding sinker, then tie it to a swivel or snap swivel. Next, attach a 1 to 3 foot long fluorocarbon leader to the swivel and tie a size 8 to 14 hook on the other end.

One important thing to keep in mind when using this rig is that your bait needs to float in the water; otherwise, it won’t be as effective.

The slip sinker rig is an excellent choice for catching trout in ponds and lakes because it can be used with various types of bait such as worms, minnows, salmon eggs, and artificial lures. It also allows you to adjust the depth of your bait quickly and easily by simply sliding the sinker up or down the line. With its versatility and effectiveness, this rig has become one of the most popular choices among anglers who are looking for an

Slip bobber rig

The slip bobber rig is a great way to target fish feeding in the middle or top third of the water column. It allows you to adjust the length of the line between your hook and the slip bobber so that you can present your bait at precisely the correct depth.

To set up a slip bobber rig, start by tying a bobber stop onto your main line. Then put a plastic bead on the line, and thread it through the slip bobber. Underneath the slip bobber, tie your line to a swivel or snap swivel, and add one or more split shot weights between the slip bobber and the swivel.

Once you have set up your rig correctly, you can cast it out into any body of water and wait for a bite. The advantage of this type of rig is that it allows you to keep your bait suspended in mid-water where trout are likely to be feeding.

This makes it easier for them to find and strike your bait without searching around on the bottom for food. With some practice, you can quickly master this technique and start catching more fish with every outing!

Spinner rig

The spinner rig is an effective way to target trout with spinners and other lures. It involves tying a fluorocarbon leader of 1-2 feet in length between the main line and the lure and attaching a swivel to prevent line twisting.

This also helps reduce the visibility of the line in water, which can be important when fishing for finicky trout in heavily fished lakes. Additionally, if you’re targeting trout in deeper water (over 5 feet deep), adding one or more split shot weights just above the swivel will help get your lure down to those depths.

Using a spinner rig is an easy way to ensure that your presentation is effective and that you have the best chance of catching trout. The combination of a fluorocarbon leader and swivel helps reduce line visibility and prevents bird nest formation while adding split shot weights can help get your lure down to deeper depths where larger fish may be lurking. With this setup, you’ll be able to present your lures effectively and hopefully land some big trout!

fishing for rainbow trout near a lake dock

What is the best rig for trout fishing in lakes?

The slip sinker rig is the best rig for trout fishing in lakes, as it allows you to present your bait floating 1 to 3 feet above the bottom. This is the ideal depth where trout are often found and allows you to cover a larger area of water quickly.

The rig consists of a leader line with a hook attached at one end and a weight or sinker at the other end. The weight slides freely along the leader line, allowing you to adjust the depth of your bait easily.

However, it’s important to remember that conditions can change quickly when fishing in lakes. During summer, trout may feed at the surface instead of near the bottom. 

If this is the case, you’ll need to switch up your rig and use a bobber or spinner that can be retrieved just under the surface. This will allow you to target these fish more effectively and increase your chances of success.

Best rod and reel setup for trout fishing in lakes

When it comes to trout fishing in lakes, the best rod and reel setup is a 7 to 8-foot long light or ultralight spinning rod paired with 1000 to a 2000-size spinning reel. Ultralight gear is ideal for catching stocked trout since they don’t grow very big in most lakes, and it provides an exciting fight on lightweight gear.

If you need to make longer casts, then a 2000 or 2500-size reel may be better suited for your needs. The main line should be a 10 to 20 lb test braid or monofilament, tied to a 6 to 10 lb test fluorocarbon leader. This combination of rod and reel will provide you with the perfect balance of power and sensitivity needed for successful trout fishing in lakes.

In addition, when using this setup, ensure that your drag settings are set correctly to fight the fish without breaking your line. Also, if you’re using lures such as spinners or spoons, use lighter weights so that they sink slowly through the water column and attract more fish.

Finally, always keep an eye out for any structure in the lake, such as weed beds or drop-offs where trout like to hide – these areas can be great

How to Catch Trout In a Lake

Bait fishing is the most common and effective way to catch trout in a lake. It involves using live bait such as worms, minnows, or crickets to attract the fish. The bait should be placed on a hook and cast into the water near where you think the trout might be hiding.

You can also use prepared baits such as dough balls or salmon eggs. These baits are usually scented with anise oil or other natural attractants to draw in the fish. Once you have your bait in place, it’s important to wait patiently for a bite.

Fishing artificial lures is another popular method of catching trout in a lake. Artificial lures come in many shapes and sizes and are designed to imitate small prey that trout naturally feed on.

They can be used alone or combined with live bait for added attraction. When using artificial lures, it’s important to choose ones that match the size and color of the local prey species so they look more realistic to the trout.

Additionally, it would be best if you varied your retrieval speed when casting to cover different depths of water and entice more strikes from hungry fish.

trout fishing in a lake with baitcasters

Bait Fishing for Trout In Lakes

Bait fishing for trout in lakes can be a great way to get started with trout fishing. It is often more productive than lures, and it is also much simpler to use. When bait fishing for trout, you will need hooks and equipment to set the bait in the water.

This can be done by either suspending the bait from a bobber or using a weighted line that keeps the bait at the bottom of the lake. Once your bait is set up, you have to wait for the fish to find it and take a bite!

There are several different methods of bait fishing for trout in lakes. One popular method is trolling, which involves dragging your baited hook behind a boat while slowly moving through the water.

Another method is casting, which involves throwing out your baited hook and letting it drift with the current until a fish takes it. Finally, there is jigging, which involves using a jigging rod to move your baited hook up and down to attract fish.

Whichever method you choose, make sure you are using quality tackle and fresh bait to maximize your chances of catching some trout!

Sinking Trout Rig for Lakes

The sinking trout rig is a popular method for catching trout in lakes. This type of setup involves using a weighted line and bait to sink the bait to the bottom of the lake, where trout tend to feed.

The weight on the line can be adjusted depending on how deep you want your bait to go, allowing you to target different depths and areas of the lake. Additionally, this type of rig allows you to cover more water than other rigs, making it ideal for larger bodies of water.

When fishing with a sinking trout rig, it’s important to use the right kind of bait. Trout prefer live or natural baits such as worms, minnows, or crayfish. Artificial lures can also be used but may not be as effective as natural baits.

It’s also essential to choose the right size and weight for your line and bait so that it sinks appropriately and reaches the desired depth. With some practice and patience, anglers can use this technique successfully to catch plenty of trout from their local lake.

What is a Sinking Trout Rig?

The Sinking Trout Rig is a great way to target trout feeding near the water’s bottom. This type of rig consists of a weight, usually a split shot, attached to the line with a swivel.

The swivel is then connected to a leader line with a hook at the end. The weight helps keep the bait at or near the bottom, where it can be more easily seen by trout.

To use this rig effectively, you should cast it out and let it sink to the bottom before reeling in slowly. You can also add additional weights to get your bait down deeper into the water column.

Once your bait is at or near the bottom, you can start jigging it up and down slightly to attract attention from nearby trout. Be sure to pay attention to how deep your bait is so that you don’t snag on any underwater obstacles while fishing. This sinking trout rig can effectively catch more fish with practice and patience!

How to Fish a Sinking Bait Rig?

When fishing with a sinking bait rig, the most important thing to remember is that there are no hard and fast rules. However, there are specific tactics that can be used to increase your chances of catching trout.

The first step in using this rig type is selecting the best trout bait. Popular choices include nightcrawlers and dough baits, as they attract more fish than other types of bait.

Once you have chosen your bait, it’s time to set up the rig. This involves attaching a weight or sinker at the end of the line and then tying on your hook and bait. You should also ensure that the weight is heavy enough to sink quickly and reach the bottom where most trout feed.

Once you have set up your rig, it’s time to cast out into the water. When casting, make sure you use a slow retrieve so that your bait can sink into the strike zone where most trout feed.

As you reel in your line, pay attention to any signs of a bite such as a tug or sudden stop in movement. If you feel something like this, immediately set the hook with a sharp jerk on your rod tip. 

Floating Rig for Rainbow Trout

Floating rigs for rainbow trout are becoming increasingly popular among anglers. This technique is effective and can be used to catch a variety of trout species in lakes.

The rig has a weight attached to the line, usually a split shot or small jig head, with a hook above it. A bait such as worms, corn, or salmon eggs is added to the hook. The weight allows the bait to float off the bottom of the lake, making it more visible and attractive to trout.

When fishing with a floating rig for rainbow trout, paying attention to how deep you are fishing is important. Trout tend to stay near the surface during warmer months and deeper in cooler months. It is also essential to pay attention to where you cast your line; casting too close to shore can spook the fish away from your bait.

Additionally, smaller baits, such as worms or salmon eggs can help attract more bites from smaller trout. With patience and practice, this technique can be wildly productive when targeting rainbow trout in lakes!

What is a Floating Trout Rig?

A floating trout rig is a great way to target fish that are feeding near the surface. It suspends the bait in the water column, allowing it to be fished more toward the surface than a sinking rig.

This is especially effective when the fish feed near the water column’s top. To achieve this, anglers can use bobbers and floats. There are two main types of fishing floats out there: slip bobbers and fixed bobbers.

Slip bobbers allow for adjustable depth control, while fixed bobbers remain at a set depth. Once you learn how to fish with bobbers and floats, it will be hard for you to put them down!

Floating trout rigs are an excellent way to target active fish that are feeding near the surface. They provide anglers with an easy way to adjust their bait’s depth in order to match where the fish are located in the water column.

With a little practice, anyone can quickly master how to use these rigs and start catching more trout! Whether you’re using slip or fixed bobbers, they both offer great advantages when targeting trout near the surface. So if you’re looking for an effective way to catch more trout, give floating rigs

How to Fish a Floating Trout Rig?

Fishing a floating trout rig is an effective way to catch trout in lakes. Before getting started, you need either a fixed bobber or slip bobber.

A slip bobber allows you to fish your desired depth, while a fixed bobber is set at a predetermined depth, usually 1-2 feet. It is essential to read up on fishing floats, and bobbers before beginning as this will give you a full breakdown of the different types of bobbers available and how they can be used effectively.

Once you have chosen the right type of bobber for your needs, it’s time to rig up your line. Start by tying the end of your line to the eyelet on the bottom of the float.

Then attach a weight such as split shot or a sinker, depending on how deep you want to fish. Next, tie on your hook and bait it with something like worms, salmon eggs, or small minnows.

Finally, adjust the float so that it sits just above the water surface and cast out into the lake. You should now be ready to start catching some trout!

How to Choose a Lake Trout Lure

When it comes to choosing the right lure for lake trout, there are several factors to consider. Cory Schmidt, an expert in the field, suggests that water temperature, fish depth and specific location all play a role in determining which lure will be most effective.

In springtime when water temperatures range from the mid 40s to mid 50s, lake trout may be found near shallow rocky structures. Casting with jig/plastic combos, crankbaits or spoons can all be successful in these conditions.

As waters warm into the 60s and 70s during summer months, lake trout typically move into deeper main lake basin areas where they pursue pelagic baitfish such as herring (ciscoes), smelt and alewives. Trolling for suspended fish near the thermocline is often the best approach for catching them in these conditions.

It’s essential to understand how each of these factors affects your choice of lure when fishing for lake trout. Knowing what type of baitfish they are likely to be feeding on and where they are likely to be located can help you make an informed decision about which lure will give you the best chance of success. 


Q: How deep do lake trout live?

Lake trout are a species of fish that can be found in many different bodies of water. In inland lakes or reservoirs, lake trout typically live between 20 and 60 feet deep during the spring and summer months. However, if there is an abundance of forage and oxygen available at deeper depths, they may venture as far down as 80 to 100 feet.

In the Great Lakes such as Lake Superior and Michigan, lake trout can often be found at depths of up to 100 feet or more. There is even a special variation of lake trout known as the Siscowet which lives in Lake Superior and has been known to swim in depths of 300 to 600 feet or more.

This particular species has adapted to living in coldwater environments due to its high fat content. It has even been caught in some of the deepest sections of Lake Superior at over 1,000 feet!

Q: What lure catches the most trout?

When it comes to catching trout in the Great Lakes, spoons and diving plugs are among the most popular lures. These lures are typically trolled behind downrigger balls, which helps them reach deeper depths where trout can be found.

Spoons and plugs come in various sizes, shapes, and colors, so anglers can experiment with different combinations to find out what works best for their particular situation.

Inland lakes also offer great opportunities for trout fishing. Soft plastic flukes, swimbaits, and tubes rigged on 1/4- to 1-ounce jigheads can be especially effective when cast into shallow water or vertically jigged on deep humps.

This technique is especially useful when lake trout have been spotted on sonar. Anglers should experiment with different lure types and sizes to determine which ones work best for their particular situation.

Summing it Up: Trout Rigs for Lake Fishing

When it comes to trout rigs for lake fishing, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on the water temperature, fish depth and specific location, different lures may be more effective than others.

In springtime, when water temperatures are in the mid 40s to mid 50s, jig/plastic combos, crankbaits or spoons can be successful near shallow rocky structures. During summer months when waters warm into the 60s and 70s, lake trout typically move into deeper main lake basin areas where trolling with spoons and diving plugs is often the best approach.

Anglers should also experiment with different lure types and sizes in inland lakes to determine which ones work best for their particular situation. With a little research and practice, anglers can become experts at catching lake trout!


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