How to Catch a Big Trout With Crank Bait

How to Catch a Big Trout With Crank Bait
When an angler steps into a river when beginning to fish, in many cases the goal is to catch a big trout. The thrill of hooking, playing and landing a monster rainbow or brown trout can be exhilarating. You can use a variety of lures when angling for large trout, including those used when fishing for smaller-sized trout. However, if you know big trout are around, you now have the option to increase your lure size because big trout are capable of eating larger prey, such as minnows.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Light to medium spinning rod and matched reel
  • Monofilament fishing line
  • Fluorocarbon fishing line for leader
  • crank bait, 1/4 oz. or smaller
Step 1
Cut a 3-foot length of fluorocarbon fishing line from a filler spool to use as a leader. Tie the fluorocarbon leader to the end of your main line with a double uni knot. Tie the double uni by overlapping 6 to 7 inches of the end of the main line with one end of the leader. Hold the lines securely in the middle where they cross.
Step 2
Continue tying the knot by turning the end of the main line back toward the middle where the lines cross to form a loop alongside the two lines. Wrap the free end of the main line around the two lines and through the loop three to four times. Moisten the knot and pull tight. Repeat the process with the free end of the fluorocarbon leader. Trim the free ends of the line extending from the knot to within 1/8 inch of the knot.
Step 3
Attach a 1/4 oz. or smaller crank bait to the end of the fluorocarbon leader with a Palomar knot. Do not use a swivel snap or loop knot but instead tie the line directly to the eye of the lure. Tie the Palomar by feeding several inches of line through the eye of the crank bait and then turn it back through the eye. This will form a loop on one side of the lure eye and a double line on the other. Tie and overhand knot with the loop and double line, pull the loop around the end of the crank bait, moisten the knot and pull down tight. Trim excess from the knot with scissors.
Step 4
Cast the crank bait into runs and riffles, making sure to work the lure in and out of pockets of still water and small pools. Large trout will often hold in still pockets behind large rocks or logs and wait to ambush prey.
Step 5
Fish the crank bait to imitate an injured baitfish. Retrieve the crank bait and then pause. Repeat the process to create an irregular swimming pattern that could signal an easy meal for a large trout.

Tips & Warnings

Watch the lure, when possible, and pause the crank bait as necessary. A pause in the movement of a bait, even with a straight and steady retrieve, can trigger a strike from a hungry trout.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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