View Full Version : TROUT LURE QUESTION???

03-10-2009, 12:48 PM
Being new to fishing in california i was wondering variation of lures from spring to summer to fall and when to top line and when to get down deeper....And when your fishing deeper do u use bigger lures i dont mean to ask so many questions but being from the east coast now fishing in cali its a completely different world that im trying to learn so if i could get some info from fellow sniffers it would be greatly appreciated...kevin :)

03-10-2009, 01:29 PM
pbf - You will get better response and info if you can narrow your questions down a bit. What kind of lure and how deep, etc. is a function of where you will likely be fishing for trout and what kind of trout you will be trying for.

Welcome to California trout fishing. :)

03-10-2009, 02:39 PM
where will you be fishing


03-10-2009, 02:53 PM
We can answer some of your questions without asking you more questions. Now is the time to be top lining in CA. Depending on the elevation, this will likely last until the surface water temperatures start getting above 60 degrees. There really isn't a reason to go bigger unless you are trying to imitate bait fish that are natural food source in the lake you are fishing. At the transition periods from one season to the next I'm more likely to spread the water column with lures top to bottom until I find what level the fish are sctively feeding in. Then I narrow my offerings.

03-10-2009, 03:00 PM
Thanks S D that makes a whole lot of sense im just trying to put a good selection of lures grubs that sort of thing together where im from the water temp stays cold almost all year we fish for trout along the shorelines im trying to learn how u californians fish out here thanks for the post :)

Captain Compassion
03-10-2009, 03:38 PM
In most of the lakes above 6,000 feet elevation and above the conditions are much the same as they are in the colder areas of the North Eastern US and Canada. Most of these lakes and rivers never get water temperatures above 60 degrees and trout can be had along the shore especially in the mornings and evenings. Lures and techniques that work at ice out work as well in the summer and fall. Lakes at lower elevations such as those in the Foothills and the California valleys are winter and spring trout fisheries.


03-10-2009, 04:16 PM
Thanks captain do u guys ever troll flys out here thats what we used to do but like i said we trolled flys on shore for trout and salmon but we were fishing for browns and brookies thanks for the info

03-10-2009, 06:39 PM
I also have some questions about lure choice and set up. How does a person decide what to throw in the water? I am fishing the major san jauquin area resevoirs: Melones, Pedro, Tulloch, McClure...

Do people choose a go 2 bait or set up or do you try a buffet of items to see whats working or what? Can someone share their lure choice thought process.

03-10-2009, 07:09 PM
My favorite lure is a Panther Martin 1/8th oz holographic. Good luck and welcome to California.

03-10-2009, 07:09 PM
i was in the same boat as u PBF and after 3 yrs of reading and watching i finally caught a trout on camanche and reading this forum and viewing the FAQ'S will also help out....but it is fun going out and trying to catch nothing.... ;D ;D but i will keep going until i get it firgured out ...have fun out there....

Captain Compassion
03-10-2009, 07:45 PM
When in doubt on a lake try a 1/4 oz gold Kastmaster. On a stream use a Panther Martin.


03-10-2009, 08:11 PM
Answer: Gold or Copper Kastmaster in the 1/4 oz variety for a lake
Stream you wanna go with panther martin or rooster tail in
black or brown sizes depend on flow or stream size.
Welcome and good luck!

Brad "Hunkfisher"


03-10-2009, 08:31 PM
thanks for the posts i feel like a serious newbie to cali ive fished all my life everythings just so different out here so i really appreciate the help and support

03-10-2009, 08:38 PM
As far as trolling goes... lures? thats actually what I was hunting for.

You guys said a gold kastmaster. is that for trolling in these major valley reservoirs?

Whats your guys' go to setup or your thought process for choosing a lure for "trolling" on these major reservoirs

Captain Compassion
03-10-2009, 08:49 PM
Kastmasters can be trolled. I've had good success toplining them at Topaz Lake this year. Rapalas are also a good choice. Needlefish, Flat Fish.


03-10-2009, 08:56 PM
little cleo chrome 2/5ths oz,silver andblue castmaster 1/4 oz, some of the blue fox spinners run deep (8'+)or on top depending on your rod tip to wAter distance.
As for size a 12"+ trout will hit a lure that's on the bigger side (4"+)but the hooks will gouge eyeballs and brains sometimes so c&r won't work.
Bigger trout 16"&up almost eat nothing but fish so anything that immitates what's in the body of water is my first try.
I used to think trout didn't eat trout untill I bought a brokeback german brown rapala and it worked!

03-11-2009, 06:31 AM
awesome info thanks gizzard that answers one of my big questions where im from we dont have the big trout thats in cali so i wasnt really sure the best sizes of lures so that was very helpfull info thank u .......kevin

dinos marine
03-11-2009, 10:17 AM
now we can open another can of worms, did you ' grubs to check the "grubs" posting? seems there are some of use who use 3" grubs as well.
rapalas in the lakes do well too. start with a f5, black chrome, or firetiger, then work up to larger for larger fish. i have caught trout on a j11, on the surface.
i use to only have this little tackle bag. it has grown 5x's in size since i started using lures and trolling. "hey i need that color/size syndrome" ;D
good luck!
so where are you planning on fishing?

03-11-2009, 10:45 AM
in lakes,depending on water depth/temp/casting distance required,i fish a lot of Thomas Buoyants,both 1/6 and 1/4 oz sizes,favorite colors typically gold with red/black spots,silver w/spots,rainbow trout patterns. another go to lure for me is a Jake's spin-a-lure,1/4 ox. in gold,its a hard lure to find here,other than on the eastern side of the sierras,and looks similar to a Super-duper. Kastmasters are often really productive,and the same company(Acme) makes another excellent lure called the Fjord spoon.
I typically fish spoons in lakes or larger rivers,and spinners in small rivers and streams.
For spinners,ive always liked the "sonic" type lures,Panther Martin,Blue Fox super Vibrax,sonic rooster tails....with size and weight varying from 1/16- 1/4 oz,depending on size and depth of water....

03-11-2009, 02:17 PM
Thanks dk and iggy both great posts and hellpfull as well dk do u have a fav color as and size as far as grubbs go are they normal grubbs or like mister twister with tails ??just curious thanks for the posts see u on da water

03-11-2009, 02:38 PM
Powerbait or Mister Twister Grubs in 2" & 3", Rootbeer Brown, Orange and Fire Tiger.

dinos marine
03-11-2009, 03:07 PM
ill agree with superdave, but my goto color is pearl white, orange, firetiger, pink, watermelon, pumpkinseed in that order.
95% of the fish are on 3" grubs. i definately think the berkley grubs get better bites.
like the bouyant as well, too many colors and sizes to choose from.
in the order of choices for trolling:
crawlers, naked, dodgers, flashers (in that order)
spoons, castmasters, bouyant, super duper
spinners, panther martin, rooster, mepps
then you have the mini jigs, like the trout magnet and crappie jigs. i still havnt had success on the mini jigs, but have witnessed many fish caught in late summer/ealy fall when the water levels get low and the fish are picky.
btw, i fish amador, lafayette (bay area), and the 88 corridor (thats how i met capt comp!), gold lakes basin area, tahoe basin area. these are favorites of mine. i have fished i 5north, shasta, trinity, lassen, burney, mccloud areas as well. there are so many places to trout fish in norcal, and i havnt been to the 395/bridgeport area! its taken me 30 or so years to do this, and we still have more land to cover.
i do have my favorites, and this is when the ol age shows! rather than pursue new adventures, one contemplates the usual hot spots, and fond memories......
let us know where u want to fish, and im sure the sniffers will help/ great bunch of guys/gals here..
tight lines

03-11-2009, 03:16 PM
dkonrai, has pearl white worked at other lakes than Amador?

03-11-2009, 03:35 PM
Thanks captain do u guys ever troll flys out here thats what we used to do but like i said we trolled flys on shore for trout and salmon but we were fishing for browns and brookies thanks for the info

A lot of people (myself included) fish a lot with trolling flies. They really do work as well most of the time and most places as anything else mentioned so far. I don't know what you used before, but folks from the east and the midwest often mean streamers and bucktails when they say "trolling flies". These also work in California, but out here we more often troll with wooly buggers and other flies of that style, and use a wobbler such as the WiggleFin to give the fly action.

If you were good at catching fish where you come from I think you will find you will catch on quickly to California trout fishing. You know a lot more than you feel like you do right now. Trout are aggressive fish, and fishermen will catch them. Your old methods will not be that far off of the mark. There are no silver bullets in fishing, but with a little bit of adjustment I am sure you will do well.

dinos marine
03-11-2009, 05:13 PM
super dave,
ive not really fished grubs anywhere else, so i dont really know if peral white will work. but you know fishing, wont know unless you try different colors.
i didnt start fishing grubs until late october last year. i keep trying to go to another lake and try it, but man o man do those donaldson's taste great! the only better tasting trout is a brown. i cant wait to try it in the sierras this spring/summer.
where do you fish?