Can I catch trout on bass lures?

Yes, it is possible to catch trout on bass lures, and vice versa. Trout share many of the same triggers as bass. Trout and Bass are both visual hunters, they see prey and they react to intercept it. Trout readily take bait lures.

Both species also detect prey through vibrations using their ‘lateral line’ which is a series of pores which runs the length of a fish. Think of it as a sort of body length ear to hear vibrations. When visibility is poor, both species can sense vibrations through the water. They use this to locate the prey.

A lure which looks, or sounds like food for a trout, will also work for bass. They are not that different. So if you already have an extensive collection of bass lures, and are keen to target trout without investing money I have good news. Something in your current collection will be a very effective trout lure.

A common follow up question is can trout be caught on a bass rod and reel? The answer is still yes. Just keep in mind that trout are very line shy. So in clear water conditions trout might get spooked by the sight of 10-20lb line. But if there is a little color in the water, there is no reason trout will care what setup you are using. For a trout enthusiast, ultralight gear gives better control and sensitivity when fishing tiny lures.

If you are interested in what makes a good trout lure, I suggest reading our guide on the 21 Best trout lures of all time.

Brown trout love jerkbaits

Main differences between bass and trout lures.

Fishermen use many of the same lures for both species, but Bass lures tend to be on the larger size. Think of the giant Swim Baits which soared in popularity through the early 2000s.

If you ask a trout fisherman for his favorite lures, you will probably see things like an inline spinner in 1/16oz, a F5 or F7 Rapala or even a 1/8oz spoon when fishing deeper or faster water. Of course, when conditions dictate, trout anglers use larger and lighter variations.

Can trout be caught on Jerkbaits or Crankbaits?

Many trout anglers will already know the effective of Jerkbaits for catching trout. Their preference are smaller jerkbaits such as Rapalas F5 , Bass anglers preference is to go for medium size jerkbaits 3 to 4 inches. That is basically a Rapala size 9 or 11. Now, this is just angler preference. On any given day a trout might be more than willing to smash a size 11 and a hungry bass will go for a size 5. While Crankbaits are certainly more popular among bass fishermen. Trout certainly fall prey to them to.

Click here to see my recommendations for the top jerkbaits for trout fishing.

Can trout be caught on Spinbaits?

Trout fishermen love their inline spinners. Most will carry a collection of Panther Martins, Mepps, or Rooster tails to the rivers with them. On the other hand inline Spinners, despite being a proven bass catcher are less popular among bass anglers. Their preference is to go for the larger, more bold spinbaits or buzzbaits. The rackets they cause can really catch a Bass attention. This can be a bit overwhelming for a more curious trout which might choose flight rather than fight. Although when the water is dirty, the more noisy spinbaits can be surprisingly effective.

Can trout be caught on Swimbaits?

Swimbaits are typically a bit too large to be ideal trout catchers. But, that does not stop trout from having a crack at them. I have had trout strike lures which are almost longer than they are. The super realistic Swimbaits can catch trout, but for more consistence success they work best in smaller sizes.

Can trout be caught on Frogs?

I have seen a large trout grab a frog as it swum across a small pond. It is also well known that trout love feeding upon mouse during a plague. So in theory, trout are catchable on floating lures like frogs. I personally have always struggled to catch trout on them. But, in the right situation, I can see them being a deadly bait. If I was serious about catching trout on surface lures like Frogs I will head out after sunset.

Trout on Soft Baits

There are countless variations of soft baits used by bass fishermen. Many of them are surprisingly effective on trout. Slowing working a worm or stickbait can just be the trigger to get a trout to strike. All the dangling bits of a lizard, is almost irresistible for any fish. 4” versions even work well in small streams, try drifting them over likely holding water. I personally have luck with 3” and 4” Slug-go in various colors.

Craws work well at night in streams with healthy crayfish populations. Grubs, Swimshads… They all work well. Just keep in mind trout typically prefer smaller baits.

Should I use the same techniques?

In principle the various bass fishing styles and presentations also work well for trout. There are some exceptions. Trout prefer to feed subsurface, so surface presentations, unless fishing a dry life are going to be more challenging.

Trout also respond well to a slower retrieve. A good demonstration of this is trolling speeds, Bass anglers typically troll between 2 to 4 mph compared with 1.5 to 2.5 mph for trout .Trout do prefer a slower, less aggressive presentation. They like to inspect their food before going in for the kill.

What color lures should I use?

Trout fishermen spend a lot of time thinking about and discussing lure color. There are some simple rules which makes catching trout easier. When the water is clear, use natural looking colors. When the water is cloudy then go bright and bold.

Some people like to use gold lures on clear sunny days, while on cloudy days they prefer silver.


As I hopefully make clear trout and bass feed and hunt many of the same prey. So the same style and types of lures are effective against both species.

The most popular bass lures, used by trout anglers include Jerkbait and various softbaits such as worms and stickbait. When selecting a lure for trout always tend towards the smaller sizes. They are more wary, and not always as aggressive as bass.

Comment below what is your favorite bass lures which also works well on trout?

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