Looking for some good lures for late fall trout fishing, well the year round staples such as Mepps Agila, Panther martins and Bluefox Vibrax, and Kastmasters still perform well. It is all that many fishermen ever fish, and that is fine. But in this article, I will share some less well known trout lures that can provide an edge when fishing in the fall.
Water temperature often lag behind air temperature by a few weeks, so while the air might be feeling a bit chilly, the temperature in the trout rivers and streams will still be quite mild. It is the opposite in spring, when day time temperature can feel hot by the water will be icy cold.
Late fall, is one of the best times to be out trout fishing, this is because the water is nearly always in the ideal feeding range for trout. They can feed at any time day or night. As the days, shorten they also become extra ravenous, they are trying to pack on as much fat as possible to survive the lean winter months ahead.
Brown and brook trout also have spawning on their mind. During the spawn itself, I leave them alone. But, prior to the spawn, they become rather aggressive. They are more likely to attack a spinner, rather than try to eat it. Spawning is an extremely energy intensive time for trout, it takes a lot out of them. So, once the eggs are fertilized, they do not stick around the spawning streams for long. They head downstream in search of food to try and recover before the winter freeze.
1) Yozuri pin minnow
This is my favorite trout lure to fish late in the fall, simply because it is the one I have caught the most trout on. They work particularly well for browns, but a hungry rainbow will also not turn it down. I never spin fish for brooks, but I see no reasons why it will not work on them.
What makes it such an efficient design, well it retrieves with a very lifelike injured baitfish action. It simply represents a large meal, which is too tempting for a hungry trout to turn down.
The internal weight transfer mechanism also allows for longer casts. Allowing for more water, to be covered is a good way to find where trout are holding. I find brown trout move around quite a bit in the late fall, and finding them can be more challenging than catching them.
So why use a Pin Minnow over a Rapala floater, or say a Dynamic Lures HD trout? Will, these lures also work well and I fish all three in the fall. I just feel the Pin Minnow swims a little deeper, and casts further. Given it a slight advantage when the trout are holding low in the water column.
2) Live Target – trout jerkbait
I have some trouble recommending this jerkbait. The reason is simple, I do not find it a consistent performer, most of the time when I fish them I blank. I catch nothing.
But, I have caught more large trout, including a personal best brown on a live target jerkbait than any other jerkbaits. Even one’s which catch more consistently.
So, most of the time it seems to be a forgettable lure, but there is something about the appearance that triggers bigger fish. Maybe the smaller trout are simply less cannibalistic or are simply looking for a smaller meal.
Late fall, into early winter. When the water has started to cool is when I have had the most success when fishing Live Target Trout Jerkbait. I suspect it is because, at that time of year, the hatchlings from the previous years are similar in size to the lure. In waters with big trout, fish them slow and deep, near the bottom, and you might just get lucky.
3) Yakima Flatfish
The flatfish is an old lure, but a good one. I call it a cold water specialist lure, that can get trout excited when nothing else seems to be working.
I fish flatfish, in slower moving water from late fall, throughout winter into spring. In my opinion, they have the best slow action retrieve out of any lure. (The Kwikfish lures are also comparable, I am just in the flatfish camp).
Fish them deep, and extremely slow and the action will do the rest. They work best in flat, or in pools with little current. I do not use them in ripples.
4) Panther Martin Vivif Style Spinner Minnows
Most spinners makers make a variation of this design, but I like the Panther Martin version because it does not use twin sets of hooks.
This design is not usually marketed for trout fishing, but when the trout are hungry or aggressive it works rather well. I also note that a state record trout was caught one cold day on this type of lure (although the exact brand was never revealed)
The vibrating blade, and large profile of the trailing minnow must be a very annoying combination because they can generate a lot of strikes.
5) Mepps Trophy Series Aglia
This bead body spinner is one option that can give a slight edge when targeting trout feeding on eggs. The theory goes, that the little beads that make up the body resemble a line of eggs, and the spinning blade represents a small fish attacking them.
They certainly catch trout, while many companies make bead body spinners, I like the ones from Mepps because they come in a range of colors meaning they better represent the various colors of fish eggs.
I can not claim for sure, they will outfish a normal barrel body Agilia, but having confidence in your lure is very important when fishing, and when spinning for trout eating eggs. It certainly makes sense.
6) Macks Classic Wedding Ring
Mostly used as a trolling lure, the Wedding ring is also rather effective when fishing streams and smaller rivers, It does not really matter if the trout mistake the body for a string of eggs, small worm, or even a baitfish because the trout certainly enjoy eating them.
Wedding rings are extremely lightweight, so consider adding a couple of pieces of split shot a few inches up the line to make casting easier.
When I am fishing streams, I like to retrieve them slowly as possible, even allowing for short periods of dead drift. Of course, they can also be fished actively, then they work just like any comparable size spinner.