The traditional brook trout anglers are very set in their ways and techniques. I understand that the tried and true methods work and use them myself, but the best bet to catch those lunker brook trout I am using live baits. The following four tips using live baits like, grasshoppers, salamanders, insects, leeches, minnows, green frogs and others do work best for me. These techniques and the live baits do create better chances of you catching that big bragging rights brook trout.
Tip 1 – Drift fishing is the most natural way to present live baits in lakes and streams for catching lunker brook trout. Position yourself downstream from a riffle or pool and gentley lob the bait upstream. As it sinks keep your eyes on the line and your rod tip while holding the tip high, while feeling for the first sign of the bottom. Take up the slack with your free hand and then you can feel for changes that might signal a trout’s strike. Concentrate on drifting the edges of boulders, trees, logjams and deep runs.
Tip 2 – Float fishing brook trout works in both rivers and lakes, and is especially good when using easily torn off baits such as aquatic insects or salamanders. A small selection of balsa slip-floats, or bobbers. A long rod greatly improves your float fishing experience. Use a neoprene bobber stop a piece of rubber band also does the job set ti at the depth you desire to fish and space the splitshot so the bait drifts naturally as possible. In lakes, a 1/32 or 1/16 ounce jig heads can be used under the splitshot. It’s especially good when using leeches or minnows. When you occasionally pull gently on the line, your bait will jiggle under the float and it will be more appealing to the big brook trout.
Tip 3 – Free-lining is another great technique for brook trout, especially on creeks and streams in the late summer. It is most easily done using a fly rod, light monofilament, fine hooks (No, 6 to 10), and use terrestrial insects, like grasshoppers. Hook a grasshopper under the collar and then let your line free-spool as the as the bait drifts downstream. When a brook trout strikes, squeeze the line tightly against the rod and set your hook.
Tip 4 – Plunking is good for larger baits fished offshore in large lakes and or at river mouths. The bait is cast out and then allowed to sink to the bottom. The line runs through an egg or bell sinker, so that when the brookie picks up the bait, it feels no resistance. Adding a marshmallow or a small cork steelhead floater helps keep the bait up off the bottom and in the brook trout’s view. Plunking is a great technique for fishing minnows, amphibians, insects and worms. The only downside is that the trout eats and are then deeply hooked. This is not a good technique to use if you are fishing catch and release, because of the possible damage to the brook trout.