This is Lunker Hunter and this place is all about sharing our secrets. A couple browns here and there may be luck but catching browns most of the time they are targeted is pure SKILL! Myself and a small group of friends here in the Placerville area pride ourselves on being able to successfully target Brown trout pretty regularly and target ONLY browns during certain times of the year. When targeting browns we catch only a small handful of rainbows, and mackinaw. So I'll share a few techniques we like to use. First and foremost Brown Trout are aggressive opportunists. They will sit and wait for smaller fish to swim by and then they will pounce. They will lurk around hunting smaller fish as well and chase down prey with lightning speeds. Brown trout will eat any species of fish small enough to consume. They will take an easy meal such as a worm but you will not consistently catch quality browns on a crawler in most waters. We like to do the following to trick these beautiful fish.
Trolling for Brown Trout with Hard Bait Lures
1 - Hard Bait Lures, like Stickbaits such as Rapala f-13 and f-18 are my lure of choice. These are ripping baits and are intended to be pulled swiftly through the water. These baits mimic small fish and can be found in many different species imitations. You need to check the action of your stick bait and tune it if necessary. Tweaking the eyelet that you tie to will tune your lure to run as desired. 2- Early fall and late spring you want to run fast trolling speeds with stick baits. 3 to 4.5 mph seems to work well in warmer water. When the water starts to get colder later in the year you will need to slow it down a touch but still much faster than rainbow trout trolling. Keep in mind these lures won't work at very slow speeds. 3 - You always want to run your stick bait right on the bottom. Within 1or 2 feet off the bottom is the right spot. Brown Trout stay at or near the bottom most of the time. Try close to shore in 6 ft. of water first depending on how deep your lure of choice runs. Work rocky points and areas with mostly rocky bottoms. Browns like having cover. 4 - The best time to catch large browns is on the nastiest, windy, rainy days you can find. The worse the weather is, the better. I have no clue why but trust me bad weather equals big browns. 5 - Change the appearance of your stick bait. Use a red sharpie or model paint to add red sides, bleeding gills or red eyes. Use your imagination. This really does work. Maybe change out the front hook to a red bleeder hook. Also use lots of scent. Pro cure has awesome bait scents. UV ones for low light are great. 6 - Well trained stick baits are the best bet every time. A new shiny lure doesn't work as well as one that you've caught a lot of fish on. If you find a lure that works well it probably has just the right action. It may look the same as the next one but trust me it has that special little something that those big Lunker Brown Trout like. 7- Your knot plays a huge part in tricking large browns. I prefer a Rapala Knot. This knot has a loop at the end attached to your lure letting the lure move more freely. I never use a swivel on a stick bait. They just don't work well in my opinion. A traditional fishing knot has it's place but not on a stick bait. They restrict the action of the lure and inhibit it's movement. 8 - Lastly. Some people call it ripping. Others call it top lining, others call it long lining. Whatever you want to call it make sure you get your lure at least 100 ft. behind the boat. 200ft. even better. Keep it ripping too. Don't let your stick bait drag behind the boat lifelessly. Jerking and ripping makes a stick bait dart around and go crazy back there and that's what those Browns love.