When I grew up fishing, about the only thing you could use were salmon eggs and night crawlers if you wanted to go fishing, and as time went on new types of baits started to be introduced, with bright neon colors, and speckled flakes in it, the days of salmon eggs and night crawlers almost all but went away. One of the biggest questions I had growing up, was why were salmon eggs so popular, and do trout really like to eat them? I have done a lot of research to find out why salmon eggs were so popular before new and improved baits came out, and found the answer to this question, and want to share it with all you other anglers out there. What you may find even more interesting is what else a trout might eat when its hungry.
Trout do love to eat salmon eggs, and there are a few reasons why this is true, and why the bait is still popular now, even though baits have changed and improved over the years. In a natural habitat, especially rivers and streams, salmon would swim up the river to spawn. Of course while swimming up river, they are not alone, so there are quite a few different types of fish they swim by, but trout will swim by and see the different colored salmon roe, and fill up on it. They love free food, so the smell, and color of the salmon eggs attract them to this free meal after the spawn. This is why salmon eggs have been so popular over the years, especially for anyone fishing a river where salmon might be during the spawn season.
What Do Trout Eat
Trout eat a ton of different things to keep them swimming. Here is a brief list of all the different types of food that attract trout:
- Meal worms
- Night Crawlers
As you can see, trout have a very broad diet, and there are other different things like lizards and sculpin (those fish tank sucker fish), so you can see that they are not picky eaters! Heck, they even eat moss! Yes, moss. When it comes to trout, or any animal for that fact, they will normally eat anything that moves when they get hungry enough. I buy my salmon eggs from amazon fairly cheap, you can see the brand I buy HERE.
How About PowerBait
Trout use both sight and smell to find food, so they can see displacement in the water when a fly lands, and they can smell the salmon roe spawned by Salmon, so PowerBait mixes the best of both worlds. It is super bright, and very stinky, and it also floats. When fished right, a trout that is cruising along the bottom or a few feet off it, will see and smell this little pile of PowerBait, and want to attack and eat it. Since it also comes with metallic speckles in it, when fished in clearer, or shallower water, the sun light will reflect off it and catch the attention of a trout. PowerBait is a very powerful and useful bait now, and I always keep a jar of it in my tackle box when fishing, just in case the fish aren’t biting my salmon eggs. If you are on the hunt for PowerBait, Amazon has a huge stock of all different colors, HERE.
Rivers, Lakes, Streams Oh My!
Different bodies of water will have different types of fish, and different types of diets due to the surrounding ecosystem. With that being said, there might be things for fishing, especially trout to eat that they might not get in other places. Places like streams and rivers will have things like salmon eggs, salamanders, and other smaller insects. The reason flies work so great on rivers and streams is because there are so many more insects around these bodies of water than there are around lakes. Lakes tend to have smaller fish, and things like worms in them because they sit still for the most part, and are deeper. There are insects that fly around the top of the water during the afternoon and evening, so that is the best time to fish top water. Depending on the place you are going to fish, will dramatically change the type of bait you are going to use in the long run.
Even though Fish do love salmon eggs, and night crawlers, and tons of other baits out there, does not mean that they will bite everything, every day. Fish can be very picky and finicky eaters, so it is important that you have a good variety of baits in your bag. What may work today, might not work tomorrow, so its important to change things up if you are not getting any bites. Here is what I like to keep for trout fishing:
- Salmon Eggs
- Night Crawlers
- Marshmallows (no not the white ones)
Having this arsenal in your bag is going to drastically increase your chances for catching monster trout. Just make sure you try each bait for long enough to let it work, and some patience and wait it out a bit before changing up. Do not just change baits either, you might have to move around a little depending on the type of water you are fishing, and what time of day it is. If you are at a stream or river, and you really know there is a fish in that “honey hole”, try walking upstream a bit, and letting yourbait move down with the current to look more natural. If you are at a lake, walk around the shore line and look for weed beds, trees sticking out of the water, and any other place a fish might want to hide out and watch for prey.
Fake Salmon Eggs
For quite some time, there have been companies making fake salmon roe for anglers. When they first started producing them, there was an influx in people, even me that had bought them and they were NOT working as good as the real thing. This caused some heavy backlash against the fake bait companies, and hurt them quite a bit. I am happy to say however, that they have corrected any issues with the smell, look, and taste of them, so that they actually work very well when it comes to fish biting. I do not normally use these since I like the real thing, but there is now no evidence that supports fish not wanting to feed on them. If anyone has some, I would love to see it and add it to this article!
Trout do love salmon eggs, and it has been part of their staple diet for years and years, so if you want to catch some bigger trout, especially in a river, try some out. Keep in mind that even lake trout will bite on salmon eggs, as the color and smell alone will attract them, so I always have them in my tackle bag. However, don’t be afraid to try a few other baits like worms and marshmallows. Trout are actually pretty smart, and want to see some different food every once in a while. The color of salmon eggs does not seem to matter though when it comes to fish biting, so keep that in mind when you are at the bait and see different colored eggs. I buy the red ones, and have had a ton of luck over the years of my fishing career.