Trout fishing is a fun and relaxing sport to pick up. But you can’t just pick up a rod, bate, and go anywhere where there is a large body of water to catch trout fish. You need to obtain a fishing license, know the legal restrictions in your area, and know the right kind of gear and techniques to use for catching trout fish. Here are the basics for catching trout fish:
Trout Fishing Basics
Fishing license – Going to your local sporting goods store and buying a season or one day fishing license would be the easiest way to obtain a fishing license. I like to buy a fishing license at Big 5 Sporting Goods Store. In my area (Sacramento), a season fishing license costs $46.44. A one-day sport fishing license costs $14.86.
Legal restrictions – The legal restrictions for trout fishing is different in each state and in each of its districts. The best thing to do would be to look up the hunting and fishing regulations in your state and district to determine what legal restrictions you have to abide by. In my area (California Valley District) there are restrictions on certain times each year to catch trout fish and how many trout fish per day can be caught:
(1) All lakes and reservoirs except those listed by name in the Special Regulations. Trout fishing is open all year. The maximum trout fish to catch per day is 5.
(2) All anadromous waters except those listed by name in the Special Regulations waters. Trout fishing is open all year. The maximum hatchery trout fish to catch per day is 4.
(3) All streams except anadromous waters and those listed by name in the Special Regulations. Trout fishing is open all year. The maximum trout fish to catch per day is 5. (dfg.ca.gov)
Gear and Bait– There are many different types of gear and bait options out there for trout fishing. If you want a quick list of what gear and bait to use, here they are:
- an ultra-light, fast action spinning rod between 4 and 5 feet long,
- a light duty spinning or spin casting reel outfitted with 4 to 6 pound test line. (I prefer 4. I would rather hook a good one and lose it than not hook it at all.),
- #10 to #14 regular shank bronze hooks
- A few small split shot for those rare occasions when you need to get your bait down in swift water, and a canvas creel and a small knife.
- It is hard to beat the nightcrawler for bait fishing trout. It has just the right heft for a long cast and they are easy to come by. Worms are too small and are difficult to cast. Hellgramites and water worms (insect larva) are also good. (www.dnr.state.mn.us)
Techniques – To get started to catch trout fish, go to the river, stream, or lake with your equipment. Then set up your rod with bait on the hook. Then cast the baited hook up stream so it gets a chance to drift down with the current. Then wait until a trout catches the bait. Once the trout catches the bait, reel the trout in and either keep or release the trout. If you catch nothing, keep trying.