If you fish for rainbow trout you need to familiarize yourself with a trout bait known as Powerbait. This dough style bait is manufactured by a company named Berkley and as an effective a bait as there is if you want to catch a rainbow trout. However there are two caveats that you should be aware of. First,the rainbow trout that you are attempting to catch have been “stocked” or “planted” into the water that you are fishing, hopefully within a fairly recent time frame, and second that you are fishing in a fairly stagnant water scenario such as a lake, pond, or large pool in a river.
Why is it that all of this is true? Well, I have spent the past twenty five years or so fishing for rainbow trout and much of that time has been while using Powerbait to catch these colorful fish and have learned through experience that all of these things are the case. I believe it has to do with “stocked” rainbow trout being used to being “fed”, rather than hunting their own meals and that Powerbait is full of scents that disperse into the water around the bait as well as being quite colorful and both of these facts help our fairly uneducated friends locate their potential meal.
The biggest key to using Powerbait to catch trout is to use the bait in the way in which it was designed, which means to use it while you are bottom fishing in a lake or pond that contains rainbow trout. I have seen guys attempt to use Powerbait when they are fishing for rainbows in a river, and this is often like attempting to spit into the wind. It usually doesn’t end well. In order to use Powerbait to catch rainbow trout you want to make sure that you are bottom fishing in a lake or pond that contains rainbow trout, preferably that have been stocked into that body of water in the past 2-12 months.
You want to use a rig that allows your Powerbait to float off of the bottom so that the trout can see it easily. When making your bottom fishing rig you should employ either a single treble hook or a set of gang hooks. Whichever type of fishing hook you choose to use, the key is that you keep your hook (or set of gang hooks) small. Using small fishing hooks is a key to using Powerbait to catch rainbow trout. In the case of treble hooks, I suggest size #12 or even #18. In the case of gang hooks, I suggest size #8 or size #10. You want to make our bottom rig with some manifestation of slip sinker as well, which means that your sinker will be ‘floating freely’ on your fishing line.
The slip sinker should be kept a twelve to eighteen inch distance from you hook or gang hooks by using a small split shot sinker or swivel. This will make sure that your sinker doesn’t ‘float’ all the way down to your bait and interfere with your ability to fight any trout that are hooked. Also, when the rig is on the bottom, this will allow the Powerbait to float 12-18 inches off of the bottom where your sinker is. With whichever type of fishing hook that you are using, you want to make sure that all of the metal on the fishing hook is covered with bait and no more. This means that your ball (or balls of Powerbait in the case of gang hooks) is going to be pretty small. This is okay though, as I have found that hungry rainbow trout prefer to gobble up little meals, as opposed to a huge ball of Powerbait.
The baited rig is now cast into the water that is being fished and allowed to sink all the way to the bottom. Once on bottom, the slack line is slowly reeled in until your line is completely taut. Now the waiting begins. It’s time to wait until an inquisitive rainbow trout smells your bait and begins to nibble on your offering. When this happens the tip of your rod will begin to bounce. When my rod tip is bouncing I like to gently pick up my rod and feel for the bouncing myself. When it feels like the trout has the Powerbait in its mouth, I set the hook by lifting my arm in an upward motion, hopefully hooking the trout.
What was just outlined is the fastest and easiest way of using Powerbait to catch rainbow trout in my opinion. I have been using this method to catch rainbows for more than twenty five years and know that it will work as well for you as it has for me.