Top 5 Best Trout Baits

Updated on August 10, 2017
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HuntnFish has spent many years on the water fishing and has caught nearly every species of fish in Washington State.


After the feedback I received from Top 5 Trout Lures, I figured it was time I compile the top preforming trout baits. After all, sometimes there is nothing better than just relaxing on the shoreline, sipping a cold drink, and letting the bait do all the work for you. Also, bait fishing is perfect when taking kids along.

5. Pautzke Salmon Eggs

This one has been around forever. The effectiveness of a salmon egg is dependent on two things, the quality of the egg, and the egg cure. Pautzke got both of these right with their eggs. They have been around for over 70 years, so history speaks for itself here, with millions of jars sold since that time.

The Good:

  • Shiny texture and perfect size make it a visually attractive bait for fish
  • Inexpensive
  • Keep fairly well
  • Not particularly messy
  • Pleasant smell (at least I think so)

The Not So Good:

  • Sinking (not necessarily bad, just depends on the bait rig)
  • Weaker scent trail than some other baits

How to fish with salmon eggs:

Since they are a sinking bait, Pautzke eggs can either be fished under a bobber or float, suspended off the bottom in tandem with a floating bait, drifted along the bottom in current, or added to trolled lures to entice more strikes.

4. Scented Marshmallows

I remember as a kid walking up from Lake Wannacut with my dad observing a fellow fisherman with an impressive haul of trout. My father asked what he was using and he told us marshmallows. I was confused to say the least. Of course, he wasn't referring to the kind I had been roasting over the fire just the night before, but rather scented dyed marshmallows, produced with trout fishing in mind. Atlas-Mikes are a favorite brand of many fisherman.

The Good:

  • Inexpensive
  • Very Floaty (unless they start to go stale)
  • Variety of scents and colors, with the option of glitter
  • Relatively unmessy

The Not So Good:

  • Don't keep as well as some other baits (be sure to keep the jar closed, and keep water out)

How to fish with marshmallows:

Since this is a floating bait, rig as usual using an egg sinker or split shot, and suspend off the bottom. Additional sinking baits, a salmon egg for example, can be added to the rig to create an attention grabbing trout buffet.


3. Nightcrawlers

The nightcrawler is the oldest bait on my list, and arguably one of the oldest baits of all times. They catch fish in saltwater, fresh water, rivers, lakes, anywhere really. I've caught bass, flounder, dog fish, perch, crappy, bluegill, and of course trout, as well as many other species of fish, all on nightcrawlers.

The Good:

  • Catch a variety of fish in addition to trout, you never know what you might pull up
  • Available most places
  • You can dig, or even farm your own
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Best "action" of any of the baits listed here

The Not So Good:

  • Some may object to using live bait
  • Difficult to thread on the hook
  • Sinking
  • Slimy and messy
  • Do not keep well (keep cool, damp and dark for best life, but still only a few weeks at tops)
  • Minimal scent trail

How to fish with nightcrawlers:

Just like salmon eggs. Suspend from a bobber or float, float off the bottom with a marshmallow or other floating bait, drift in the current, or add to a trolled or cast lure. For most trout, a whole nightcrawler is overkill, half or third of a worm will do just fine.

2. Berkley Power Eggs

Berkley Power Eggs are a fairly recent addition to the trout fisherman's arsenal. They are the less messy and longer lasting cousin of dough style baits. The traditional egg style are likely the most popular, however the same formula is available in numerous other shapes, with one of my personal favorites being the Honey Worm.

The Good:

  • Low mess
  • A wide variety of colors, styles, scents, and glitter patterns
  • Stay on the hook very well
  • Very long shelf life
  • Good scent dispersion

The Not So Good:

  • Pricey
  • About the furthest thing from a natural bait as you can get

How to fish with Power Eggs:

The egg style of bait is a floating formula, so fish similarly to the marshmallow baits. Either use one of multiple eggs per hook. When using some of their other molded baits, the Honey Worms for example, be aware that they naturally sink, so keep this in mind when tying your rigs.

Best Colors:

  • Chartreuse
  • Orange
  • Rainbow

1. Berkley Powerbait Dough Bait

I know I'll probably get a little flack from a couple fisherman for picking an artificial bait for the number one spot, but my rationale is simple: Berkley Powerbait has put the most fish in my boat. For a substantial stretch of my childhood, the question was never what bait to use, but simply what color of Powerbait to use.

The Good:

  • Mold-able, easy to cover whole hook while still keeping it bite size
  • Wide variety of colors, scents, and added glitters
  • Floats
  • Relatively long shelf life (just keep the lids tight)
  • Absorb and hold additional scents well

The Not So Good:

  • Messy
  • Somewhat off-putting smell
  • Expensive
  • Doesn't stay on the hook as well as others (mostly only a problem with old bait)

How to fish with Powerbait:

Form a ball of the dough just large enough to cover the hook completely. Fish as you would the other floating bait like Power Eggs or Marshmallows.

Best Colors:

  • Chartreuse
  • Orange
  • Rainbow

My Number One Trout Bait Recommendation- Berkley PowerBait

Your Opinion

Whats your favorite trout bait?

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Powerbait Rig for Trout


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    • profile image

      dave 2 months ago

      I have had the best luck with power bait on fresh planters. Native trout or old planters (1 month) don't seem to take powerbait as well. Powerbait mimics the artificial food used in hatcheries, so planted trout are used to it. After they have been in the wild for a time they seem to prefer more natural baits.

    • profile image

      stefano flocchini 3 years ago

      I use European Night Crawlers that are Have the size of a regular crawler ,but Larger than a Regular redworm

      The are easy to put on a hook and very Lively .

    • profile image

      Seth D 4 years ago

      Well for a small story I went fishing with my friend trever several times and I grew up fishing with my dad and brother. My friend trever didn't do much fishing but loves it just as much as me. We go out and I catch 4 or 5 trout out at my spot and he doesn't catch anything. So after a few times I start rigging up his line just like mine. Same story. We both use powerbait marshmallows now. He just didn't know when the time to strike was. And how to use certain lures and what not. But I gues I just like a hook with mallow. A weight and a bobber. And I catch fish all day long.

    • Alberic O profile image

      Alberic O 5 years ago from Any Clime, Any Place

      Regarding the worms sinking, you can use a worm blower or marshmallows to make them float.

    • profile image

      JustCrafty 5 years ago

      In Maine we use angle worms for brook trout fishing for rainbow trout.