Best Brook Trout Fishing Lures

brook trout fishing lures

Best 11 Brook Trout Fishing Lures

This article will list Capt Jim’s top 11 brook trout fishing lures. Brook trout are native to North America. They are the smallest of the big three trout species. However, many consider them the most beautiful and most challenging! While many anglers fly fish for them, brook trout will take a wide variety of artificial lures as well.

brook trout fishing lures

The top 11 brook trout fishing lures are;

  • Rooster tail spinner
  • Mepps Aglia spinner
  • Panther Martin spinner
  • Blue Fox spinners;
  • Kastmaster spoon
  • Phoebe spoon
  • Krocodile spoon
  • Flatfish
  • Rapala Original Floating Minnow
  • Mister Twister teeny
  • Gulp Alive jigs

This selection of artificial lures will catch brook trout in any situation that an angler may encounter.

Best brook trout fishing tackle

Most brook trout anglers casting artificial lures opt for spinning tackle. These outfits are affordable, durable, versatile, and easy to use. They really are the best tools for the job. Spin cast gear still has a place as well. It can be easier to manage for children and novice anglers. However, it does have it’s limitations.

brook trout fishing lures

Most brook trout are fairly small. A 4 pound fish is a trophy! Therefore, an ultralight spinning rod and reel is the best choice. A 5 1/2 foot light action rod matched to a 1000 series reel is a great all-round combo. Anglers can shop for other outfits as well.

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brook trout fishing

Click to read more about the best brook trout fishing equipment

 Light line is very important when trout fishing!

Light line is very important when it comes to fishing for brook trout. This is especially true in very clear water, which is where most trout will be found. 4 lb test is a good all round choice. Some stream anglers go down to 2 lb line. 6 lb line can be used in stained water. Going higher that that will really reduce strikes.

trout fishing tackle

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for 4 lb fishing line

List of top brook trout fishing lures

The top brook trout lures can be broken down into four categories: spinners, spoons, jigs and plugs. Most brook trout lures can be both cast and trolled effectively as well as covering the entire water column. All can be used in both rivers and lakes.

Top Spinners for brook trout fishing

Spinners are clever artificial lures that anglers have been using for decades to catch fish. They catch a wide variety of species and brook trout are certainly no exception. Spinners come in many different sizes and colors. A blade rotates around a shaft, putting out flash and vibration. There is a slender body and a hook that often comes with some type of dressing. Gold blades and bright colors seem to work best in most applications.

check out my post on the best freshwater fishing tackle and lures

best trout tackle

Spinners are very easy to use. The angler casts it out and allows it to sink down a bit. A sharp twitch of the rod tip will get the blade turning. A slow, steady retrieve is used to bring the bait back in. In most cases, less action is better. This lure produces when very slowly trolled as well.

Spinners really shine when fishing for brook trout in streams and rivers. The current is used to keep the lure moving and the blade spinning. The best approach is to cast across the stream, 90 degrees to the current. The lure is reeled in very slowly as it sweeps down stream. Many takes occur at the end of the drift as the line gets tight and the spinner “swings” in the current. Fly casters are very familiar with “swinging a nymph”. This technique is very effective!

brook trout lures

Spinners come in a variety of sizes and colors. 1/16 ounce baits work best in most brook trout situations. Larger baits can be used in lakes and when trophy fish are a possibility. Silver blades and light colors work best in clear water with bright sun. Copper blades and darker colors work great on cloudy days. Anglers can read more about fishing with spinners in rivers and streams here.

1) Wordens Rooster tail spinner

rooster tail

The Worden’s Rooster tail is a terrific spinner for fishing streams and small rivers. It is Capt Jim’s favorite trout fishing lure! Rooster tails come in many different colors and sizes. It is also available with a single hook for areas that require them. The single hook also aids in a good, healthy release. This lure works best when retrieved VERY slowly! As long as the blade is rotating, it can’t be worked too slowly.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Rooster Tail spinners


2) Mepps Aglia spinner


The Mepps Aglia is another classic spinner that produces a lot brook trout for anglers. It also comes in a very wide selection of sizes and colors. Mepps spinners works well in both streams and lakes. Many anglers prefer the larger sizes for trolling in lakes. Capt Jim prefers the versions with dressing on the tail. Gold blade with brown fur is the classic pattern.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Mepps Aglia spinners


3) Panther Martin spinner

panther martin

The Panther Martin spinner is another excellent brook trout fishing lure. It is a tad heavier and more compact than Rooster tail and Mepps spinners. Therefore, they are a better choice in larger, deeper rivers and lakes. They will cast a long distance on light line.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Panther Martin spinners

4) Blue Fox spinners

blue fox spinner

Blue Fox spinners certainly have their loyal fans. Some anglers believe that it puts out a very distinct, and effective, vibration. Like the Panther Martin, it is heavier and more compact. It works best in slightly deeper or swifter water with a faster retrieve. It is a great lure for trolling deeper in lakes as well.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Blue Fox spinners

Best spoons for rainbow trout fishing

A spoon is basically a curved piece of metal with a hook at the rear. Spoons are simple, yet very effective on brook trout and just about every other species. They work well on brook trout from small streams to the largest of lakes. Spoons can also be presented in a vertical manner, making them the top lure for ice fishing for brook trout.

ice fishing for brook trout

Spoons are relatively heavy for their size and cast a long way. The best retrieve is usually a steady one with the occasional pause or twitch. Anglers should vary the retrieve until a productive pattern emerges. Spoons put out a LOT of flash and vibration. They will call fish in from a distance.

Like most lures, spoons come in different sizes and finishes. Silver and gold are the most popular, though painted versions catch plenty of trout as well. Silver is best on sunny days while gold is preferred on cloudy days. Smaller sizes work best in smaller waters while the larger spoons are a better choice in lakes and larger rivers. A swivel should be used to reduce line twist when using spoons.

5) Kastmaster spoon


The Kastmaster spoon is very compact and dense. It is quite heavy for it’s size. Kastmaster spoons are a great spoon for fishing deeper lakes from the shoreline. It works well in larger, deeper rivers as well. Finally, it produces well when trolled.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Kastmaster spoons

6) Acme Phoebe spoon

phoebe spoon

The Acme Phoebe spoon has been around a long time. It is a small, delicate spoon that is the ideal choice for brook trout fishing in smaller streams. Many spoons are too heavy for small streams. The Phoebe spoon flutters seductively in the current and trout love it. Phoebe spoons come in gold and silver, most anglers prefer gold. Both the 1/8 ounce and 1/12 ounce sizes are effective.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Phoebe spoons

7) Luhr-Jensen Krocodile spoon

Krocodile spoon

The Lurhr-Jensen Krocodile spoon is a terrific fishing lure for anglers seeking larger brook trout. It is fairly large and heavy, offering trout a substantial meal. Krocodile spoons are best used in larger rivers and lakes. It is a terrific lure for trolling up a big brookie.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Krocodile spoons

Fishing for brook trout with plugs

Many anglers ignore plugs when it comes to fishing for brook trout. However, that is a mistake. As trout get larger, they begin to feed more on minnows and less on insects. They are seeking a more substantial meal. Plugs closely mimic small, wounded bait fish. They generally do not produce as many trout, but they are almost always larger.

Brook trout fishing in Minnesota

Most plugs float on the surface then dive down to a determined depth when retrieved. The depth it dives is a result of the size and shape of the bill. Most plugs have this information on the package, though some are “optimistic”. Plugs should match the size and color of the local forage.

Shallow diving plugs are extremely effective in rivers and streams. Tiny plugs work great in smaller streams. They are best used in the deeper sections and at the head and tail of riffles. Deeper diving plugs are used in lakes for anglers casting and trolling.

8) Rapala Original Floating Minnow

Rapala Ultralight floating minnow

The Rapala Original Floating Minnow still has it’s loyal following, and for good reason! This is an old-school bait that still catches plenty of fish. It works well in both streams and lakes and is terrific when trolled. It comes in many sizes and colors. A lot of veteran brook trout anglers prefer the original silver finish.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Rapala Floating Minnow plugs

9) Flatfish


The Flatfish is another classic bait that has a ton of built in action. It can be cast out and retrieved but is often trolled. One unusual technique is to simply let the plug back in the current and hold it in place. The Flatfish will vibrate in place in the current. This drives trout crazy!

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Flatfish plugs

Fishing for brook trout with jigs

Most anglers do not associate trout fishing with jigs. However, they can be effective lures for brook trout and tend to catch larger fish. Jigs mimic both bait fish and crustaceans. Those are the preferred forage of larger trout. Jigs are also effective through the ice.

best brook trout lures

Most anglers fishing for trout with jigs use the jig and grub combination. This allows for easy changing of tails to adapt to conditions. White and chartreuse generally imitate bait fish. Darker colors such as olive and rootbeer look like crayfish and nymphs.

These baits work very well when drifted along with the current in riffles. They can also be used in slower, deeper holes. Anglers fishing in lakes will catch fish as well. They can be trolled if the jig heads are heavy enough.

12) Mister Twister Teeny grub

mister twister

The Mister Twister Teeny Grub is an excellent soft plastic lure for brook trout fishing. It has a very life like action on the water, particularly in current. It works well in small streams on a very light jig head.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Mister Twister Teeny grubs

13) Gulp Alive Minnow

gulp alive minnow

The Gulp Alive Minnow kind of bridges the gap between live bait and artificial lures. It is heavily scented and also has great action in the water. It is most often fished on a light jig head in a manner similar to other jigs. Brook trout will hold on to it longer due to the scent.

Anglers can shop Amazon from this link for Gulp! Alive Minnows

In conclusion, this article on the best 11 brook trout fishing lures will help anglers catch more of these very popular freshwater game fish!



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