Knowing what trout eat means you can catch them all day, right? Wrong! Trout eat a lot of different things - and unfortunately for us, they can be picky eaters. They may start out liking one kind of food in the morning, and then switch to something later in the day. Not only do you have to know what trout like to eat, but you have to understand their feeding habits too. But this is part of the fun and challenge!
When it comes to natural food sources, trout love to feed on a variety of insects including: grasshoppers, crickets, cicadas, beetles, worms (all types), bees, wasps, ants, mayflies, damselflies, stoneflies and more.
Fly fishers use artificial flies to mimics many of the live insects mentioned above. These insects have different stages of growth, and artificial flies are designed to mimick each stage. You'll often hear the term, "match the hatch" in fly fishing. This refers to figuring out what insects trout are currently feeding on and then using the equivalent artificial fly to catch trout.
Mealworms are a trout favorite - and yet most anglers don't use them (they tend to stick to nightcrawlers instead). But the really cool thing is that mealworms are larval stage of the Darkling Beetle. These little worms can be placed on your treble hook and bottom fished - and trout love them! So even if you're not fly fishing, it helps to have a knowledge of the different insects and their growth stages.
Trout (especially Rainbows) also like to eat a variety of other things including: cheese, marshmallows, corn, salmon eggs, and more! Salmon eggs have been popular for years with trout anglers. But cheese, marshmallows and corn? Who the first person was to try these first I don't know - but I imagine it either had to be a kid (they'll try anything) or somebody who ran out of bait on a great day and didn't want to quit fishing! But I have to say I was quite amazed the first time I caught a trout using a mini-marshmallow!
PowerBait is a very effective bait when fishing for Rainbow trout. PowerBait is the registered trademark manufactured by Berkley. They make a variety of different colors and most anglers have several. My personal favorite is the rainbow speckled one. I've caught more trout on that color alone than any other color.
When it comes to catching trout, having a good idea of what they improves your chances of catching them. However, the really great anglers aren't afraid to try something new.
For more tips about trout and how to catch them, click here.