Best Cutthroat Trout Lures: The Ultimate Guide


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While many fishermen are busy chasing bass or king salmon, there is another species that fights just as hard: Cutthroat trout. Cutthroat trout are very common in the rivers and estuaries on the west coast and put up a huge fight for their size. So what are the best cutthroat trout lures?

Glad you asked! In this article, we’ll cover our top 7 best cutthroat trout lures that have caught us countless cutthroat trout over the years. If you use the proper trout rod and an ultra-light spinning reel, you’ll have a blast catching cutthroat trout.

We’ll also go over our top tips and tricks for catching cutthroat trout, from the proper action to add to your lures to where they can be found.

Let’s get started!

The Top 8 Best Cutthroat Trout Lures

1. Blue Fox Classic Vibrax Lure

2. Acme Kastmaster Fishing Lure

3. Yakima Bait Wordens Original Rooster Tail Lure

4. Panther Martin Classic Cutthroat Trout Lure

5. Rapala X-Rap Jerkbait

6. Acme Little Cleo Spoon Fishing Lure

7. Blue Fox Flash Spinner Kit

8. Trout Magnet Crank Fishing Lure

What is the Best Bait for Cutthroat Trout?

If you would rather use a trout line of fish with a bobber, there are several great bait options for cutthroat trout. We think that the best bait for cutthroat trout is either a single cured salmon egg or the trout flavored PowerBait.

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Try and cover the sharp part of your hook with the Powerbait to ensure the fish can’t see the hook. Then fish the bait as you would normally fish a bobber rig or weighted rig.

How Do You Catch Cutthroat Trout?

cutthroat trout close up

Now that you know what the best cutthroat trout lures are, let’s go over how to catch cutthroat trout. Fishing for cutthroat trout is quite similar to fishing for other species of trout and salmon. Follow these stips and you’ll see cutthroat success!

How to Catch Cutthroat Trout

  • Look for shaded areas and deep water near cover. This is where cutthroat trout tend to hang out. Underwater cover provides them with slower-moving water to be comfortable in and shaded areas are where their prey tend to hang out.
  • Cast your lure close to where you think they are hanging out. If you can cast it past them, try and do that. You don’t want your lure landing right on top of the cutthroat trout as it will disturb them.
  • Begin reeling your lure in slowly. Start by reeling your lure in slower than you usually would. Reeling their lures in too fast is the most common mistake novice fishermen make. If a fish is curious about a lure making it move too fast will seem unnatural and the fish will lose interest.
  • Pay attention to bites or disturbances on the line. If you feel a bite keep reeling your lure in. Do not jerk the line and try and set the hook! This is probably the second most common mistake novice fishermen make. Simply reeling the lure in firmly will set the hook on a cutthroat trout.
  • Land your cutthroat safely and humanely. If you can, try to not remove the cutthroat trout from the water. Get a good pair of fishing pliers to grab and remove the hook out of the fish’s mouth. If you need to use a net, get a rubberized one that doesn’t hurt the fish.
  • If you aren’t catching anything, switch it up. If you don’t get any bites in one location, try moving slightly up or down the river you are fishing. You should also try out different colors of lures to see what the fish like.
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How Can You Tell a Cutthroat Trout?

It’s actually rather easy to identify a cutthroat trout from other species of trout. Here are the obvious characteristics that will help you identify a cutthroat trout.

  1. Red and yellow streaks on the underside of the trout’s jaw. This is why they are called cutthroat trout!
  2. Small black spots throughout their bodies without any spots on their fins.
  3. Blunt head compared to salmon. Their jaws are long relative to the rest of their heads.
  4. They don’t grow longer than 30 inches.
  5. They often live and are caught in rivers that combine with saltwater. This is a cutthroat trout’s ideal living location as larger cutthroat trout go out to sea to feed baitfish, then swim upstream to eventually spawn.

Parting Thoughts

caught cutthroat trout

Cutthroat trout are some of the most fun small fish you can catch on the West Coast. The best part is that they are relatively easy to catch! Especially now that you know what the best cutthroat lures are.

As with all fish, please consider releasing them after you catch them. The more fish that are kept the less our children and their children will have to catch. Fishing truly is a dying sport, and we will all need to work to keep it alive.

We hope you found this article on the best cutthroat trout lures useful! If you have your own cutthroat trout lure that catches tons of fish, let us know about it in the comments below.

Happy Hunting!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>