Top 15 Brown Trout Lures That’ll Land More Fish


Best brown trout lures opening with a picture of Jason Holding a brown trout.

I began fishing for German Brown Trout many years ago. However, there were challenges involved in catching these beauties such as locating them and selecting the appropriate lure. This all came down to weather, time of year, time of day, and natural forage. It can be very difficult. But over the years, I managed to narrow my lure selection down to the following fifteen through trial and error. Having a reliable set of lures as my go-to has provided me with the opportunity to fish more efficiently. Each comes in handy in different environments and during different times of the year.

  • Rooster Tail
  • Blue Fox Vibrax
  • Rapala Count Down
  • Brads Cut Plugs
  • Rapala Original Floating Minnow
  • Flicker Shad
  • Rebel Teeny Wee Craw
  • Rebel Trac Down
  • Kast Master
  • Jointed Minnow
  • Husky Jerk
  • Krocodile Spoon
  • Panther Martin
  • Little Cleo
  • Rapala X-Rap

Jason holds a small brown trout with a brown trout lure hanging out of its mouth with a lake in the background.

1.) The Rooster Tail

When trout are active, there’s no better time to throw a bait fish imitation like a rooster tail. The spinning action of the blade imitates a fleeing bait fish. It’s one of the best trout lures for moving streams. The reason for this is that the turbulence cuts down visibility leading to fish chasing bait without apprehension of your line or terminal tackle. Brown Trout are notoriously aggressive around smaller fish, so presenting the flash and small profile is a perfect way to trigger them to bite.

A white rooster tail lays on a wooden deck showcasing one of the best brown trout lures for imitating baitfish.

How To Fish It

A spinner can be fished virtually anywhere any time of year. But the best time is in low light situations such as early morning and evening and when Brown Trout are nearer to the surface. Additionally, moving water is a great place to start. Trout will often actively feed in areas where streams and rivers flow into larger bodies of water. Stand downstream and cast upstream at a 45-degree angle along the side of the main current. Begin retrieving your spinner downstream maintaining a good spinning action on your lure.

2.) Brown Trout Lures: Blue Fox Vibrax

Like the rooster tail, the bullet spinner uses a flashing blade to attract fish. But unlike the rooster tail, the Vibrax has a slightly larger profile and sends out a low-frequency vibration, which has been proven to trigger fish to bite. This is the kind of spinner I like to throw when fish are actively feeding. It’s a perfect lure to retrieve across the surface during the early morning and evening. Additionally, it’s a fantastic multi-species lure.

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How to Fish It

Mid-day sun will cause the blades to put out too much flash, so try fishing them early morning, evening, and during overcast. Cast upstream, give your rod tip a good flick to activate the blades, then retrieve downstream, keeping the action going.

3.) Rapala Count Down

Rapala Countdowns are a perfect minnow imitation. Unlike a spinner, they can be used for a more subtle presentation and they match the hatch perfectly. Trout are notorious followers, so it’s nice to have more realism in your lure once they get a good look at it. But, the beauty of the Rapala Count Down is that it slowly sinks to the right depth. This allows you to target fish at your preferred depth.

The rapala countdown lays on a wooden deck showcasing one of the best brown trout lures that imitates a dying minnow.

How to Fish It

The countdown is designed to sink one foot per second. This allows you to cast out and count until you reach your desired depth. Play around with your retrieval speed and give the lure a few twitches and let it pause and sink. This action imitates a wounded bait fish. Similarly, try looking for balls of bait offshore or along the bank and cast alongside them. The sinking action of the countdown will make the lure stand out.

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4. ) Brads Cut Plugs

Brads Cut Plugs are relatively new on the market. These plugs are designed primarily for trolling. The lure opens and allows you to insert bait like anchovies or shrimp. Similarly, you can use scented gels which are absorbed by a piece of sponge inside the body of the plug. Brads Cut Plugs requires that you run your leader line through the body of the plug and out the back where you’ll tie on a swivel and a treble hook. When trolled behind a dodger, the cut plug has an amazing action that wobbles back and forth. These plugs are great for salmon, trout, bass, and any other freshwater predatory fish.

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How to Fish It

Set your plug about 3-4 ft behind a Rocky Mountain or Mack’s Kokanee dodger. Try trolling at a medium depth (Mid water column) first and adjust your weight accordingly depending on where the fish are. Every so often, replace the plug’s scent. These are your go-to lures for deep-water trolling when summer Brown Trout are residing deep.

5.) Rapala Original Floating Minnow

The Rapala Original Floating minnow is easily one of the most effective lures today for trolling, small water casting, and moving water. They’re great for kids to learn with, and are still used by tournament anglers today. The floating action allows you to twitch and pause the lure without getting snagged, as the lure rises above obstructions. They can be trolled, fished in moving water, twitched and paused, and retrieved straight. Some of the best colors are brown trout, rainbow, silver, and gold.

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How to Fish It

In moving water, cast upstream and retrieve downstream. Be sure to use a lighter monofilament line like 6-8 lb with a loose drag as many of these fish are line shy. I often run a 10 lb suffix braided line as my main line and tie a 4-5 ft mono leader. The bride gives you a bit more power when retrieving a lure after a long cast. For clear lake water, fish with straight monofilament – 4-8 lb. Many Brown Trout have seen lure after lure and even the slightest peculiarity can turn them away.

6.) Berkley Flicker Shad

Originally a lure for bass and musky, the flicker shad provides a small profile bait for colder water situations. They range from deeper diving to shallow water, which allows you to target where the trout are. They can be cast and retrieved or trolled and they imitate a perfect small moving bait for larger fish. Berkley also makes a jointed flicker shad for added action toward spring and summer. It’s a fantastic multi-species lure and works well for big brown trout.

How to Fish it

The diving depths of the flicker shad, as well as the body profile, are what make it so effective. Using a trolling setup, experiment with different sizes to target your desired depth. In spring or summer, try fishing the Jointed Flicker Shad and fish along undercut banks, fallen trees, and brush piles.

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7.) Rebel Teeny Wee Craw

For when trout are keyed in on crawfish, the teeny wee craw is a fast-moving little crankbait you can use to kick up mud and imitate a fleeing crawfish. With precise body detail and its claws tucked in, trout are fooled into seeing a crawfish in fleeing mode vs defense mode. This is an ultra-light lure meant for small water fishing and light fishing lines.

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How to Fish It

Like a crankbait, cast out and retrieve with different speeds. Burnin’ it in, Pause it, deflect off small rocks and wood, and let it dig into the mud. Fish it using 4-8 lb mono and a 5-6 ft ultra light rod. Target creeks, shallow, backwater bays, and runoffs.

8.) The Rebel Tracdown

The Rebel Tracdown is a perfect jerk bait that can be trolled, fished straight, and/or twitched and paused. The action on a twitch/ pause retrieve is easily one of the best I’ve seen and tends to catch big tout. This is the lure to throw when brown trout are active and feeding close to the surface and aggressive. The color patterns, when twitched fast, look identical to a small brown trout fleeing.

How to Fish It

Like a standard jerk bait, cast out, twitch, and pause it. For colder water, pause the lure for a longer period of time. Target drop-offs, underwater humps, and overhanging trees. If you can see trout busting the surface, perfect. This is the time to get your track down out there and rip it hard through the upper water column.

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9.) Brown Trout Lures: Kast Master

The Kast Master – The last lure you’ll ever need. This spoon is called Kast Master for a reason. For situations when you need to cast further, this spoon will get the job done. When fishing in deeper water, you can let your Kast Master sink and then jig it. You can retrieve it straight, and fish it in moving water.

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How to Fish It

In moving water, cast into the current and let the lure flutter around, flashing and rolling. This action will imitate a panicked bait fish caught in turbulence. Other methods include jigging the spoon. Cast out and let the Kast Master fall and flutter. Raise your rod tip several times as your retrieve slowly. Repeat this until you’ve fully retrieved your lure. Be prepared for a bite as the lure falls by watching your line jump.

10.) Rapala Jointed Minnow

Jointed lures displace water and send out more vibration than standard straight lures. These lures are great to use when brown trout are actively chasing bait fish. Again, these lures work well as trolling lures, casted and retrieved during early morning and evening.

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How to Fish It

Find active fish. Use trout-patterned lures like rainbow trout, brown trout, or tiger patterns. Use a split ring or a snap swivel on the font to provide better action and prevent line twists. Fish it fast for scattered action. When trolling, cruise at a medium speed – 1- 2 mph.

11.) Brown Trout Lures: Husky Jerk

Husky Jerks are known for their sound and action. Perfect for colder water, they’ve got a great roll/wobble action that’s perfect for slowly retrieving back to the boat. The profile is a little bigger on the husky jerk, which can trigger slightly larger fish at times. The colors to go with are trout patterns, silver, golden, and UV tiger patterns.

How to Fish It

This is the lure I’ll grab when I want to retrieve straight with intermittent twitches and pauses. When trolling, try giving the lure some fast twitches. The sound and action of the husky jerk are meant to send out distress signals through the water.

12.) Crocodile Spoon

Some lures stand the test of time. The Krocodile spoon is one of them. These spoons were introduced decades ago and still work in virtually any body of water. As a jigging spoon, these lures outperform most other brands. The large profile is effective when fishing deeper water where light begins to diminish. They have a beautiful flutter in the fall and work well in heavy water currents, lakes, and small streams.

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How to Fish It

Having a good selection of different color shades is key. I use a color scheme from blue and bronze all the way to gold. This all depends on the time of day, light, bait fish, etc. But blue and bronze tend to be a go-to for many anglers including myself. For jigging, cast out and let your lure hit bottom. Begin lifting your rod tip up so that your spoon swims 4-5 ft off the bottom. Let the lure flutter down, reel in a bit, and repeat. weighing it down

13.) Brown Trout Lures: Panther Martin

The Panther Martin has always been a sure-catch solution for all species of trout. It’s a perfect representation of a small fleeing baitfish. They come in all different weights and color patterns like UV feathered, fly style, and classic spinners to name a few, and brown trout absolutely crush them. I like using Panther Martins when I need a smaller profile. This could be when smaller bait fish are present.

Two gold and black spinners lay side by side on a wooden deck showcasing two great minnow imitating brown trout lures.

How to fish it

Select the appropriate weight for the water you’re fishing. For moving water, try adding a split shot to your line to help keep your spinner down. When dealing with short strikes or timid fish, you can add scent to your lure by tipping it with a small piece of night crawler or ball of power bait. This adds action and scent to your lure.

14.) Brown Trout Lures: Little Cleo

Little Cleo is a fantastic little spoon that you can jig or retrieve straight. These spoons tend to attract larger fish due to their flash and wobble action. Additionally, The Little Cleo has fantastic sweeping action in moving water. For deep water fishing, you can use a 3/4 oz Cleo and jig-off ledges and drop-offs. For shallow water action, you can fish a 1/16 oz – 1/4 oz.

A brown trout patterned little cleo spoon lays on a wooden deck.

How to Fish It

Like any other spoon lure, you can retrieve it straight or jig it. This all depends on the mood of the fish. In moving water, many angels like to use braided lines as their main line. This provides better casting distance as well as a better hook set when a fish sticks and runs down current.

15.) Brown Trout Lures: Rapala X-Rap

The Rapala X- Rap exceeds most jerk baits in slashing action. Designed for multi-species fishing, this jerk bait can suspend effortlessly and slash back and forth better than most other jerk baits. The last stop is really what sets this lure apart from other jerk baits. Additionally, the added tail feather waves through the water when paused. It’s perfect to throw when trout are actively feeding on the surface and chasing bait fish.

The rapala x-rap with brown trout lure colors lays on a wooden deck.

How to Fish It

On a medium heavy rod with a 6-10 lb line, use a twitch, twitch pause technique and vary your speed. This will depend on the mood of the fish. If you don’t revise bites, try twitching your lure and pausing it for a longer period of time. Often the key is separating your bait from the rest of the bait fish being targeted.