How to Catch Trout in a Pond? [Best Way]

How to Catch Trout in a Pond

Trout is one of those fish species that are very exciting to catch.

You can practice different fishing techniques, from fly fishing on a wild river, to a calm afternoon fishing on a local pond.

Here I am going to focus on pond fishing.

To catch a trout in a pond you will have to locate the fish that is usually in the vicinity of covers, such as underwater vegetation and structures.

You will also need the right tackle and bait ...

Try with the basic setup and use lightweight spincasting or spinning rods.

To know more about how to catch trout in a pond, read all the following chapters:



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Where do Trout Hang Out in Ponds? [How to Find Trout]

First of all, trout like cold and clean water, with natural food sources, such as aquatic insects and small fish like minnows.

Covers are another important feature.

First of all, trout wants to stay protected from predators. Secondly, small fish often hide in such places, so trout has a constant food source.

To find a specific location within a pond where you will have the highest chance to catch trout, search for those covers.

One of the possibilities is thick underwater vegetation. You can usually find trout around it, as the trout likes to stay in the vicinity, to be able to hide if necessary.

Other covers frequently used by trout are underwater structures such as sunken logs, rock piles and similar.

If the specific pond has a water inlet, like a stream, you can find trout congregating around the area. It is a source of fresh water that brings food.

As already mentioned, trout like colder water.

If you are fishing during summer months, you should search deeper. When the temperatures are high, trout will seek cooler water and protection from predators. In ponds, deepest areas are usually towards the mid part. Get to know the local area and the pond to be able to locate these prime spots.

But don't get me wrong, the trout will not just sit in the covers. It will move round in search for food, but it will move alongside those places where the cover is near.

In a smaller pond, there is a high chance you will find it coming to the same spot multiple days in a row.

Another important factor in pond trout fishing is the time of the year.

As they like colder water, they are going to be very active during spring and fall.

During spring, a lot of insects hatch and those are the natural food source.

Ponds are usually small and shallow, so when the summer comes, you may notice that trout becomes inactive, as there are no places deep enough where the water that is cold enough.

In ponds that are stocked, stocking process happened during spring or fall too.

Best Fishing Techniques to Catch Trout in a Pond

To catch a trout in a pond, you will have to adjust your approach slightly, as it is not the same as in wild rivers.

When we are talking about how to catch pond trout, we should start with the tackle choice.

You will need just a basic setup, that includes a lightweight spinning or spincastig rod, a reel that matches the rod, a float, suitable hooks and a splitshot.

Almost every angler has all of these items at home.

When it comes to the rod, a 6ft long one will be just perfect. Use a monifilament line about 4-6 pounds.

Size 8-10 hooks are probably the best choice, but you can have a size smaller and larger with you to change if necessary.

There are a few different techniques to try, depending on a situation.

You can either suspend your bait underneath the float, or to fish from the bottom. The last option is using spinners or spoons.

So let’s start with a float setup.

You can use a worm or a similar bait, depending on a location, local rules and time of the year. Use a #8 baithook. Distance between the float and a splitshot should be about 20 inches. Attach a baithook relatively close to the splitshot.

Locate one of those previously mentioned spots that are likely to have a trout in a vicinity and cast. When the fish bites, you are going to notice it due to the float. This technique is very good in times when the trout is actively swimming around, or if you are fishing above the underwater structure.

For those who want to fish from the bottom the setup is even easier.

Remove the bobber, add a bit heavier lead to get the bait to the bottom and use a bait that floats. That way, your bait will be positioned slightly over the bottom.

This technique is used when the trout are spending time near the bottom. One of those situations is during warmer months of a year.

And the third option is a spinning bait.

Find those that resemble natural trout food. The technique is quite simple.

Cast the lure over the place where the trout is. Wait a little bit for a lure to sink, and then you should start retrieving.

When talking about how to catch pond trout the technique is important, especially when using spinners.

The most important rule to remember is that you should change the retrieving pace.

Speed has to vary, and you can even make short pauses and sudden moves. Try a few times to see what triggers the trout and continue doing so. If you constantly retrieve the lure at the same speed, it is going to look unnatural and trout can avoid it. The goal is to mimic the real fish, preferably injured one.

What is the Best Bait to Catch Pond Trout?

Now you know how to catch trout in a pond, but what secret bait to use?

There are a few options for ponds, and they depend on certain factors.

Before choosing the best one for you, check the local rules and regulations.

If you want to chose something that resembles natural food, check what is their natural food in the area you live in.

Here are a few good options:


You can use different worms, but nightcrawlers are one of the best ones.

You can use them for both float fishing an bottom fishing. They are quite cheap, easily accessible and you can even dig them up yourself.


Corn is usually associated with carp, however it can be a good trout bait too.

You can use canned corn, or even prepare it yourself.

To use it, thread it onto the hook and add a splitshot few inches above to sink it. Cast it near the place where trout is.


This bait is very popular in North America.

You can buy it in a bait store. Salmon eggs will attract trout with flavor and color.

To use it, you are going to need a bit smaller hooks that usual, and add 2, or maybe 3, eggs on the hook. You can use it for bottom and float fishing too. If you need help choosing the correct hook type click the link.


This is a dough-like bait manufactured to attract the trout.

There are a few brands available on the market, and the product can go under a different name.

It is very effective and most often used molded around treble hooks for bottom fishing. You can get it in different colors.


Stocked pond trout is used to man-made food, and instead of natural baits, you can prepare dough balls for trout fishing.

Some anglers prefer Powerbait among these kinds of baits, however, dough balls are very cheap and easy to make at home. You can also customize the recipes.

If you are fishing for rainbow trout, make sure to add some cream cheese to your dough, because they absolutely love it.

You may need to practice a bit to get the perfect result, but once you figure it out, you will see how good these baits actually work.

Present it to trout on a simple bobber setup.

How to Catch Trout in a Pond? Other Tips …

Catching trout in a pond can seem simple, but beginners often have some common problems.

To increase your chances for successful fishing, follow the given rules:

Try fishing early in the morning or late afternoon/evening. Trout are very active during that time. Avoid the hottest part of the day because trout avoid warmth and direct sunlight. This is especially important in warmer months.

• When fishing for trout, or any other fish specie, have a few different baits with you to be able to change on the spot. What worked last weekend, might not work today.

• If fishing in stocked ponds, and I will tell you more about it in the following chapter, try fishing right after the lake was stocked. It is going to be an easy catch, so experienced anglers might be disappointed, but for beginners this is a good time to learn.

• If possible, inspect the lake before you start fishing. If the water is very clear and trout are active you can actually see them. Observe them and see where they go and choose the best place accordingly.

• Use a light and thin fishing line, and choose the color of it in accordance with the water color. Trout can see very well, and highly visible lines can scare them away. For an average trout, 2-6 pound lines are going to be perfect. If you are searching for very large specimens, upgrade to 8, or even 10 pound line.

How to Catch Rainbow Trout in a Stocked Pond? [Bonus]

Rainbow trout is very popular trout specie to catch in a pond, mainly because it is the one of the most frequently used species to stock a pond.

Besides, if you decide to keep it, it is very tasty to eat.

So, how to catch rainbow trout in a stocked pond?

Rainbow trout behaves like any other trout in the pond. It is going to be close to the hiding places, already mentioned in previous chapters.

If there is some kind of a water inlet, search there, because trout like oxygenated water.

Go to the pond early to get a good location. If it is a popular pond, avoid areas where large groups of people congregate, children play, and there is a lot of noise. Trout can sense when something is out of order and they are going to swim away.

You can use the same baits and tackle as with other species.

If the pond has been freshly stocked, try using smaller hooks and thinner lines, because there may be a lot of smaller and mid sized specimens that are not going to bite larger hooks.

Good thing about rainbow trout is that it prefers cooler water than some other trout species, so you can have a good day of fishing in winter too. There is a high chance that rainbow trout is going to be active.

Hopefully I answered you how to catch rainbow trout in a pond.

This activity is suitable for anglers with no previous experience and it is a great starting point to learn before you decide to try out more challenging trout fishing techniques, on a wild river.


If you had any doubts about how to catch trout in a pond, now you know all the basics about it.

Pond fishing is not a complicated process. It is a great starting point for inexperienced anglers. Experienced anglers might find it good for a short afternoon fishing.

You do not need any special equipment or lures and many of you may have all of it at home. Get to know the pond, choose a good location and start fishing!

And one more tip in the end. If you are fishing right after the pond was stocked, fish close to the place where they released the fish. Trout are going to be cautions and won’t swim away instantly, so you will have a lot of them at the same spot.

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