11 Best Trout Lures For Spring Used By Guides

Best trout lures for spring

I’ve guided for trout for twenty-two years, and I work with many other guides that fish lures for trout, and these are our favorite and most effective lures for spring trout fishing.

The best trout lures for spring trout fishing are the spinner, the spoon, and plugs like the Kwikfish and Flatfish. I also catch a lot of my biggest big trout on deep and shallow diving crankbaits, jigs, and soft plastic lures.

Best Trout Lures, Not Trout Baits

Flies, worms, eggs, and plastic grubs that are recommended lures on other websites are baits, not lures.

This article is about lures, you know, those things you cast and then impart some action to them while you retrieve them. To me, that’s a real lure.

What Color Lure Is Best For Trout?

My best lure color for trout will change depending on the conditions and the mood of the fish. I have done very well on chartreuse lures on active trout and in dirty water. But in clear water, darker lures, or lures in more natural colors are often best.

If I had to choose one color lure that is best for trout, I would say silver. However, Gold, black, white, yellow, and orange can also be great colors.

Spinners For Spring Trout

Spinners are one of the best trout lures for spring

Spinners are likely the most popular lures for spring trout fishing. Many anglers would choose a spinner over any other lure if they could only fish with one lure. But, there is one lure that is consistently more effective.

Spinners attract trout with the vibration, the flash, and the movement in a way that drives trout crazy and makes them want to eat it. Spinners can be fished deep, or shallow, and they can be fished fast or slow, which makes them one of the best trout lures for spring fishing.

In very cold water, I will use a French blade spinner since it will move slower for those sluggish trout. The French blade spinners like the Mepps Aglia Spinner, Panther Martin, and Vibrax Classic Spinner are also the best choices for shallower water.

You can get them deep simply by allowing them to sink at the beginning of each cast, but they naturally ride high.

Pro Tips For Spinner Fishing

  • Impart Action: To make spinners more effective, retrieve with a stop-and-go type retrieve. Rip and twitch, or lift and drop my rod tip, almost like jigging to make it move erratically. This makes your spinner look more like an injured baitfish and triggers a strike response.
  • Should You Tip Your Spinner With A Worm?: The simple and honest answer is no. There is no evidence more trout will grab a spinner tipped with any bait. The bait might even affect the lure’s action.
  • Don’t Add Weight: I never add weight to my spinners or add any weights to the line above the spinner. If I need more depth, I will use a spinner that goes deeper, like the Blue Fox Flash Spinner or the Pather Martin Spinner ,or I will just cast further upriver and allow the spinner to sink to the level I want.

to learn how to effectively fish spinners and all other lures, check out my page Lure Fishing For Trout.

Best Size Spinner For Spring Trout

spinners for trout

When the water is really cold, I will go to a size two blade. When the water is starting to warm up a bit and the trout become more active in later spring, or when targeting big trout, I will upsize to a size three or even a size four blade spinner.

Best Spinners For Trout

Trout Spinners

These are good options for anglers looking to purchase spinners for trout.

Spoons For Spring Trout

Spoons are one of the best trout lures for spring

Spoons are great in clear water and in slower rivers. Spoons are also one of the best lures for spring trout fishing because they can be fished fast or slow and in shallow or deeper water. Faster water is not usually good for spoons.

Best Spoons for Spring Trout Fishing

The best spoons for spring trout fishing are:

  1. Little Cleo
  2. Krocodile
  3. Daredevle
Eppinger Dardevle Spoon
Eppinger Dardevle Spoon

The Darevle is a great spoon for trout fishing in rivers and comes in many good colors

Best Colors:

Scale Chartreuse/Black Stripe
Hammered Nickel-Green
Hammered Nickel-Blue
Shad (Alewife)

Krocodile Spoon
Krocodile Spoon

The Krocodile spoon is a great trout spoon for the flutter retrieve or straight retrieve.

Best Colors:

  • Chrome-Silver Prism
  • Rainbow
  • Chrome / Silver
  • Hammer Red
  • Green Prism
  • Chrome Green
  • Mackeral

The Little Cleo Spoon
The Little Cleo Spoon

The Little Cleo is a very popular trout spoon that casts far if you need it to.

There are many colors that are great for trout.

Best Colors:

  • Green Anchovy
  • Blue Anchovy
  • Green Splatter
  • Blue Digger
  • Hammered Nickle
  • Hammered Nickle Green
  • Hammered Nickle Blue

Spoon Fishing For Trout Tips

  • Retrieve: Cast straight across the river and allow the spoon to sink to the bottom, and then use a slow retrieve with lifting and dropping of the rod tip action, jigging-type retrieve. This method produces ten times more trout than just a straight retrieve.
  • Should You Tip Your Spoon With A Worm? My testing has proven that in most cases, there is no benefit to adding bait of any kind to the spoon. Adding bait can negatively affect the proper action of the spoon.
  • Should You Weight Your Spoon? The quick answer is no! To get more depth, I use a heavier spoon or just let the spoon sink for a longer time before I start my retrieve.

Best Color Spoons For Trout

The best color spoons for trout are silver, gold, and copper, but I have done well with bright-colored spoons too. Silver-green and silver-blue have been great color combos for me as well.

HardBaits For Spring Trout

Crank baits are one of the best trout lures for spring

Hard Baits, which are also known as stickbaits, crankbaits, minnow baits, or swimbaits are my most effective lures in rivers and lakes, and they account for a lot more large trout than all the other lures I recommend.

Tips For Fishing Hardbaits For Trout

  • More Bites: I have found that a stop-and-go or twitch-type retrieve will catch a lot more trout. I cast across and start a slow retrieve, and every three to six feet, I will rip the lure with a swipe of my tip and then pause it for a second.
  • Deep Divers Vs. Shallow Lip: I prefer medium or deep diving crankbaits in faster rivers because I have found that many of the shallow-running crankbaits will pop up and out of the water due to the speed of the reel and the speed of the current.
  • Best Sizes: The best size Crankbait for most trout between twelve to twenty inches is 3 inches. I will drop down to Crankbaits of 1″ to 1.5 inches for smaller trout. I will use 4 to 5-inch Crankbaits for much bigger trout.

Strike King KVD 200 Jerkbait

A good crankbait that runs 4 to 7 feet and is in that perfect 4-inch length.

My Best Colors:

  • Carolina Chrome
  • Clown
  • Chartreuse Sexy Shad
  • Blue Digger
  • Sugar Daddy
  • Sexy Blue Back Herring
  • Pro Gold

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Rapala Tail Dancer is a good lure for steelhead

Rapala Tail Dancer

Get deeper with this Rapala that runs 9 to 15 feet. I like the 2 3/4 and the 3.5-inch sizes.

My Best Colors

  • Silver
  • Shad
  • Perch
  • Hot Chub
  • Blue

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 YoZuri 3DB Crankbait For Trout and Steelhead

Yo-Zuri 3DB Deep Crank Floating Diver Lure

A short fat model crankbait from Yo-Zuri that runs 4 to 8 feet.

My Best Colors

  • Natural Blue Gill
  • Gizzard Shad
  • Green Shad
  • Prism Chartreuse Perch
  • Sexy Shad
  • Blue Back Chartreuse

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Kwikfish And Flatfish

Mini Kwikfish are one of the best trout lures for spring

The Kwikfish lure is one of my all-time favorite lures when the water is cold or if the fish are reluctant to hit other baits. This lure has a slow enticing wobble that will get the trout’s attention. For trout, I like to use sizes from two inches to four inches.

I have done well with so many colors, but my go-to colors for trout are silvers, whites, blacks, and dark green.

The Flatfish is an almost identical lure that is also liked by many anglers, and it comes in some different colors.

With the Flatfish and the Kwikfish, I prefer a very slow, straight retrieve, and I let the current work the bait.

This is a Kwikfish lure for trout, steelhead, and salmon


My favorite plug for river fishing in slow to medium speed currents.

This plug is best casted across and allowed to swing across the pool with an extremely slow retrieve or no reeling at all.

The current will give this plenty of action.

Best Colors:

  • Black-Holo Glitter
  • Blazing Green UV
  • Bubba
  • Blazing Red UV
  • Fickle Pickle
  • Gold
  • Silver
Flatfish lure for trout, steelhead, and salmon


The Flatfish is almost identical to the Kwikfish and works fished the same way and in all the same colors.

Yakima Maglip plus for trout, steelhead, and salmon

Yakima Bait Mag Lip

The Mag Lip is known as a trolling lure but this lure works well in slower current rivers with a very slow retrieve.

Often, just casting it across and letting it just swing across the river is the best way to use it.

Best Colors:

  • Balck Silver Flake
  • Keeper
  • Bleeding Fire Tiger
  • Canada Craw
  • Metallic Siver Orange Pirate

There are many more great colors to choose from

Jigs For Spring Trout

Jigs are one of the best trout lures
Jigs like this creature type jig can be an excellent trout bait.

Jigs can be an amazingly effective lure for spring trout or for catching trout any time of the year.

I have done well with 1/4oz jigs that are 2 to 4 inches long. I drag them slowly across the bottom for a foot or two, then hop it off the bottom about a foot or 2.

A 1 to 2-foot lift of the rod tip and then letting it sink with a tight line is a great way to catch spring trout.

White and black marabou jigs are my go-to colors, and I have done well with the 1/4 oz Hawken Marabou Series AeroJig.

Creature-type jigs are also a great option, and I have done well with the Dirty Jigs Finesse Football Jig.

If you have a question, comment or a tip about the best trout lures for spring fishing let me know in the comments section below.

Tight Lines


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