8 Facts About Cutthroat Trout That Can Improve Your Angling Experience

Are you an angler who loves challenges? Then, you will have a great time catching cutthroat trout. Besides, their delicious flesh can satisfy your appetite and bring cash.

There are more than 14 unique subspecies such as greenback, coastal, Yellowstone, sea-run, etc. The majority of them are freshwater residents, and a few live in brackish or saltwater. However, you may return empty-handed if you have no idea about how to get them. So, we are sharing some tips to help you out.

8 Facts About Cutthroat Trout that Can Improve Your Angling Experience

cutthroat trout fishing
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  1. Physical characteristics

Knowing the features is the primary thing one should do while targeting a specific fish. Their size and weight vary according to subspecies. In general, they grow up to 38 inches or even more. And the weight ranges from 2 to 18 pounds. A big head is part of the slender body. The jaw is usually stretched past eyes on both sides. Blue, silver, orange, dark copper, brass are common colors depending on the fish type. You will also see beautiful red, orange, golden streaks below their jaw. Some fish has random spots on anal fins as well as under the lateral line.

  1. Habitat

It is better to target the probable living areas rather than random spots. The cutthroat trout are available in a wide range of Coldwater sources, including lakes, ponds, rivers, mountain streams, etc. They prefer clear, healthy, and well-oxygenated sections of deep fisheries. Locations with sediment-free gravel and rocky bottoms are their favorites too. Sometimes, they hide under large vegetation, big wood, beaver dams. Their diet consists of zooplankton, sandworms, mayflies, stoneflies, small fish, shrimp, squid, and so on. That’s why you will definitely get bites by targeting spots having these foods in abundance.

  1. Gear combination

An angler’s hard work can go in vain for picking the wrong tackle. Light kits are okay for small water bodies because cutthroats don’t get heavy there. Newbies can buy 4 weight rods where the experts can handle the 5 weight versions. The second option also helps to catch monster cutthroats conveniently. Shift to durable 7 weight rods during fishing in faster streams. For fly fishing, 8 to 10 feet long rods are appropriate. Use intermediate sinking lines and suitable reels. People who are more into lure fishing find 6 to 7 feet medium action spinning models more functional. Paring it with a spinning rod, 5 lb. test line, and similar reel will make it way better.

  1. Bait selection

Since cutthroat trout are barely choosy, they consume almost anything. Spoons and spinners never let anglers down. If you feel confident with spinners, choose size #2 and size #3. Otherwise, stick with small spoons (1/8 to 1/4 ounce). Fly-fishermen typically go for baitfish minnow, pheasant tail, bright buddy, woolly bugger, chumpy fry, and other trout flies. They not only look like real insects but also mimic the behaviors. Salmon eggs are another wise choice. You only have to add one each time. Or, you can use any insects or worms the fish eat.

  1. Lure color

Although many say that lure color doesn’t matter, picking the ideal colors can boost the performance. Metallic colors reflect light from long distances. They are useful to attract fish out of your nearest spots, especially in sunny weather. Deep-water hunters should prioritize fluorescent colors. Colors like green, pink, orange fall into this category. They are bright enough to reflect and absorb light better than regular shades. They can be your best weapon for muddy or deep waters. Now come to the natural colors such as white, light blue, brown. These tones are quite successful under a cloudy sky. Red and deep green work well for such a climate as well. If you have black lures, save them for low-light conditions. People mostly use them while fishing in muddy water or darkness.

  1. Weather conditions

All fish’s activities change according to the weather, so do the fishing opportunities. Remember the two basic things:

  • Cutthroats stay in deep and slow layers in cold times
  • They shift to fast-water regions when the temperature increases

The summer and fall fish become more hungry than usual. It makes the fishing process easier. Rainy days are uncomfortable for both anglers and the fish. The water gets muddy, fish don’t bite too often, and the success rate slows up. Inexperienced anglers face trouble capturing fish during winter. It is not their fault at all. Fishing activities automatically slow down because the fish move to deep, slow pools. They pay more attention to save energy and barely accept bites. If you still want to give it a try, wait until mid-day. In short, April to October seems the most promising months for cutthroat trout fishing.

  1. Water clarity

Aside from the seasons, fishing chances depend on the clarity of the water. The darker the fishery, the heavier tackle you should bring. Switch to light models for a clear-water fishing mission. As we mentioned earlier, they like clean water. As a result, clear fisheries may contain more fish than the others. Moreover, you will be able to spot them immediately.

  1. Do some research

Well, fish acts differently from water to water. No matter which one you choose, invest a little time in research. Read informative reviews and articles about the cutthroats’ life history in your selected destination. Check the top hotspots, active lures, most effective water layer, and other information. Having these ideas will save a lot of time. Feel free to consult with a local fisherman. One mistake the beginners make is not knowing the regulations. Most water bodies remain open for a specific time and close otherwise. Plus, many owners put particular rules, which you must follow. Be aware of these details before heading to the target zone.

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We hope our guide helps you to remove most of your confusion. Don’t forget to apply these tricks in real life to see a massive difference. Remember that you won’t become an expert overnight. Keep practicing regardless of your failures. Try switching spots, using various bait, observing fish movements if you are not finding fish. Sooner or later, you will fill the boat or box with hundreds of fishes.

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