Fishing is an activity that both men, women and kids enjoy for different reasons. Some find it a good way to relax; for some, it improves their self-esteem, helps them concentrate on mono-tasking, gets better at outdoor skills, and achieves personal goals.
For some people, it doesn’t matter what kind of fish they catch, and for others, there are preferences.
Rainbow trout is one of the aquatic animals fished by people because of their nutritional value in aiding and repairing damaged tissues in the body and for their beautiful colors. In some parts of the world, like North America, Rainbow trouts have been noted as one of the top sportfish species.
To fish for Rainbow Trouts, you must know several things: how to identify them, how to catch Rainbow trout, the best ways to catch them, and if you have a farm, how to rear them. Some of these things will be discussed here. Read on to discover them.
How to Catch a Rainbow Trout
What is a Rainbow Trout
Rainbow trouts are cold-water fish species that live in the mountain streams and lakes of North America.
They are a fast-growing species that can adapt to certain situations, seasons and camouflage to protect themselves from predators. The larger form of Rainbow Trout is known as Steelhead.
How to Identify a Rainbow trout
One of the ways Rainbow trouts stand out from other fishes is their many colors.
However, a common mistake people make is confusing Rainbow
Trouts for the Cutthroat trout species. Rainbow trout colors range from silvery- Gray, dark-gray, black olive, greenish-blue on their back and sides.
They may show reddish or pink stripes on their sides. They also have spots that are evenly distributed from their head to tail.
Cutthroats are game fishes with a noticeable red or yellow coloration on the underside of their lower jaw.
They have long jaws that extend past their eyes, and in length, they can be up to thirty (30) inches.
Another major difference between the Rainbow Trout and Cutthroat Trout is the presence of whitetail fins in the Rainbow trout and the absence in the latter.
How long do Rainbow Trouts live
Maturation in Rainbow Trouts begins as early as the first year, and the average survival span is three (3) to four (4) years depending on the habitat.
The maximum number of years a Rainbow trout can live is eleven (11) years. However, most Rainbow trouts live up to seven (7) to eight (8) years before they die.
How many eggs do Rainbow Trouts lay
A single female Rainbow Trout can lay up from four hundred (400) to three thousand (3,000) eggs depending on her size. She lays her eggs in a nest, and the male fertilizes them.
Depending on the water temperature, the embryos take 20 to 80 days to develop. They then hatch into free-swimming embryos called Alevins. The Alevins stay in the gravel for up to three weeks till their fins develop.
After this time, they swim up and begin to feed in rivers and lakes.
How big Can Rainbow Trout get
Adult Rainbow trouts can reach up to forty-five (45) inches in length and weigh up to fifty (50) pounds.
Why are Rainbow Trout sought after
Rainbow Trouts are packed with so many nutrients, including protein, essential fatty acids, potassium, vitamins B5, B6, B12, Selenium, and Thiamin, which help repair damaged tissues and manage high blood pressure improve and increase strength in body muscles and boost metabolism.
It provides calories to give our body energy and protect the immune system.
Rainbow Trout meat is also tasty, mild, easy to chew when cooked well, and does not need many spices to bring out its taste. Eating Rainbow Trout also reduces the risk of getting high blood pressure, heart, and other inflammatory diseases.
Where can I find Rainbow Trout
Rainbow trouts can be found in North America, where they are considered native, Eastern Asia drainages, North along the Pacific slope, North-Eastern Russia, Alaska, Northern Mexico. They can also be found in rivers, streams, and other freshwaters.
Predators of Rainbow Trouts
Fish-eating fishes like Sculpins, Larger trouts often target young Rainbow trouts. Kingfishers, raccoons, herons, and mammals such as the American Black bear, river otters target Rainbow trouts in shallow waters.
To avoid predators, they swim at high speed, camouflage to hide as their silver belly, and bluish-black skin resembles the top of the water and the river bottom.
However, humans the most frequent predators of Rainbow trouts.
What do They Eat
Despite being prey for fish-eating fishes, Rainbow trouts are also natural predators. When young, Rainbows eat water fleas and insects like mayflies and midges.
As they grow, they include bigger fishes, adult insects, and minnows in their diet. They also supplement their diet with fish eggs, crustaceans, and larger terrestrial insects.
How to catch Rainbow Trout
Live baits are essential when you want to go fishing for trouts because they are more likely to detect the smell and be drawn towards it.
Out of all kinds of trout, Rainbow trout are the easiest to catch because they live in lakes and rivers and eat a wide variety of baits and lures.
One effective way to catch a Rainbow trout is to use live baits like grasshoppers, crayfish, minnows, crickets, aquatic nymphs or larvae, nightcrawlers, and worms.
Adding garlic to your bait is also an excellent way to attract trouts because of their extremely keen sense and ability to catch a specific scent in the water.
After getting live baits, you will need an ultra-light rod and a reel rainbow trouts are often scared by the sight of visible lines. Carbon fiber, Nano, and granite rods are ideal for their lightweight, enabling you to use them comfortably for a long period.
You will also want a rod with a soft tip as Rainbow trouts shake their heads a lot, and it takes quite an effort to keep them from pulling the line.
Rainbow Trouts are easily attracted to bright and flashy lures, so it is best to go for pink, yellow, and red colors. Even if you use artificial baits, they will swim to it as long as they are flashy. They are also attracted to white, gold, brown, pink, black, and silver colors. In most cases, the brighter the color of your lure, the better the chances of attracting a Rainbow.
Because they have soft mouths, it is important to let your drag loose before pulling up to prevent them from breaking your line and escaping.
When to fish for Rainbow Trouts
The best fishing time for Rainbow Trouts is in warmer seasons like spring because they bite during feeding when bugs and mosquitoes are abundant. During spring and fall, it is recommended to go fishing after dusk. In summer, the best times to fish are early in the morning and late in the evening.
Although it is not advisable to fish for trouts in winter, you can find them four (4) to ten (10) feet below the ice, in deeper ponds, and often grouped in pods.
How to rear Rainbow Trouts
Apart from fishing and catching them, some people have taken to keeping trouts as pets in aquatic tanks and farms with large ponds.
One of these reasons is to preserve trout species that are in danger of going extinct.
But there are a few things to note if you want to rear Rainbow trouts in your homes or farms.
Because they are species that tend to grow large, you will need to provide ample space.
To ensure that they survive and thrive, there must be enough space to accommodate their full size.
It is best to avoid cramping them in an aquarium as it hinders the trouts from growing due to harsh living conditions.
Bring fish species that love to swim against fast-moving currents; you will be tasked with providing oxygenated and fast-moving water that can swim against the current.
Moving around, pushing against the current helps them to grow their muscles and increase in size. Without this, they will eventually become prone to disease.
– It is essential to feed them from a wide variety of live food to give them the needed nutrients to grow.
– As species that live in cold water regions, the water temperature should be low enough to match their natural habitat.
Diseases that affect Rainbow Trouts
One of the common diseases that affect Rainbow Trouts is the Whirling disease. Whirling disease causes the trout to swim erratically, have difficulty feeding, and protect themselves from predators. It affects the head and spinal cartilage, putting pressure on the organs that create equilibrium in trouts.
Signs of whirling disease include increased breathing, jerky and unstable movements, darkened tail, twisted spines, head deformities, and may eventually lead to death. It requires two hosts, a Salmonid fish and the tubifex worm, which reside in the sediment of streams and lakes.
The disease is known to be caused by a parasite called Myxobolus cerebralis, and it is an invasive parasite that affects Salmonid fish like trout, salmon, and whitefish.
While the whirling disease can be controlled in a hatchery environment under careful management and supervision, it cannot be easily controlled in wild fish species. Whirling does not affect humans, and it is safe to eat trouts that have the disease. However, research has shown that there is no cure for the disease.
Whirling disease can be spread from infected areas to other water bodies through;
– Infected live fish and dead fish parts
– Movement of sand, water, and debris from one water body to another.
– Pieces of equipment used in fishing, swimming, etc.
– Water left in boats and other watercraft can attract the parasite.
Whirling disease can be prevented in the following ways;
– Practicing clean and healthy fishing practices. Fish remnants should not be disposed back into the water that they were captured from
– Live or dead fish should not be transported from one body of water to another.
– Salmonid fishes like trouts and salmon should not be used as bait.
– Mud, debris, and other foreign objects that can contaminate the water body should be removed before leaving. Do not use water bodies as a site for dumping refuse.
– Allow fishing equipment to dry before using it other water bodies
– Draining water left in boats and other pieces of equipment before leaving the water body to dry land to avoid hosting the parasite.
– Spreading awareness far and wide.
Fun Facts about Rainbow Trout
– They are natural predators and are likely to eat almost everything they catch, including insects and fishes and the eggs of fellow rainbow trouts
– They begin spawning at the age of four (4).
– Rainbow trout spawning season begins in spring
– Rainbows trouts can be found on every continent except Antarctica
– They get their name- rainbow from the colors on their skin
– They are members of the Salmonid family.
– The environmental factors and diet determines the color of Rainbow Trout meat
– Predators of the Trout include; fish, herons, and eagles.
– They are surface feeders
– Rainbow trouts prefer cool streams with a gravel bottom
– They can adapt to various aquatic environments.
– They love running water
Of all the various advantages that Rainbow trouts have, from its aesthetically pleasing appearance to the game it provides, it is also a favorite of many because they are easy to find, bait and catch, and easy to read.
You might also want to consider adding it to your meal to enjoy and make good use of its flavored taste and the abundance of nutrients that can be gotten from its meat.