Night Fishing For Trout: All Things You Need to Know

trout fishing at night

Most of us will think of catfish fishing when it comes to night fishing. However, few people know that it also works with trout. The fact is that an hour after sunset and an hour before sunrise are ideal times for trout fishing.

Night fishing for trout can be a painful task for many anglers, but it can also bring them great rewards. It even can be one of the best ways to deal with these wily fish. Some of the largest trout can emerge at night and be caught close to shore.

Today, we will cover every aspect related to night fishing for trout, including giving you the best advice. So, without further ado, let’s get into the details!

Is trout fishing at night possible? The short answer is yes.

Do Trout Bite at Night?

Is trout fishing at night possible? The short answer is yes. Fishing at night even gives you more advantages than daytime fishing. 

For example, night fishing is especially beneficial for catching brown trout as they feed very actively at night. The same can happen with rainbow trout and brook trout, including the species in stocked ponds.

In addition, during the summer days, we also noticed that these fish tend to switch to feeding at night because of stable high-pressure weather.

Another significant advantage of night fishing is that it will increase your chance of catching trophy-sized fish as the giant trout tend to be more active during the darkness. For example, the larger brown trout is more active after sunset.

Topwater Lures for Nighttime Trout Fishing

The ideal lures for night fishing for trout are spinners, and topwater lures, as trout will be based on vibrations in the water during the darkness. Hence, the key is to utilize lures that can make a lot of sounds and vibrations in the water.

Best Lures for Trout Fishing at Night

If you’re one of the skilled bass anglers, you will be glad to know that using topwater lures for night trout fishing is possible. Although it is challenging to get trout to bite your topwater lures during the day, the game changes after sunset as they will strike topwater lures without hesitation at night.

The following are some topwater lures that can work well for night trout fishing.

  • Poppers: This great topwater can create a few movements and splash at the water surface. 
  • Spooks: Spooks are also a perfect lure for night trout fishing. It allows you to create a lot of shock in the water by jerking the end of your rod, making it look like a small creature actively in the water.
  • Mouse imitations: Small rodents are mainly active at night. Therefore, there is a chance that they will fall into the water and prey on the large trout. 

It is essential to pick light colors for lures, such as yellow or white. Plus, we recommend keeping retrieval speed as slow as possible. That way, trout will have more time to catch the lure.

You are likely to experience a lot of short strikes, as trout are less able to use their sense of vision when foraging at night, making strikes less accurate.

Lures for Trout Fishing at Night

Spinning for Trout at Night

Spinners are another kind of lure that will work well for night trout fishing as they will make strong vibrations in the water because of the rotating blades. We recommend choosing a spinner that features white- or silver-colored blades as it allows the trout to see clearly, even in low light.

Spinners are even considered better than topwater lures at handling trout in deeper water. Yet, we recommend testing both types of lures until you decide which one works best for you. 

The Best Bait for Trout Fishing at Night

Live bait, no doubt, is the best bait for nighttime trout fishing as it moves around quite actively in the water. 

Don’t forget that trout will mainly rely on vibrations and movement in the water to feed at night instead of relying on hearing. Therefore, live baits that move around should be great for triggering bites.

Of course, live bait is not necessarily the best option you have. There are some exceptions, such as the rainbow trout features a keen sense of smell. So you can use worms or powerbait on these trout. If you pick these baits, it may help you add extra scents, making them more attractive to trout.


Small minnows move around actively and produce vibrations underwater, making them one of the best baits for night trout fishing.

Generally, we notice that trout tend to feed closer to the surface during the night. As a result, you can typically target them with a live bait suspended from 3 to 4 feet under a fixed bobber.

Trout Fishing at Night With Powerbait

If you prefer to use a powerbait for your upcoming nighttime trout fishing, it is wise to go with powerbait in a light color, such as chartreuse and yellow, and it would be better to add more scents to your lure. Some good scent suggestions are shrimp and garlic.

Adding scents will also work great for daytime fishing trips but will work best in the darkness as it will become the only factor allowing trout to detect your bait.

Trout Fishing at Night With Worms

If you decide to use worms to catch trout in the darkness, it is wise to utilize live worms. Also, we recommend hooking them only through one end so that they can move around in the water. Their movement will attract trout, leading it more likely to trigger a bite. 

If your worm is quite giant, it is okay to utilize a rig with two hooks, which allows you to hook each end of this worm.

Like powerbait, it would be best to add some scented oils to the worm, making them more attractive to the trout. Beyond that, it is a good idea to check out different depths of bait presentation and find the one that produces the most bites.

When is trout night fishing best

When is trout night fishing best

You will want to go trout fishing on dark, moonless nights as these fish are usually more active in the darkness. In the dark condition, trout will mainly feed by relying on their lateral line organ to sense sounds and vibrations in the water instead of their sense of vision. And they can detect bait in low or even no light, thanks to that.

The feeding behavior of these fish at night is often more aggressive than the rest of the day. They often move into shallow water at night in the hope of finding insects and minnows. Trout will also be less shy and less cautious at this point, allowing you to have a higher chance of catching them.

Tips for trout fishing at night

Night fishing for trout is significantly different from fishing during the day. As a result, you should apply the following tips to have an effective fishing trip.

  • Utilize a headlamp: As mentioned above, trout tend to be very active on the darkest nights, when your vision will also be disabled. Thus, you will need the help of a headlamp, a reliable light source. It would be best to get a headlamp that features a red light as it does not spook trout as much as yellow light.
  • Attach a stinger hook to lures: The fact of the matter is that the accuracy of strikes at night is significantly lower than during the day. So it is possible to improve your hookup ratio by adding a stinger hook to the topwater bait or spinner.
  • Pick a fishing spot during the day: Before starting fishing somewhere, it is essential to have an overview of your fishing spot. So you should visit it during the day right before your night trout fishing trip. Keep in mind all the landmarks, as well as the underwater terrain. That way, you will know how to navigate around it, and the ideal point to cast your bait or lures.
  • Put your valuables in a waterproof bag: It is wise to keep your valuables, such as your wallet, phone, or any other electronic device, in a waterproof bag.
  • Put in a lifejacket: if you plan to fish from a kayak or boat, or wade in a stream or river.  it is essential to put in a floatation device. Thanks to that, you can fish with more peace of mind and no longer worry about falling into the water.


Definitely, yes! Utilizing Powerbait to get trout is genuinely simple and straightforward. Powerbait is a special bait that includes a multi-colored concoction that also has a strong smell and can float in the water with ease. Although this bait appears to be a dough-like substance and it seems to be a very odd concoction indeed, it is surprisingly effective at fishing trout.
Normally, during the day, trout rely heavily on vision when hunting. Although they don't have a vision at night, they are still good at seeing outlines and detecting movement. So when picking the lure you will utilize to fish trout at night, it is wise to choose dark, opaque colors, and fish-like profiles. Trout hunting at night is closely related to lateral lines, which play a huge role in helping them key in on their prey. It is a built-in sensor that they utilize to detect vibrations and disturbances in the water. So even if trout can't see your lure, they still can detect its vibrations

Wrapping It up

Is it alright to fish trout at night? Yes. As trout mature, they will tend to do most of their feeding and hunting during the night. They come out at night to hunt for shiners,  minnows, smaller fish, and mice.

Night fishing for trout is a whole other game when compared to fishing during the day. It is an exceptional experience when you are out on the water in the darkness alone. Any person who ventures out at night to catch trout is a pioneer with a chance to discover something new,  more than he may ever find in the daylight.

Most skilled anglers say that the best nighttime trout fishing is dark, moonless nights. In other words, the darker the night sky, the more predatory the trout will be. The reason is that trout will feel safe under the cover of darkness, making them more willing to pursue prey without being on high alert.

So if you are past the phase of the casual angler and looking for the next challenge, you can get start your trip after sunset!

Thank you for reading, and happy fishing!

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