Crickets rank high when it comes to food trout love and eat often. A trout’s diet mainly consists of insects and worms. You can use them as both live or dead bait. However, live bait works better than dead crickets. Crickets are readily available and affordable if you choose to buy them.
Fish love insects. You can easily hook crickets to your fishing rod and fish without the need for weights on the rod although it helps to have split weights. The procedure of hooking also determines whether the cricket will be live of dead bait.
There are multiple alternatives to crickets if you fail to get them. However, crickets should be high in your bait preference list. This is because other types of fish like them too, and you could enjoy a variety of catch like catfish, sunfish, or perch.
Types of Crickets
The kinds of crickets available are black and brown cricket. Black crickets are usually outdoor crickets while brown crickets are indoor crickets. The black crickets are heavier and larger than brown crickets.
Brown crickets move around a lot while black crickets are mostly on the ground. The brown crickets are readily available in shops and are most commonly used for fishing.
Alive Vs. Dead Crickets
Crickets make better bait when they are alive as compared to when they are dead. Live cricket will quickly get the trout’s attention through its wriggling. Trout can still snap up dead crickets but not as often as live ones. Dead crickets are ideal if they stay on the hook. It would help if you wriggled them a little to cause some ripples and attract the trout.
How To Get Crickets for Trout Fishing
Crickets are highly available during the summer and early in the fall. During these periods, the trout are drawn to the bank where there are more insects. Trout use all senses to find the insects. When the water is clear, they will mainly rely on their eyesight. However, when the water is muddy, they will use smell to track an insect. There are two methods of acquiring live crickets:
a. Harvest Them Yourself
You can dedicate a couple of days to harvest crickets. It is a simple process, and the materials are readily available. Furthermore, crickets are not harmful to handle in terms of stings or poison. You will only need a piece of cardboard, a couple of rocks, a harvesting container or a cricket cage.
Place the cardboard in the field or your yard and place the rocks on top to hold them in place. Come back with an aerated container after a couple of days to harvest the crickets.
b. Buy Them
Alternatively, you could buy crickets at a tackle shop. Most tackle shops sell minnows alongside crickets. It would help if you carried your cricket cage and container to the shop. The price of a tube of crickets compared to that of nightcrawlers.
Fifty crickets in a tube cost around $3.50. You should pay just about the same amount for a carton of nightcrawlers. We advise that you keep the crickets away from direct sunlight or a source of heat. This keeps the crickets lively throughout the fishing expenditure.
How to Hook the Crickets
Some people, especially beginners, could find it hard to hook crickets correctly. Your cricket should be alive when you cast it into the water. As discussed earlier, live crickets make better bait. As a result, you should be careful with the cricket as you hook it.
What Will You Need to Hook the Cricket?
- Split shot weights
- Fishing hooks
- Fishing rod
- Fishing reel
The Steps of Hooking a Cricket and Keeping it Alive Include:
1. Hold the hook on your dominant hand and use your off-hand to hold the cricket. Be careful not squeeze the cricket.
2. Look behind the cricket’s head and insert the hook there. Ensure you do not insert the hook deep into the cricket as you will kill it. Try and use a dead cricket will not wriggle and cause ripples to attract the trout.
3. Take the split shot weights and attach them above the hook. These are meant to help the cricket sink a little bit. You can use either one or two.
4. If you intend to fish in still water, you can use a bobber to help you keep your bait in the shallow end. If you are in moving water, there is no need for a bobber.
If you have little fishing experience or even when you do, be careful with the hooks. You can easily prick or injure your fingers.
Basic Trout Fishing Tips
1. Fishing Regulations
Most of the legal restrictions will lean towards the trout rather than the crickets. Ensure you have valid trout fishing permits to avoid legal trouble.
2. Go in the Morning or Evening
Trout tend to shy away from light. Dawn and dusk usually cast a shadow over the river or lake, and this draws the trout out.
3. Assess the Weather
During rainy periods, the water from the surrounding land will wash earthworms into the water body. It would help if you relied on earthworm bait during these periods.
When the weather is windy, use insects such as crickets to fish for trout. The winds usually blow insects onto the weather body and this draws out the fish. This makes the crickets better bait as they will blend in easily.
4. Look for a Fishing Spot
There are multiple factors or traits you can use to identify an ideal trout fishing spot. The most common one is that you should not be too close to other fishing parties. You also want to fish in the deeper waters as they provide trout with cover from light. A part of the river where the water moves slowly indicates deeper waters.
5. Cast Your Line Into the Current or Upstream
You will be able to avoid detection by the trout if you cast your line upstream. The trout swim upstream against the current. If you are downstream of your line, you can drag it further downstream without causing bigger unusual ripples, which scare them off. Furthermore, you should note where your shadow is, try not to cast it over the water as it will scare the trout away.
6. Protect the Trout If You Want to Return It, Store If You Want to Cook
Are you fishing for sport or food? If you are fishing for sport, ensure you keep the trout in a bucket of water and refrain from hurting them with the hook. Try not to touch it with bare hands as it will remove the protective slime around their body and they will experience a burning sensation.
This will ensure their survival and further reproduction once you toss them back into the water. However, if you intend to eat it, you should remove the insides and preserve it.
Alternatives to Cricket
There are multiple natural baits that can act as cricket alternatives in case you are not able to obtain some. Some popular alternatives include:
Grasshoppers are similar to crickets. Unlike crickets, grasshoppers can be populated mainly in a single area. Trout prey on the unfortunate grasshoppers that land on the water surface.
You can easily harvest your grasshoppers. You will simply need to place a blanket on a lawn or field with grasshoppers. The fibers on the blankets will entangle the grasshoppers’ legs hence trapping them.
Earthworms are easy to get in the rainy season. The ground is also soft during these periods, and you will have an easier time digging them up.
Nightcrawlers are highly popular among the trout, which makes them a great alternative. You can get them quite at an affordable price in the store or you could choose to collect them yourself. They are available in the dirt or earth bedding. We advise that you rinse the nightcrawlers of the dirt first before you fish with them. Some people split a nightcrawler for two catches especially when they are dealing with trout of about 8 to15 inches long.
4. Salmon Eggs
Trout are predatory fish. They could feed on smaller trout and other fish as well as salmon eggs. You can purchase salmon eggs in various quantities, both at your local store or a web-based store like Amazon.
When you cannot find any natural replacements for crickets like minnows or nightcrawlers, you can opt for corn. You can use either canned or fresh corn. However, research from the Game and Fish magazine shows that trout often prefer canned corn to fresh corn.
Both types of corn have shown effective and promising results. You may need to use splits when fishing with corn kernels to help you increase their buoyancy.
It is always safe for the animal and your legal reputation if you cross-check what the game or fish feed on. In fishing, crickets have become a huge preference as bait for trout. Trout have a predatory nature as they feed on insects like grasshoppers, salmon eggs, and other small fish.
Crickets are easy to acquire. You can get them for an affordable price at the store, or you could opt to collect them yourself. It is better to use live crickets than dead ones. Live crickets have far greater chances of catching trout as compared to dead crickets. A live cricket will wriggle and cause ripples which will attract the trout’s attention.
It would help if you were very careful when handling and hooking the crickets. Handle them gently and hook them on the collar at the back of their heads. Make sure you do not exceed an eighth of an inch as you insert the hook to keep the cricket alive.
Trout fishing has some basic considerations you observe as you fish. For example, you will easily get a trout in the morning or the evening because they dislike light. It would help if you also fished for them in the deeper waters. Furthermore, be careful where your shadow casts because if it falls on the water, the trout will retreat to hiding.
It also helps to stand downstream of your fishing line where the trout will not spot you easily. If you cannot find crickets, you can also opt for grasshoppers, nightcrawlers, salmon eggs, corn and more.