How to Rig Salmon Eggs for Trout: The Method Pros Use

July 23, 2021

If you have ever fished for trout in lakes, you know that there are a lot of methods that work well. From fishing with spinners to trolling with needlefish, depending on the type of trout there are many techniques that catch fish. But one technique seems to always work well for us that few people know about: using salmon eggs. So do you know how to rig salmon eggs for trout?

You will soon! In this article, we will cover the most effective way how to rig salmon eggs for trout. We’ll show you to make the rig, what equipment is best for fishing for trout with salmon eggs, and the proper technique. By the end you’ll be as good as the guides we work with!

Let’s get started.

How to Rig Salmon Eggs for Trout: Building the Rig

Before you can start fishing your salmon egg rig, you’ll need to gather the following items and build it. It’s also worth noting that if you do not want to hassle with building the rig, you can also buy premade rigs by clicking on the link or picture below.

Let’s get to it!

Equipment

  • 6-8lb braided or monofilament mainline
  • Bobber
  • Split shot weight
  • 2-4lb monofilament leader
  • Size 12 single egg hook
  • Snap swivel
  • Cured salmon eggs (you can cure your own using the guide)

Instructions

  1. Start by loading your reel with the 6 to 8 lb main line. If you aren’t sure what reel to use, check out our trout fishing reel buying guide. Pair this with a good trout rod and you’ll be set up for success!
  2. Once your reel is loaded with the line, it’s time to make the rig. Start by tying a snap swivel onto the end of your mainline. After tying the snap swivel on, cut off a 4-foot long piece of your 2 to 4lb monofilament leader.
  3. Tie the leader onto the snap swivel and attach the bobber about 6 inches from the snap swivel. 
  4. Then attach the split shot about 2.5 feet down from the bobber. The split shot will help sink your egg and hook closer to where the trout like to hang out.
  5. A the end of your leader, tie your size 12 hook with a locking knot. 
  6. Add a single cured egg to your hook and you are ready to fish!

How to Fish Your Salmon Egg Rig

Now that you made your salmon egg trout rig, let’s go over how to fish it! Depending on where you are fishing for trout there are several techniques you’ll want to try. We’ll go over all of them

Fishing for Trout in Lakes with a Salmon Egg Rig

The first method (and probably most common) is to fish for trout in lakes with a salmon egg rig. Let’s go over the steps.

  1. If you have access to a boat, we recommend using it. Having the ability to use a fish finder and locate the trout is often half the battle to catching them. A kayak also works great for this! If not no worries – we’ll also explain how to find the best spots on shore for trout fishing.
  2. When fishing from shore, look for areas where there is cover for the trout to hide under and stalk their prey. We like lok ing for underwater logs near shore, over hanging trees, and spots where it gets deep quickly. These are all common trout hang-out spots.
  3. Once you’ve found the spot you plan to fish, cast your trout rig out over where you think the trout are. Be careful not to cast yoru rig right on top of the trout! This can spook them. We recommend getting a sense of which way the water is flowing and casting your rig up stream from there. If there is wind, cast your rig upwind. That way the trout won’t notice and your rig will naturally drift over where they are hanging out.
  4. Now you wait. If you can’t see the trout in the water (which you most likely won’t be able to) pay very close attention to your bobber. If you see any movement that look unnatural, begin reeling in. You’ll know pretty quickly if you have a fish on!
  5. We don’t recommend setting the hook at all. Simply reel in aggressively and the trout will hook itself. Trout have relatively soft mouths that are easy to hook

Fishing for Trout in River or Streams with a Salmon Egg Rig

The second method (and also very common) is to fish for trout in rivers or stream with a salmon egg rig. Let’s go over the technique.

  1. As with fishing for trout in a lake, look for areas where there is cover for the trout to hide under and stalk their prey. Underwater logs near shore, over hanging trees, large rocks that disturb the flow of the river, and holes where it gets deep then shallow again. These are all common river trout living spots.
  2. Once you’ve found the spot you plan to fish, cast your trout rig out over where you think the trout are. As with lake fishing, be careful not to cast yoru rig right on top of the trout! This can spook them.
  3. When fishing in a river, where you cast your rig will depend on how fast the water is moving. If the water is moving quickly, cast your rig as far upriver as you can. If it’s really moving fast, we recommend finding a spot where the water is slower. Trout don’t like to swim an unnecessary amount and will congregate where they can get a break from the current.
  4. Then you wait. Since the water is moving faster than in a lake, you’ll need to be more diligent in feeling your line for bites. If you feel anything more than a slight bump try reeling your line in. Same rules apply for setting the hook: simply reel in aggressively and the trout will hook itself.

FAQs

What Size Hooks for Salmon Eggs?

AS we mentioned above, we like using size 12 egg hooks for salmon eggs. This size hook is small enough to fit a single egg naturally, but will still hold up to relatively large-sized trout. You don’t want to be under-gunned in case you hook into a large trout, but you also don’t want the hook to be too big.

Size 12 is a good compromise for both factors.

Are Salmon Eggs Good Trout Bait?

The short answer is yes, salmon eggs are absolutely good trout bait! Even though trout don’t naturally eat salmon eggs, they make great bait for trout. We’ve had success fishing salmon eggs for trout when other lures or baits simply aren’t working. It’s a setup we like to always have available in our tackle box.

How Do You Harden Salmon Eggs?

You can harden salmon eggs by curing them in a brine. As we mentioned above, we put together a comprehensive guide on how to do this in our salmon roe article. You can also most likely buy cured eggs from your local tackle shop.

Are Salmon Eggs Considered Live Bait?

Salmon eggs are not considered live bait in most regions. Salmon eggs aren’t really alive (depending on your philosophy) so they aren’t classified as live bait. Feel free to use them anywhere fishing is legal! 

How Long Does it Take to Cure Salmon Eggs?

It depends on which recipe and technique you use, but using our methods it usually takes between 24 and 48 hours to cure salmon eggs. If you wait longer than this they can get too dehydrated and hard, and anything less than 24 hours they’ll be too soft and not hold up their shape.

Ending Thoughts

Learning how to rig salmon eggs for trout fishing is an important skill for all trout anglers to know. Sometimes other lures and bait aren’t working, and you’ll find the salmon eggs are the only thing the trou will bite. So you should always have a salmon egg trout rig handy in your lineup.

We hope you enjoyed this article on how to rig salmon eggs for trout. If you have additional questions about our guide, let us know in the comments below. There are many variations to this rig too, so if you want to share a different you should also leave us a note.

Happy Hunting!

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