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Powerbait for Trout – How to Fish With Powerbait

Berkley Powerbait for trout fishing can be an absolute killer for rainbow trout on stocked waters and to a lesser extent can even catch wild trout on natural streams and rivers.

Choosing the right Powerbait for trout however is not always and easy task. Hopefully we can take some of the guess work out of how you approach fishing with this artificial bait.

Ask ten different anglers and you will probably get ten different answers as to which is their favorite! The problem is what works on one day may not work the next even if the conditions are the same.

On some waters chartreuse will catch on others it will fail….. On freshly stocked waters rainbow might be the best Powerbait for trout on waters where the trout are more mature it might fail. 

Powerbait Colors

The Berkley Powerbait range is available in a selection of colors that you would not automatically assume would catch trout.

Powerbait works as both a visual and scent attractant, a color that works one day may not work the next. Some trout fishermen will swear by orange and rainbow colors others will swear by dark green or sparkling black. 

Ultimately choosing the correct Powerbait color is a matter of trial and error. One way to reduce the time wasted testing a selection of colors is to ask the local fishermen what has worked for them. However if you cannot find someone to ask then your best bet is to have 4 or 5 colors in you tackle box some with sparkles and some without.

Personally I would always start out with Chartreuse or dark green, then move onto the more unnatural colors as the day progresses. Never try to spend to long on the one color, at best give each a half hour or so.

Don’t forget to change location also, just because one color wasn’t working on one side of a lake in the shade does not mean it will not work in direct sun light.

The right Powerbait shouldn’t take to long to find as you can change it quite frequently. Once you match the correct color and scent it is not uncommon to catch multiple trout in a short space of time.

Berkley Powerbait Dough

Available in over 10 colors the Berkley Powerbait Trout Bait dough is probably their best known and most widely used bait in the product range.

It can be used as simply as molding a piece onto a hook and bouncing it downstream or cast out with a small weight or swivel to bring it down a bit.

One of the advantages of the trout dough is that it floats unlike a lot of other trout baits. This means you can rig a weight to the main line and have a small leader, the length of the leader can then be used to fine tune how much the Powerbait floats up from the bottom.

If your not too keen on molding the Powerbait by hand you can always use the Berkley Dough Bait Mold. This little tool makes perfectly uniform dough balls every time.

Not only does the bait mold save on mess but it also has the added advantage of reducing human scent on the Powerbait dough and any other chemicals you may have on your skin.

Powerbait Trout Nuggets

The Berkley Powerbait Trout Nuggets work really well on freshly stocked fish. It is said to resemble the same food that trout are fed in the hatchery. They are pretty simple to use as the hook is usually just threaded through them.

One advantage is that because they are pre-molded you do not end up with Powerbait all over your hands. They are generally considered best fished on the bottom. Trout nuggets are generally fished only on single hooks whereas it is popular for the dough to be molded around small treble hooks.

PowerBait Eggs

Berkley’s Powerbait Eggs can be great if you are looking for a no mess hassle free floating bait. When normal powerbait is failing these are definitely a great fallback plan.

Some fishermen are so happy with them that they stopped using regular Powerbait altogether. One of the best Powerbaits to try when all else is failing.

One particularly effective method is to de-barb the hook by bending it down with a pliers. You then place two eggs on the one hook leaving the point exposed.

On a catch and release fishery this is a perfect method as the presentation looks very natural. You also have the added bonus that it one is nibbled off you still have another for the trout to bite on again.

I have also heard of Powerbait Eggs being drift fished for steel head trout on fast moving rivers in red and white colors. This has the added benefit of a scent over the normal plastic eggs that are traditionally used. The whites can also be used on mountain streams to some effect perhaps it imitates small maggots or other larvae.

Powerbait Fishing

How to fish with Powerbait?
Once you have chosen the best Powerbait for trout on your local water you now need to know how to fish it. When fishing with bait for trout presentation should be the most important thing on your mind.

Even though Berkley Powerbait is an artificial bait you still need to present it in the most subtle manner possible. Trout are one of the most picky freshwater fish that you can fish for.

When fishing from the bank you need to make sure that you try to hide behind as much cover as possible. Keeping a low profile is essential on any lake or pond.

Powerbait needs time to sit and let the scent permeate through the water so this is not going to be the most exciting style of fishing. 

On rivers you will always want to work your way upstream towards the trout. Approaching them head on from upstream will always end up spooking them.

Powerbait Trout Rigs

You have a number of options when it comes to rigging up any of the Powerbaits above.

Bouncing downstream on a river is a great way to cover a large body of water in a short time. The setup for this is pretty simple, using a small treble mold the Powerbait around the hook into a small ball.

You shouldn’t need much weight for this a swivel and a small shot weight pinched lightly on the line should be sufficient  Now cast upstream and let the bait work its way back to you. Be sure to cast beyond where you think the trout are as it will need time to sink.

When fishing on lake you can use a slightly heavier weight. One way to stop the weight interfering with feeling the trout bite is to use a sliding weight.  

Depending on the depth you want to fish at you can add a swivel and bead with a free-sliding egg sinker on the main line. The bead will protect the main line knot to the swivel from the weight. The fact that the weight can freely run through the weight increases the chance of you feeling a bite significantly.

You can also fish powerbait under a bobber. The Powerbait should sink fairly slowly if you are using a largish hook if not you can add some very small shot weight to the leader. The bobber in this setup will also act as a strike indicator so it can give you some good feedback.


The tackle needed when fishing the best Powerbait for Trout is generally going to be a light weight spinning setup. For very small ponds or streams you can use ultralight trout gear.

Pairing a high quality ultralight fishing reel with the right spinning rod is key to getting the best from your tackle.

  • Rod – light spinning rod 6 – 7 foot in length with a fast tip action.
  • Reel – Any quality light weight spinning reel should be sufficient.
  • Line – Main line I would use a 4 or 6 lbs. For a leader you might be best to use 2 – 4 lbs strength.
  • Hooks – Small trebles from 14 down to twenty, only if you intend to kill and eat your trout, if a small treble is swallowed it will kill most trout. Single hooks can be tailored to the size of fish that are available. A lot of trout fishermen will avoid using small single hooks so that the do not end up having to reel in small trout when they are targeting the bigger ones.