Best method to catch rainbow trout at Lake Jennings


The best method for catching trout here is known as the Floating Bait Rig. We recommend this setup to all anglers fishing for trout here at the lake, and it’ll work equally good at the other reservoirs in the County. The rig features a sliding sinker which allows the trout to pick up the bait without feeling the weight, which otherwise might make the fish spit out the hook.

The size of the weight depends on the time of year. In Winter use lighter weights because the trout are closer to shore (warmer water). In Summer use a 1/2 oz. weight because the fish are out in deeper (cooler) water.

Floating bait rig for trout

The most important part of this setup is the length of leader. During Winter the length should be 2 ft., Spring and Fall it should be 3 ft., and Summer it should be 4 to 5 ft. Changing conditions make it important for the bait to float where the fish are. We recommend checking with the Ranger when you get to the lake and seeing what length he recommends for the current conditions.

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  • More fish are caught on nightcrawlers than any other bait here at the lake. Use 1/2 of a nightcrawler and wrap the cut end around a #16 bronze treble hook. Gently blow up the loose end with a worm blower. Put the worm in water to be sure that you have pumped enough air so that it floats. The other option is to put the worm on 2 of the 3 hooks and put a plain white marshmallow on the 3rd hook. This also works very well.

    There are several other baits that work as well. The best jar bait is Sierra Gold because it works better in very cold water. Second best is Berkley Power Bait. We also use salmon eggs, plain white marshmallows, and Velveeta cheese. Be sure to ask the Ranger what the hottest bait is right now.

    Use scent to increase the effectiveness of these baits, remember “scent makes sense!”

    Where is the best spot to fish? Again ask the Ranger because the best spots are always changing. One of the things that they do at the hatchery is teach those trout how to swim and because we were here yesterday we know where they swam to!

    If you follow the Ranger’s advice and use this floating bait rig, you have a good chance of catching trout!

    Important! Please keep everything that you catch, even the little ones. No matter how careful you are in releasing them they always die even though they swam away just fine. Persons caught releasing TROUT at Lake Jennings will be asked to leave. When you catch your limit you must switch to bass, catfish or some other species. It is against the law to give your trout away and keep fishing for more or help your fishing buddy finish their limit.

    Lastly, If you are not catching fish please check with us. We will do everything that we can to help you catch fish. We will even send you to the “secret spot.” We are here to help.

    About Author

    Hugh Marx

    Lake Jennings is an 85 acre lake in Lakeside, 26 miles east of downtown San Diego. This deep clearwater reservoir is known for producing big largemouth bass and blue catfish.


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