Though we can’t class the speckled trout as a bottom feeder, there are times and places when he can’t be caught any other way. This is usually in ponds and lakes that have been stocked artificially, especially if the water has been dammed up for a short time. In that case their food is almost totally on the bottom. Rarely do they do they rise to a jump the surface. Trout are always looking for food. Either on the surface for flies and insects landing on the surface or nosing around for worms, grubs, and insects of all kinds that live in the water, mostly on the bottom.
In some private ponds, brook trout are fed artificially on chopped meat or liver. When this happens the fish lose nearly all their game and fighting qualities. The reason for this is very obvious! There’s no need to fight for their food. In swift water they are always on the alert and quickly dash after their food. And the trout caught in on the bottom rarely puts up a fight. In fishing large or small lakes for trout, the most important thing is to find the proper depth for your sinker and when you find it, adjust the float so that the bait lays at least six inches from the bottom. If you hook a catfish, move to another spot because for where you find a lot of catfish, they aggressively attack the trout with their spines to keep the trout from taking the worm. The trout doesn’t have armored spines to defend himself with so his only defense is to get the heck out of Dodge. If the catfish continue to take the bait, adjust the float so that the bait is a foot higher from the bottom. This way the catfish will be less liable to interfere.
A good sized Brook Trout will more often than not seize a young live minnow far quicker than he would a worm because the worm isn’t a great bait for trout, especially in the early spring. For trout, worms should be scoured. In other words scrubbed of grease and dirt. The worm should be most carefully hooked on through the skin and not through the body allowing the worm to wriggle. This is because trout seize the bait with a wide open mouth and swallows the hook instantly. There’s no nibbling or even smelling, but a wild sudden dash, and down it goes.
It’s a common practice by some fishermen to use a method called “chumming” in still water for trout. This is simply nothing more than a good amount of worms chopped up and thrown over the side of the boat after it’s been anchored for a while and all is quiet. This attracts the trout to where the bait is placed, and they’ll soon take it. This method isn’t really sporting however but the end is in taking a large number of fish that otherwise wouldn’t have been caught. I have often tried to lure them up with the fly, but most of the time failed to get them to rise during the daytime. In the evening when there are more flies out, the trout will rise for fifteen or twenty minutes and then suddenly stop and drop back. And then a short time later they’re back to the surface again looking for flies.