Can You Use Salmon Eggs for Trout? Risks, Methods, and Pro Tips

During the spawning season, nearly any fish swimming in a river where salmon live is drawn to salmon eggs, and trout is no exception. Anglers took advantage of this habit and began using salmon eggs to catch trout when nothing else seemed to work.

Can you use salmon eggs for trout? Yes, you can use salmon eggs for trout. Using salmon eggs is one of the most effective natural trout baits. They float downstream during the spawning season and the smell and color of them attract trout to this easy meal after the spawn.

Keep reading to know more about using salmon eggs to get trout on the hook.

Why Do Trout Eat Salmon Eggs?  

hand holding a salmon egg to answer can you use salmon eggs for trout

Some trout species like rainbow trout are predators that feed on anything they come across. They will consume any small fish they can catch, including theirs. So it’s not unnatural of them to attack other fish’s eggs to feed on.

Salmon eggs have a distinct appearance, texture, and scent, making them attractive to trout as they swim downstream during the spawning season. They are a quick and simple meal for trout to enjoy at any time of year.

How To Fish Salmon Eggs For Trout 

Fishing salmon eggs are deadly to trout and knowing how to properly use them optimizes your chances of getting plenty of trout. 

Cast them into the end of fast run-in water where it begins to slow down and the trout will strike almost instantly. You can also drift one around large rocks or snags or cast it upstream and left to drift into the pools. 

In smaller rivers, casting upstream against the far bank is a guaranteed technique. If you’re fishing in a water body that has lots of weed beds 2 or 3 feet (around 0.5-to-1 meter) off the surface, make sure to attach the leader line and extend length on it, and put the sinker a little further away so it sets on a good angle. 

If you had no luck after multiple casts, don’t hesitate to add another salmon egg to enhance the experience. You can also try adding them to trolled lures to entice more strikes from trout. 

You can also watch this helpful video for more tips:

How To Rig Salmon Eggs For Trout? 

Rigging salmon eggs is pretty easy. The first thing to remember when rigging salmon eggs is that those eggs float, so you need to imitate that or else you’ll lose strikes. Here’s a simple guide for you to successfully rig them in a way that ensures a good presentation:


  • A 5 or 6-weight rod with medium-to-fast action 
  • A light-duty spinning reel that matches the rod weight
  • A 2-4lb leader
  • A single egg hook.
  • A bobber set
  • A couple of split shots
  • A rubber net

For the hooks, the Drasry Fishing Hooks from amazon are a great choice.

How to rig it:

  1. Attach the egg to the single hook.
  2. Add a couple of split shots about 12-to-18 inches (about 30-to-45.7 cm) up the line.
  3. Add in a bobber set to your swim depth.
  4. Use a Uni to Uni knot to make this bond rock solid.

For the best chances possible at catching trout, you should definitely check out my recommended trout fishing rods here. These are the ones I’ve used extensively over the years and which I think will be just as good an addition to your gear as they have been to mine.

How Long Do Salmon Eggs Bait Last?

Salmon eggs can last in the refrigerator for a month. It can also be frozen for a year or so. You need to prepare and store it properly to extend its lasting time. Make sure to cure the salmon eggs within 24 hours of catching so you can store them. Here are some simple steps on how you can properly store them:

  1. Rinse the eggs with river water or distilled water to remove any trace of blood, blood will ruin it in less than an hour.
  2. Drain all fluid from the eggs.
  3. Sprinkle any salmon egg cure and gently stir it using a plastic spoon.
  4. Keep the eggs in a clean plastic container and let them rest for half an hour.
  5. After this, you’ll notice how all the fluids are now extracted from the eggs.
  6. Drain them again using a paint strainer while gently stirring with a plastic spoon.
  7. Gently pour the drained cured salmon eggs on paper towels to drain any more fluids left.
  8. After air-drying them for about 10 minutes spoon them into plastic bags.

Now you can safely store them in your refrigerator for the next trout fishing trip.

Salmon eggs vs powerbait 

Which is more effective in catching trout: powerbait or salmon eggs? This debate has been going on for ages. Some anglers say that it’s absurd to use an imitation of something when you can use the natural thing, while others argue that powerbait enables you to go over the top.

Here’s a simple quick comparison that can help you to make up your mind on which one to use:

Salmon EggsPower Bait
It works best in deep waters. They tend to fall into crannies and through cracks on the bottom when tossed out with a heavyweight.It works best if you’re targeting trout in the shallows.
Naturally tiny Various sizes 
They range in color from pale yellowish-orange to dark reddish-orange.Various colors like yellow, white, chartreuse, pink, green, and different color combinations.
Natural smell and textureArtificial texture and smell that should be recharged every once in a while.
Seem to be working more efficiently with brown troutSeems to be working more efficiently with rainbow trout
May need enhancements i.e. olive oilDoesn’t need additional enhancements
Limited time accessCan be accessed at any time

The good news is you don’t have to stick with just one of these two. Trout fishing requires lots of retrieve change and mixing these two in a single day will be effective. If trout is reluctant to bite on one of them, it probably won’t resist the other.

4 Recommended Salmon Eggs for Trout Worth Trying 

Pautzke Bait Balls O’Fire Salmon Eggs

Pautzke Bait Balls O’Fire Salmon Eggs are perfect as a natural bait for trout. They can be a little lighter than other plastic eggs due to their natural origins, but they are deadly on trout. A couple of these on a hook will get trout to bite violently. Note that they do not float so fish them on a bobber rig to keep them up in the swim

Berkley PowerBait Fishing Soft Bait

Berkley PowerBait Fishing Soft Bait comes in its captivating fluorescent orange color and can get trout to strike in no time. It works best in still or deep waters so if you have a lake full of stockers, finding their depth and then targeting them with these will be more than enough.

Berkley PowerBait Natural Glitter Trout Dough

Powerbait Salmon Eggs Flavor has a natural salmon egg scent with some added glitter to help draw in the trout to your bait. Place a little piece of this doughy paste onto your hooks and wait for the trout to rip it out of the water. It’s incredible how long a single jar of this thing would last with you.

Mike’s Fishing Trout Bait Salmon Eggs

Mike’s Fishing Trout Bait Salmon Eggs works best in trout fishing as their bright color helps them stand out in the water and trout can see and smell them from a mile away. It’s also dipped in garlic-scented oil that will maximize the number of caught trout in your net.

Related Questions 

What Fish Will Eat Salmon Eggs?

A variety of fish species will eat salmon eggs when presented with the opportunity such as trout, bluegill, steelhead, bass, catfish, suckerfish, and even salmon. Almost no fish swim in a river where salmon exist will resist eating salmon eggs during the spawning season.

What Is The Best Size Hook For Trout?

Hooks that are sizes 8 to 14 are best for trout. Use barbless hooks for trout unless you intend to eat what you catch. Smaller hooks are often used for trout as bigger hooks can be seen if the water is clear enough.