Do Trout Bite Humans? Uncomfortable Answers…

Trout is on the to-catch list of many anglers. They put up a strong fight and a fishing trip to catch them can be a definite source of adrenaline. However, some people take a step back when they know that catching trout can come at a cost.

Do trout bite humans? Yes, trout bite humans. They don’t bite to feed on human flesh, their bites are part of the fight they put up when they get caught. They have sharp sets of teeth and can cause cuts to your finger whether while you unhook them or when they manage to escape your grip and catch your finger.

Read all about how aggressive can trout get and whether they impose a threat on you, coming below.

Are Trout Aggressive? 

trout swimming underwater to explain their aggression and do trout bite humans

Trout are aggressive fish that don’t get out without a fight. Their aggressiveness and stubbornness are evolutionary traits that made them one of the sportiest fish in the world and they can be hard to catch. Once you catch one, don’t expect the fight to be over just yet. They can switch directions in a blink of an eye, and their endurance is unmatched by any other freshwater gamefish.

You may think that their aggressiveness reaches the next level and they decide to bite you, but that’s not entirely true. They can be aggressive and fight hard but trout bite is not based on feeding purposes of revenge intentions. Trout bite simply because they can.

Trout teeth are sharp and their jaws are strong to allow them to get a good grip of their prey and prevent them from escaping. Given this fact combined with how they fight and wiggle when caught, they can escape your grip and use their sharp teeth to catch your finger causing cuts and scrapes that vary in severity.

You may also want to know that trout aggressiveness varies between its family. According to the United States Geological Survey, Rainbow Trout is more aggressive than Cutthroat Trout and Tiger trout, while Tiger trout are slightly more aggressive than cutthroat trout.

Before you start planning your next fishing trip, you will want to take safety into account if you are going for aggressive fish like Trout, and I’ll discuss safety later in the article as well.

You may also want to update your gear, and you can start by checking out my recommended telescoping fishing rods here. These are the ones that have not only stood the test of time, but also my own tests, which can be even more difficult than the test of time.

Do Trout Have Teeth? 

Do trout have teeth? Yes, trout have sharp sets of vomerine teeth on their upper and lower jaw. They use their strong jaws and teeth to grip their prey till they swallow it. Older trout have sharper and larger teeth, while trout 16 inches (about 41 cm) and under have smaller teeth that are not too sharp.

Trout are known to have delicate nature, but they’re equipped with sharp teeth to help them adapt to their environment. Their sharp teeth work as a defense mechanism of some kind, in addition to being handy tools for chewing bugs and worms.

Trout like to eat crayfish which have spikes that can choke trout to death if engulfed from the wrong direction. Trout teeth come in handy then, as they help to turn the crayfish around to swallow the tail first to avoid the damage. 

There are two types of trout teeth found in rainbow trout and brown trout. Rainbow trout have teeth located along the roof of the upper jaw, while brown trout have teeth positioned behind the base of the tongue and along the gill. 

Source: Ginkandgasoline.com

Younger smaller trout are safer to hold because their teeth are still shaping so they’re not as sharp as the bigger ones. Trout bigger than 16 inches (about 41 cm) are old enough to impose a threat with a sharp set of heavier and more prominent teeth in both of its jaws.

Is a Trout Bite Dangerous?

Is a trout bite dangerous? Yes, trout bite can be dangerous if not immediately treated. Trout mouths can carry things such as bacteria, parasites, and man-made pollutants that can be found in their skin or the water they inhabit. This can cause MRSA, known as “fish finger”.

Don’t underestimate trout bite. It’s true they won’t cause a serious injury that cuts through flesh and bone but their bite can get infected with bacteria and parasites leading to more serious consequences. 

The bite can cause a “fish finger” that occurs when an open wound gets exposed to fish bacteria which has proven to be resistant to and resilient against antibiotics. Its symptoms include a sharply defined, red-purple circular area that appears surrounding the puncture, pain, burning, itching, and swelling around the infected area.

Trout Bite First-aid

It’s important to treat the bite immediately after occurring. That requires you to take action on the boat before heading to your healthcare provider so make sure to always have a first-aid box with you every time you get on the boat. Here is what you can do when you get bitten by a trout:

  1. Spray the bitten area with clean water to wash off any dirt or debris there. 
  2. Add one-quarter teaspoon of salt to 200 ml (1 cup) of clean water. 
  3. Pour water with a strong disinfectant solution over the wound to kill any germs. Hibiclens has been trusted by many anglers as an effective antibacterial, especially for MRSA. 
  4. Use a clean cloth to apply direct pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding.
  5. Cover the wound with a sterile bandage.

Warning: if you possibly observed some teeth stuck in the injury, leave them in place until your healthcare provider can remove them without harming your muscles or tissues.

How To Avoid a Trout Bite?

Trout bite is not inevitable and you can avoid it with simple tips. First off, you need to know that trout bite is more likely to happen in the mere seconds after you catch it. As soon as you learn how to handle those seconds right, you’re safe from the possibility of having a bleeding finger.

So, how can you avoid a trout bite? Here are some tips you can follow:

  1. Wear rubber gloves. This will protect your finger from any sudden attack from trout. Just make sure to wet them first before holding trout not to harm its skin. You can get rubber gloves on Amazon.
  2. Hold trout correctly. Trout will continue to fight until it feels safe. You can achieve that by cradling it and supporting its weight with both your hands at the vent and the pectoral fins.
  3. Turn it upside down to calm it down. Anglers use this tip to calm fish down faster. It’s better not to keep it in that position for too long though.
  4. Handle trout with a net. It’s safer for both you and trout to put it in a rubber net as soon as possible. This way you protect your hands by measuring the fish while it’s in the water. Using knotted string or nylon nets can cause damage to scales, tails, and fins. I recommend this quality rubber net from Amazon.
  5. Use a release tool to remove the hook. Long-nosed forceps are an easy and fast way to ensure that you remove the hook without getting your finger near their teeth. It’s better if you’re using barbless hooks. They are much easier and faster to remove from the fish mouth. Be careful not to squeeze trout to keep it stable while removing the hook because this damages its internal organs.

Do Bull Trout Have Teeth? 

So do bull trout teeth? Yes, bull trout have teeth but only in their lower jaw. One of the biggest differences between bull trout and salmon is the absence of teeth in the roof of its mouth. Their teeth are sharp, especially in bigger older ones.

Bull trout are long, slim fish with a large head in proportion to the body. The back is olive-green to grey while the sides are silvery and marked with pale yellow to red spots. They have teeth to help them catch small fish they feed on.

Related Questions 

Do Trout Bite in The Rain? 

Yes, trout bite in the rain. Rainy days are one of the best times you can target trout with success. After heavy rain, the water level rises and the water becomes darker which encourages trout, especially big ones, to roam around to feed.

Do Trout Bite At night? 

Yes, trout bite at night. They can be found in shallow water feeding. To catch their attention you can use lures with color contrast like black and white, or you can use a spinner or bladed lures that produce vibrations in the water so they feel it instead of seeing it. 

Do trout bite in cold weather? 

Yes, trout bite in cold weather if you adjust your tactics. Cold weather fishing for trout needs to be slow and concentrated in deeper water where trout suspend. Patience is important as much as varying your retrieves every once in a while to get a strike. 

Helpful Resources 

How to handle a Trout correctly