A Guide to Trout Fishing in Foggy Weather

Foggy conditions, like cloudy or overcast conditions, will provide some of the best fishing you’ll ever see. It’s a perfect chance to catch some trout and have a little fun on the water. It generally requires a variety of techniques and methods, but it is worth the effort.

So, can you catch trout in foggy weather? Yes, you can catch trout in foggy weather. Foggy weather doesn’t affect your ability to find fish but it’s about knowing where the fish are. To draw trout to you in foggy conditions fish slow and use bright-colored lures to stand out in the water.

Keep reading to know more about trout fishing in foggy weather and how you can make the best out of it.

How Does Fog Affect fishing?

trout fishing in foggy weather

Small water droplets trapped in the air create fog. The thickest fog tends to form in industrial areas where there are a lot of contamination particles in the air that can develop into water droplets. But does it play a role in fishing activities?

Fog can indeed affect trout bites by making them faster or slower. But it depends more on the weather including the fog. When the water relative temperature is colder than it has been and it is foggy, the bites are expected to be slower. While warmer temperatures encourage trout to be more active. 

Besides feeding activities, trout tend to leave shaded cover in search of food and migrate up to the surface when it gets foggy. So it’s recommended to use topwater baits because trout can comfortably look up at the surface of the water without worrying about the bright sun glaring down on them. 

Slow-moving baits such as crankbaits, spinners, and swimbaits can be used when the weather is foggy but colder than normal. These are referred to as search style baits and they will allow you to cover a large area of water when looking for roaming fish.

Night fog will certainly slow down your trout fishing. Since they are sight predators that rely heavily on their keen vision to locate food. It is more difficult for them to find food when it is foggy. This is due to the fact that they can detect food at night, but they would be slower under dark skies. 

Foggy weather has its advantages as well. The darker conditions make it more difficult for trout to see your bait or fishing lure under the surface of the water. It’s less likely that your presence would spook the fish if you’re trolling around on a boat, fishing from the shore, or just moving around.

Trout fishing in foggy weather Strategy & Tactics 

Technique 

To catch trout in foggy weather you need to pay attention to the weather temperature before you choose a strategy. If the relative air temperature is warmer out than it has been recently, you can expect trout to be up and moving. On the contrary, they will slow down if the water is colder than usual.

In the winter, you should still fish slowly, but trout will be out hunting for food. When it’s foggy out in the summer, the extra heat will really boost trout feeding activity. Some ideal bait and lures in this situation would be finesse baits such as plastic worms and jigs that work as search baits to cover lots of water.

The best times of day to fish by far are early morning from dawn until 2 hours past sunrise and late afternoon from 3 hours before sunset until dusk. In winter, fishing just seems to turn off for those 3 or 4 hours around the middle of the day. Try to avoid night fishing too as it is generally sluggish in the winter, but it can turn on under some conditions.

For your gear, using a medium-heavy 7ft rod with at least a 20-pound test line is a must, but a lighter choice, such as a light-medium action rod with a 6-to-10 pound test line, will make for an exciting afternoon searching for trout under fog.

For more specific gear recommendations, check out my guide on the best trout fishing rods here and the best trout fishing lines here as well.

Bait and lures 

Finesse baits like ned rigs, plastic worms, and jigs are ideal in colder weather. In warmer weather and simple fog, moving baits like swimbaits, crankbaits, and spinners are your best bet. These search baits let you cover a ton of water in search of roaming fish since they leave their cover.

Topwater lures do well in dense fog when trout can easily gaze up at the water surface without being blinded by the bright light of the sun.

Lure colors are important under dense fog. So it’s recommended to pick colors that stand out in the water. Solid colored baits in blues, blacks, or purples will stand out against the water clarity and match your retrieve speed to match the relative temperature.

You can also try white or chartreuse as well that will be easier for fish to see under certain light and water clarity settings. You can learn about the best colors for trout lures here.

You can boost your chances by adding scent to your bait. If the fog decreased the light conditions under the water, the scent will draw trout to your bait without seeing it. 

Garlic is top-notch when it comes to using scented bait to attract trout. It’s available, cheap, easy to use, and easy to store. Using just a pinch of garlic to your bait can attract a trout from a mile away. It’ll not just attract trout, but it’ll also make trout hold on to you much longer than they usually do. You can also try cheese, and I’ve made a complete guide to fishing trout with cheese here that I recommend you check out.

Anise oil is also irresistible to most fish let alone a fish with a strong sense of smell like trout. It’s most likely due to the smell being similar to scents found in their natural prey. 

Trout fishing in foggy weather tips 

  1. Try trolling for trout. It’s better when you can’t accurately locate trout under foggy conditions. 
  2. Make sure to come back to strike zones. If you had luck in a spot, mark it and keep coming back to it. Trout won’t be far away from the spots they chose before.
  3. Use electronics. It can be very helpful when you can’t see properly. You can detect fish markings and save time and effort. Here you can find my picks for the best portable fish finders.
  4. Search the covers. Trout may roam the open water but some of them may choose to stay near a cover. They won’t be undercover but they will still be nearby. Cast wider to cover and draw your baits around the cover. 
  5. Use dark-colored bait. Strong dark colors such as black, purple, blue, and maroon stand out on the greyish background of the water.
  6. Use live bait. Bait like scrub worms, earthworms, minnows, mudeye, maggots, yabbies, crickets, grubs, and grasshoppers will be effective almost any time you go fishing for trout. Their smell attracts them from afar. Check out my guide to fishing with live bait here.
  7. Topwater bait for dense fog. Fog reduces the sunlight, so trout are more likely to stare up without a problem.
  8. Use braid line. It won’t stretch, and you’ll have instant hook-setting strength to help hook those fish you’ll be late swinging on. Braid will provide you with the required protection to compensate for late hooksets. You can check the best braided lines here.

Related Questions 

Do Trout Bite On Cloudy Days?

Yes, trout bite on cloudy days. On cloudy days, trout will be able to roam in all three layers of the water column, including the surface. While on sunny days, they will have difficulty looking up at the sky to locate prey.

What Colors Do Trout Like?

Trout like the colors that can imitate their forage. These colors may include white, gold, brown, green, black, orange, yellow, red, and blue. Other unnatural colors such as pink, silver, and chartreuse are also effective. They are all great colors to ensure your lure is visible at depth. 

Where Are Lake Trout Found? 

Lake trout are found in most of Alaska and Canada, as well as the Great Lakes and the Northeastern US. They have expanded beyond this area over the years, and can now be found all over the Rocky Mountains and in reservoirs throughout the United States.

Do trout die after catch and release? 

No, trout don’t necessarily die after catch and release if you hold and release it properly. Trout may die from improper holding and squeezing it leading to damaging its internal parts. If you hold it with caution for less than 10 seconds and support it with both hands until released, it’ll survive.

Helpful Resources 

The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide by Tom Rosenbauer (Check it out on Amazon here)

Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (you can check the book on Amazon here)