There’s no question that trout worms catch fish. The PowerBait Floating Trout Worm is the most well known trout worm commercially available. And the pink worms are clearly the most popular and effective color. This is so true that many people simply refer to any lures of this type as “pink worms.”
But there are times when you want an alternative to PowerBait trout worms. Maybe they’re just not working in a particular situation. Or you want to stand out from the crowd and show pressured fish a different offering. There are also areas where you’re simply not allowed to use scented baits. So here’s a list of other lures that can work as well or better than Berkley trout worms.
PowerBait Ice Sword Tail
Note: The Angler’s Notebook may receive compensation for purchases made at participating retailers linked on this site. This compensation does not affect what products are mentioned here.
The PowerBait Sword Tail is actually designed for ice fishing. But it works just as well when fished like a trout worm or micro jig. All you have to do is put it on a small jig head or even a plain old hook and drift it with the current.
The Sword Tail has all the embedded flavor and scent of other PowerBait products. But it is actually shaped more like the foods trout most commonly encounter such as mayfly and stonefly nymphs. It even comes in a pink variety, which of course catches plenty of fish.
Custom 3″ Trout Worms
Okay this one is still sort of a pink worm. But Custom 3″ Trout Worms are different than the famous Berkley Trout Worms in a few key areas. One is that these custom trout worms come in a wider variety of colors. The other is that the standard version of these trout worms are unscented.
You might wonder why you would want to fish with unscented trout worms rather than a bait with impregnated smell. The biggest reason is that there are many special regulation fishing areas around that do not allow you to use scented bait. Or the rules are so unclear that you don’t know whether or not you can fish with something like the Berkley Trout Worms. In those cases you can break out Custom 3″ Trout Worms and fish without an issue, assuming soft plastic molded lures are allowed at all. They catch fish just as well.
The Squirmy Worm is basically a hand tied version of the pink worm. It is made with a piece of stretchy soft plastic material wrapped around a hook. The material isn’t very durable, but you can catch quite a few fish on a Squirmy Worm before it starts to get torn up and worn down. Most squirmy worms have a bead head for weight. But others are nothing more than rubber and a hook.
Obviously these lures don’t have any scent or flavor. In fact, they’re considered flies. So you can get away with fishing them in most special regulation areas. They’re even okay in a lot of fly fishing only areas. And they can catch just as many fish as the Berkley Trout Worms when drifted with the current.
San Juan Worm
The San Juan Worm is a more traditional version of a pink worm, if such a thing even exists. This is a fly that in its simplest form is made of a single piece of chenille material tied to a hook. The San Juan Worm is so simple and so different than a lot of older flies that some people who fly fish scoff at them completely. But if you want to catch fish, the San Juan Worm works whether you’re using a fly pole or a spinning rod.
San Juan Worms come in smaller sizes than most soft plastic trout worms. And they are scent and rubber free, which means they can be used even in some of the strictest special regulation areas. You can put a little weight on your line and drift them. Or you can fish them under a float or strike indicator. The weighted bead head San Juan Worms work best for fishing with a spinning rod.
The Trout Magnet is basically a short piece of rubber with a split in it. But it can do surprisingly well on trout, especially if they are the stocked or “hatchery” variety. The best features of the Trout Magnet are the price, the variety of colors, and the lack of scent or flavor.
You can pick up a Trout Magnet Kit with lots of colors at very fair price. And since the Trout Magnet doesn’t have any added flavoring, you can fish it in a lot of artificial lures only special regulation areas. Drifting the pink trout magnet under a float can work very well. The green and black version is another good fish catcher.