Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead

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DeadGator401
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2020/10/22 01:35:06 (permalink)

Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead

Hello Folks. 
 
With the rain arriving, it seems the Steelhead may be in full swing soon! 
At the Field and Stream shop last month, I picked up some of the "Troutbeads". They actually say "Troutbeads.com" on the package.
Anyone ever use these? I'm looking forward to giving them a go when I head to the Tribs this season. They have a handy little guide on the back for the rigging, looks like a peg and a bare hook below them. 

Buying them got me curious about lures/baits/flies/whatever folks may use on the Tribs. Anyone ever use a Trout Magnet successfully for Steel? I'm assuming smolts would smoke em, but not so sure about the big boys. What are your favorites when hitting the tribs? 



- Just as a note, I'm aware there's a search function on this site. The boards been dead save for a single post about "what happened to this place" for the past few months. Figured a new discussion can't hurt. 
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    snagr
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/22 10:06:36 (permalink)
    DeadGator401
     
    - Just as a note, I'm aware there's a search function on this site. The boards been dead save for a single post about "what happened to this place" for the past few months. Figured a new discussion can't hurt. 




    good ideer gator.  can't remember the last time there was actually a thread on here specifically about steelhead fishing.  
     
    i haven't used beads of any type before, but see them rising in popularity the last few years among fishermen around me.  was near some pinners on elk last year one day who were absolutely crushing on beads.  seems to be tons of makes and models out there - squishy rubber to hard plastic.  
     
    my two favorite baits are bubblegum power worms and gulp minnows.  betchya 90% of the steelhead my 10 year old and i have caught in the last several years are on one of those.  white, yellow and chartreuse worms get a few as well.  heading up tomorrow i think, and i'm looking forward to finally having enough flow and water to throw some jigs tipped with gulp minnows.  i almost always use 3" and i like to drift 'em under a bobber like i would any other bait, and twitch 'em on their way down stream.  i'm not good at straight jigging without a bobber.  
     
    still get some single eggs from rich dickey's most times i'm mup.  i'll use some cured skein once in awhile when i bonk a hen for the smoker, but skein and sacs have never been a go to for me.  
     
    my 16 year son old loves throwing buggers and big meaty streamers on his fly rod, and is pretty good at it.  the tug is the drug for him.  if not meat flies, he's usually drifting a squirmy worm and once in awhile will drift an egg or spawn pattern.  
    #2
    Moses Guthrie
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/22 10:45:22 (permalink)
    I have done pretty well on beads for steelies, stockies, browns and kings. I do fish them a little different than most. I don't peg them. I heat the hook up and melt the bead into the hook. Keep a box of them ready to go, Then add a little egg veil over the top when I use them.
    #3
    solitario lupo
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/22 10:53:17 (permalink)
    Just to throw this out I’ve been hearing a lot of fishermen complaining about getting warnings and even fined over these trout beads being pegged on the line. Hear it’s up to the officers. Put your beads on the hook or right above the hook so your not considered snagging them. As for trout magnets they do work.
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    Porktown
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/22 10:54:28 (permalink)
    I know of people that do well with trout magnets.  The last steelhead that I caught, I think 3 years ago, was drifting a 1" gulp minnow on a jig under a bobber, which looks pretty similar to a trout magnet.  Those plastic trout worms can be deadly, can drift or cast out and retrieve will look like an eel swimming.  I need to make a trip this season.  I have donated to the Erie/trout combo for long enough without making a trip...
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    DeadGator401
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/22 12:08:26 (permalink)
    solitario lupo
    Just to throw this out I’ve been hearing a lot of fishermen complaining about getting warnings and even fined over these trout beads being pegged on the line. Hear it’s up to the officers. Put your beads on the hook or right above the hook so your not considered snagging them. As for trout magnets they do work.



    You know what Lupo, I was thinking something similar when I looked at these beads. I mean 2 inches above the hook, like recommended seems almost like it'd hook the fish on the outside of the mouth? Be a good question for a warden if I happen to see one. 

    Porktown
    I know of people that do well with trout magnets.  The last steelhead that I caught, I think 3 years ago, was drifting a 1" gulp minnow on a jig under a bobber, which looks pretty similar to a trout magnet.  Those plastic trout worms can be deadly, can drift or cast out and retrieve will look like an eel swimming.  I need to make a trip this season.  I have donated to the Erie/trout combo for long enough without making a trip...


     Pork I figured they may work. I crushed trout on them all season long, so I'll definitely take a box up with me. They're so easy to use, and come in a lot of colors so. 

    I never catch many steelhead, but my best days have come swinging big flies, like buggers and ESL's. I think this year I'll focus more on a noodle rod and spinning reel. 


    #6
    johnthefisherman
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/22 13:09:53 (permalink)
    As a fly fisherman, usually anything emerald shiner color, although my top producers in my only trip this year were squirmy wormies and san juan worms. Saw where Tim Camissa actually put up a video where he actually uses elastic dental bands to make those flies almost interchangable in color, which is a very interesting concept, and I'm sure it could be applied to other flies. 

    Beads work well too, whether you fish them above to hook, or above a fly as an attractor. 

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    Porktown
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/22 13:37:37 (permalink)
    What I remember most important about steelhead compared to trout or other fish, is to set the hook on anything.  If your bobber stops flowing like it has the past 10 feet in a drift, set it, if it slightly goes under, set it, if it pops under fast, set it, always be ready to set.  They seem to bite and spit more than most other fish.  When in doubt, set the hook and always be ready to set.  Which makes using a longer rod nice, since you don't need to power set.  A slight lift, if you feel their is resistance, then can follow through on the set.  My time crick fishing pelletheads, I would typically not set on what I felt was a creek chub, hoping he'd leave it alone.  Many panfish will hit at the tail a few times before sucking something completely in.  That was definitely the biggest thing that changed my, maybe 1-2 fish in a day, to the ridiculous numbers that you thought were fake until you had a day like it.
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    DeadGator401
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/22 13:45:38 (permalink)
    Porktown
    What I remember most important about steelhead compared to trout or other fish, is to set the hook on anything.  If your bobber stops flowing like it has the past 10 feet in a drift, set it, if it slightly goes under, set it, if it pops under fast, set it, always be ready to set.  They seem to bite and spit more than most other fish.  When in doubt, set the hook and always be ready to set.  Which makes using a longer rod nice, since you don't need to power set.  A slight lift, if you feel their is resistance, then can follow through on the set.  My time crick fishing pelletheads, I would typically not set on what I felt was a creek chub, hoping he'd leave it alone.  Many panfish will hit at the tail a few times before sucking something completely in.  That was definitely the biggest thing that changed my, maybe 1-2 fish in a day, to the ridiculous numbers that you thought were fake until you had a day like it.


    Good advice pork. I'll try to implement this for this coming season. 

    I forsee myself setting the hook like I'm fishing a frog in lillies and catching the trees behind me though. 
    #9
    FishinGuy
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/22 14:15:13 (permalink)
    Beads. So controversial. I own some and use them sometimes. I peg the bead no more than 2" from the hook and have never hooked a fish outside the mouth. Yet. I'm still a little Leary using them, as I've heard of people getting fined. One easy work around is to use a fly instead of a hook. Again, I'm not encouraging or condoning hooking fish outside of the mouth. It's just never happened to me. I read somewhere that on Alaska they peg the bead 6"-1' up from the hook. I could definitely see that hooking them outside the mouth. In a purely fishing point of view, if the fish eats the bead and is hooked outside the mouth, I say it's still a fair catch. From a legal standpoint that fish is snagged and must be released and you could still be fined on top of that. Anyway. Wax worms have probably taken more fish for me than anything else. Also gulp minnows, and streamers on the fly rod.
    #10
    davef
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/23 09:12:57 (permalink)
    I like to use beads and I would change colors pretty quickly.  I decided there had to be a faster way to change colors so I sawed a groove in the bead so I could just swap the bead out without retying.  Perhaps some are sold that way now but way back when all were solid except for the hole thru the middle.  Worked the same way the floats that are removable with a peg.
     
    I always kept the bead close to the hook, probably under 2 inches.
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    DarDys
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/23 11:14:24 (permalink)
    I have not been to Erie for steelhead since the last One Fly, which has been quite a while now. Actually, the last three times I went were for the One Fly.

    On those three visits, as a Team we finished 2nd, 1st, and 2nd, respectively. As individuals, we never finished lower than 4th, and also had an individual win. In addition, we had either the largest or second largest steelhead of the event. If any of that means a darn thing, all the fish, for both of us, through the entire three years, were caught on the same fly pattern.

    The fly we used was a Cream Delight Glo Bug tied as a size 14, but on a #12 hook (positioned forward against the eye of the hook) to get a wider hook gap and less interference from the fly body.

    It was fished on a 10 foot leader that terminated in a short 10 inch tippet section made from 5X floro that acted as a hinge with any weight being applied above the first leader knot (tippet connection). The weight was provided by molding brass weight paste into long football shapes and adjusted for water depth and current strength, but always having the most weight at the know and progressively small footballs, spaced about 3 inches apart.

    A strike indicator was used (forget the brand, but the line is fed through the float and held in place by a short piece of surgical tubing) and placed just slightly longer than the water depth (1.25 the depth).

    It was fished on a dead drift with the hinge weight ticking the bottom and the fly suspended about 2 inches off the bottom.

    Rod length varied from 8 foot to 11 foot depending on water conditions.

    The poster formally known as Duncsdad

    Everything I say can be fully substantiated by my own opinion.
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    Porktown
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/23 15:36:16 (permalink)
    DarDys
    I have not been to Erie for steelhead since the last One Fly, which has been quite a while now. Actually, the last three times I went were for the One Fly.

    On those three visits, as a Team we finished 2nd, 1st, and 2nd, respectively. As individuals, we never finished lower than 4th, and also had an individual win. In addition, we had either the largest or second largest steelhead of the event. If any of that means a darn thing, all the fish, for both of us, through the entire three years, were caught on the same fly pattern.

    The fly we used was a Cream Delight Glo Bug tied as a size 14, but on a #12 hook (positioned forward against the eye of the hook) to get a wider hook gap and less interference from the fly body.

    It was fished on a 10 foot leader that terminated in a short 10 inch tippet section made from 5X floro that acted as a hinge with any weight being applied above the first leader knot (tippet connection). The weight was provided by molding brass weight paste into long football shapes and adjusted for water depth and current strength, but always having the most weight at the know and progressively small footballs, spaced about 3 inches apart.

    A strike indicator was used (forget the brand, but the line is fed through the float and held in place by a short piece of surgical tubing) and placed just slightly longer than the water depth (1.25 the depth).

    It was fished on a dead drift with the hinge weight ticking the bottom and the fly suspended about 2 inches off the bottom.

    Rod length varied from 8 foot to 11 foot depending on water conditions.

    Good stuff DarDys!
    #13
    bingsbaits
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/23 16:00:49 (permalink)
    Triple Threat in Emerald Shiner colors   #10- #14.. (Won the One Fly one year.)
    Black Stone Fly  #12-#18   Senyo Wiggle Stone is Killer....

    "There is a pleasure in Angling that no one knows but the Angler himself". WB
     
     


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    DeadGator401
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/24 02:48:27 (permalink)
    Some pretty detailed stuff, makes me think about getting the fly rod out. 

    Have to admit after seeing all of this, I might be most curious about the Gulp minnows. Is that just the 3 inch minnows in the tubs? 
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    snagr
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/24 06:46:19 (permalink)
    DeadGator401
    Some pretty detailed stuff, makes me think about getting the fly rod out. 

    Have to admit after seeing all of this, I might be most curious about the Gulp minnows. Is that just the 3 inch minnows in the tubs? 


    you can buy the little jars but the packs that come in a resealable bag are much more convenient. just remember to re seal them cause they stink like crazy when they leak in your vest or bag 🤮


    i fished all day yesterday. got a few and lost a few on bubblegum worms. no bites on gulps. only guy i saw all day catch more than two fish was absolutely hammering fish in skinny water with beads.
    post edited by snagr - 2020/10/24 06:57:18
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    workcanwait....
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/24 09:38:54 (permalink)
    Beads work...I peg them 2 in above hook and use egg sac on hook in PA.
    My understanding is a bead pegged on your line and a bare hook is illegal currently in PA so be careful.
    WCW
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    DeadGator401
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/26 02:20:27 (permalink)
    workcanwait....
    Beads work...I peg them 2 in above hook and use egg sac on hook in PA.
    My understanding is a bead pegged on your line and a bare hook is illegal currently in PA so be careful.
    WCW


    What if the beads right above the hook, with no space between them?
    #18
    workcanwait....
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/26 10:58:48 (permalink)
    IDK it is a grey area in my mind using beads...PFBC has told different people different things.
    If you don't keep the fish it doesn't matter ...WCW
     
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    snagr
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/26 11:21:57 (permalink)
    the PFBC put out some clear as mud statement about beads within the past couple of years.

    it is for sure a gray area based on that statement from what i remember. if yer not keeping em i don’t think you’d have much to worry about.
    #20
    workcanwait....
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/26 12:14:39 (permalink)
    Yeah I spoke  to PFBC at walnut many years ago he said beads are fine all that matters is hook has to be INSIDE the mouth to keep it and don't harm fish in ANY way before releasing...but I have heard recently they have changed their stance on beads so BEWARE...WCW
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    mr.crappie
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/26 14:09:27 (permalink)
    deadgator, IMO you can catch steelies on almost anything at one time or another. I like trout magnets & small jigs under a bobber,but have caught them with anything from worms & minnows to velveeta cheese with garlic.The most import.thing in m.o. is to keep changing lures & colors & sizes through-out the day til you find what is working. Also I would suggest that you use the best anti glare sun glasses that you own so as to eliminate fishing dead water.    sam
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    DeadGator401
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/26 15:31:27 (permalink)
    mr.crappie
    deadgator, IMO you can catch steelies on almost anything at one time or another. I like trout magnets & small jigs under a bobber,but have caught them with anything from worms & minnows to velveeta cheese with garlic.The most import.thing in m.o. is to keep changing lures & colors & sizes through-out the day til you find what is working. Also I would suggest that you use the best anti glare sun glasses that you own so as to eliminate fishing dead water.    sam


    Good call Crappie. I bought a nice pair on amazon "KastKing Hawisaee" and they're honestly just as good as my prescription raybans.

    I remember back in 2008 or or 2007, an old timer next to me was slaying the steel on big ole nightcrawlers, was fun to see. 
     
    We've got some good tips so far! Set the hook on anything, good glasses, velveeta, and some solid recommendations on flies to use. 

    Can say though I love the ease of a trout magnet, and am happy to hear folks have used them sucessfully!
    #23
    mr.crappie
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/26 15:40:07 (permalink)
    dead gator, I use the small trout magnets & I like the 1/64 oz. mini-foos usually tip both with maggots or wax worms. Also use those 3" trout worms. good luck As I said almost anything that you have confidence in will work.  sam
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    fisherofmen376
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/27 05:44:14 (permalink)
    Good to see summa yinz posting...this board ain’t dead yet!
    In low clear water jigs, gulp, buggers and shiner patterns etc are my go to. The trout magnet type thing produces strikes but make sure the hooks are strong. The Wapsi brand FishUsa sells are good.
    I don’t drift sacs unless there’s more flow and color.
    And my arms are skinnee, so I can’t hold up the fish for very long!

    "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
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    jfel5472
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/27 08:17:21 (permalink)
    If I use trout magnets I usually will replace the jig hooks since they are a thin wire hook. I personally have bent them out on steelhead and prefer the wapsi super jig hooks in 1/64. I also use a lot of 2.5 inch soft plastic minnow baits through out the whole steelhead season and do really well on the color white. 
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    snagr
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/27 08:49:05 (permalink)
    i've had pretty good success with the 1/32 oz crappie magnet jig heads with gulp minnows for steelhead.  never lost a steelhead due to a straightened hook or jig failure, but a couple years ago i was into some hybrid stripers on arthur with jig and gulp minnow and they were just destroying every jig head i had.  
     
    i checked out vodoo custom tackle jig heads, and i've been very very satisfied with them.  have used em for steelhead, wipers, and everything else in different sizes, and you can get just about any color you want.  their hook sizes are a little bigger than i like, so for steelhead i will often still use the crappie magnet heads in clearer water because they have a smaller hook.   
    #27
    silvercoho
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/27 15:02:54 (permalink)
    Anyone know where i can find Emerald shiners ? thanks
    #28
    Mountian Man
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/27 15:32:41 (permalink)
    I caught one on a cigerrette butt once really are a true dumfezh.

    Thread Killer

    Veni Vidi Vici...
    #29
    crappiefisher
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    Re: Favorite Baits/Lures for Steelhead 2020/10/27 18:25:44 (permalink)

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