October 5, 2022

Smashing Spring Browns with Bay Rat

Spring Brown Trout fishing provides Great Lakes trollers the early opportunity for fast action and lots of smiles. In the spring, Brown Trout congregate in the shallows looking for the warmest water they can find. Once found, you can lay the smack down with Bay Rat Lures!

Shallow diving stick baits and spoons are the lures of choice when trolling in shallow water for these fat little footballs. the Bay Rat Lures Short Shallow Diver fished 50 – 100 feet behind a planer board is the secret money bait that, hands down, outfishes similar profile stick baits.

So what’s the deal? Why are they so special? Here’s our take…

  1. What makes up a big part of a Brown Trout’s diet? The Goby! 
    When you look at the profile of the Short Shallow Bay Rat, it’s wide. Much wider than your typical stickbait. This matches the hatch as a Goby’s profile is wide and fat.

2. Color Selection

Bay Rat has the colors dialed in for Brown Trout. Big Brown Trout like to munch on natural colors like Goby and Gold Finger in clearer water (shown below). They are also suckers for colors like Green Frog, My Secret, FireTiger, BT Candy and Citric Shad (shown below). What’s the common denominator with that color group? They’re green and chartreuse. When fishing dirty, off-colored water, the solid bright and bold colors tend to perform better. There is not another lure company out there that has a better color selection for Brown Trout than Bay Rat.


Gold Finger

Green Frog

My Secret

Fire Tiger

BT Candy

Citric Shad

3. Quality! Quality! Quality!

Bay Rat does not skimp when it comes to the quality of their lures and the hardware they use. Some claim that these lures are overbuilt… Some claim that Shimano Reels are overbuilt…The moral of the story is these lures are tough and can endure a beating year after year. Every bait is molded, painted and assembled right here in the U.S.A.

4. Different Models to Play with.

The Bay Rat Lures S3 Shallow Diver is the little brother of the Short Shallow model. The smaller diving bill doesn’t grab as much water, allowing the bait to ride higher in the water column and allowing you to troll even tighter without catching a “rock” fish. Bay Rat also makes a Long Shallow Diver that is the big brother of the Short Shallow. This bait is 4 ⅜” long, providing a bigger profile. You might just want to bomb one of these on your outside planer board, 100 feet back, for a donkey buck brown…wink wink! The image below is a variety of Long Shallow Divers, Short Shallow Divers and S3’s.

5. Presentation is key.

Try using fluorocarbon leaders about 8 – 12 ft from your mono in 10 – 12 pound line. A key to some strikes is a lighter line to let the body bait hunt. Larger diameter lines will also catch fish, they can just slow the action a bit or make it a bit sluggish. We use Berkley mono on our board rods with the fluorocarbon leader attached with a blood knot to the main line. Crosslock snaps by VMC and not swivels are another captain’s trick for better lure action. 

With the early spring we’re having, get out there and enjoy these bull dog-fighting specimens. You can’t catch them from the couch or in front of a computer screen. Grab your buddy and your box of Bay Rats and enjoy the day. Good luck and stay tuned for some killer content on spoon fishing for mega browns!

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FishUSA Staff

Fairview, PA FishUSA Staff is comprised of several anglers with various backgrounds working for FishUSA. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FishUSA Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fishusa/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/fishusa

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