Have you ever heard of trout fishing with corn? We recently gave it a shot and found that corn can work for trout fishing, but like anything, it depends on the conditions and whether the fish are biting that day.
Some anglers swear by corn trout fishing, as it’s a convenient and cost-effective way to attract fish. Here’s what we’ve learned about trout fishing with corn.
Does Corn Kill Trout?
One of the best things about fishing with corn is that it doesn’t kill trout. Although some anglers believe corn harms fish and their digestive tracts, studies show corn has no harmful effects on fish.
While corn is generally safe for fish, it still shouldn’t be used during catch and release fishing. If trout or another fish chomp down hard and swallow a hook with corn, it could be dangerous to remove it.
It’s best to plan on keeping fish caught with corn bait so long as it’s legal. Artificial lures or barbless hooks are better for catch and release.
Is Corn Good For Trout Fishing?
Considering the low-risk of fishing with corn, these kernels are a good choice when it comes to affordable, successful fishing.
Corn has been a popular bait for decades thanks to the cheap cost and the high chances of having corn in the kitchen pantry to begin with. It’s convenient, easy, and most of all, attractive to trout and panfish such as bluegill, crappie, and perch.
Corn is also good because it stays on the hook longer than other soft baits. There are several types of corn to try for trout fishing, including dry feed corn, shoepeg corn, or dye-cured corn.
Trout may feast on plain canned or frozen corn too. If possible, bring a few different types out on the water and see what works best.
Do Trout Like Sweet Corn?
Something about sweet corn really draws trout in. It could be the sweet taste and smell, or even the bright yellow color that attracts trout to sweet corn bait. Especially in clear water with good visibility, it makes sense that trout may head straight toward sweet corn.
Whole-kernel corn usually works better than fresh corn, which may be linked to the fine-ground corn and other grains in fish pellets that are fed to stocked populations and hatcheries.
Garlic Corn for Trout
One of the neat things about fishing with corn is that there are a few simple tricks to make the corn even more attractive for trout. Garlic sweet corn is a prime example. The garlic scent disperses quickly through the water to capture the attention of trout and other fish.
We like to mix powdered or roasted garlic into the sweet corn cans to create a potent bait. Let it marinate overnight for the best results, otherwise, in a hurry, grab a packet of garlic powder spice to sprinkle on the corn before hooking the line.
When compared to the cost of buying new bait and tackle all the time, garlic sweet corn makes sense as affordable and successful trout bait.
How to Catch Trout With Corn
The key to catching trout with corn is rigging a hook with one or two kernels and letting it float just off the bottom. If you’re fishing in a lake or river with stocked trout, the fish most likely grew up eating corn pellets, so it may not take long before there’s a bite.
Here are the steps to rig a corn kernel on the hook.
- Tie a size 8 or 10 hook with a clinch knot on the end of the line.
- Add one, two, or three corn kernels to the tip of the hook. Cover the pointed barb.
- Put several split shot sinkers six inches higher than the hook to keep the kernels underwater. Add extra weight in rivers and streams with fast currents.
- Cast away and reel in the slack for a taut line and be ready to set the barb when you feel a bite.
Remember, trout like to hide behind trees and rocks. They also prefer dark conditions over bright light, so try fishing with corn during the morning or late afternoon/evening. The less light there is, the more likely trout will be near the surface feeding.
Tips on Fishing For Trout With Corn
As with anything out on the water, it’s best to learn from experience. Some days the fish just aren’t biting as well as others, and that’s okay. Having a variety of bait and giving corn a good shot will increase the chances of a decent catch.
Follow these helpful hints to see what works best for reeling in trout with corn.
- Keep the corn in place. Thread down the middle and tuck the hook in by doubling back on the corn kernel.
- Consider corn dyes and scents. Similar to garlic sweet corn, there are special dyes and scents for fire corn and more, which you can buy online or from the local bait shop. Switch things up to keep trout interested.
- Use larger corn for bigger fish. Feed corn can be bought in bulk for a low price, and it’s great when chasing larger trout and other big fish. Most feed corn should be rehydrated and boiled before trout fishing.
Is Fishing With Corn Illegal?
Many anglers are concerned with the legality of fishing with corn. There’s a common misconception that fishing with corn is illegal when in reality, it’s legal to use corn as bait in all but one U.S. state. Only Rhode Island does not allow corn bait for fishing, otherwise, it’s legal everywhere else in the U.S.
Keep in mind the difference between fishing and chumming with corn. While most states allow anglers to use corn as bait on their fishing line, chumming, which involves throwing corn and fish bones in the water to stir up activity, is not always legal. Some states may prohibit corn chumming in certain bays or bodies of water.
Although fishing with corn as bait is legal in most parts of the U.S. it’s always best to check with the state DNR to confirm the rules for using corn during fishing activities.