Ask any freshwater angler about his quintessential spring lure, and you’re likely to get answers like the Rapala Husky Jerk or Mepp’s inline spinner. Pose the same question to a stream angler, and you’ll hear “Trout Magnet” almost every time. Probably no bait is more synonymous with a method and species than this tiny lure, and it is first-rate for scoring early spring trout.
I stumbled upon the Trout Magnet many moons ago when I joined a couple of my fly-fishing buddies on a cold April day. I met them at the bait shop with my ultralight spinning setup. As they picked through the fly boxes and grabbed indicators to fix above their nymphs, one of them strongly suggested I pick up a package of Trout Magnets.
He was a little surprised when I said that I had never heard of them. To me, the lure looked a little bizarre: a tiny jighead and soft-plastic body with a split tail. I took his suggestion, though, and decided to give it a shot. I won’t brag about who caught all the trout that day, but it wasn’t the guys with the fly rods.
Over the years, I’ve gathered more evidence of just how deadly this little gem is on trout. I’ve also learned of its massive popularity with anglers who often aren’t willing to share their secrets.
The Trout Magnet is a 1/64-ounce shad dart fixed with a tiny, grub-shaped, soft-plastic body and a split tail. Rigged, the lure is 1¼-inches in length. The body is available in 33 colors and the jighead in 12 colors. A 50-pack of bodies costs $4.99 and a 5-pack of jigheads runs $1.89. Leland Lures also offers kits with multiple colors of jigheads, bodies, and floats.