How to Fish Trout Magnets in California Rivers, Creeks, and Streams

California has numerous water bodies, which make the state excellent for trout fishing. There are multiple benefits to fishing, as there are many styles of angling. In this article we will discuss drift fishing using trout magnets. The drift fishing technique helps tourists and locals to navigate a new body of water. If you are going trout fishing in California and feel slightly clueless, you will find this article helpful.

I will be sharing trout fishing tips and other details related to the art of drift fishing for trout to make the process easier for you. But first, I would like to give credit to Addicted Fishing for creating our top reference video.

What are Trout Magnet Jigs?

A trout magnet is a mini half worm fishing grub commonly used to catch rainbow trout and other small-sized fish. You will usually need to place it on a 1/64oz jig head. Trout magnets are useful in a trout fishing setup since they typically come in a kit of multiple colors. If you get an 85 piece kit, there are 15 hooks (five gold, five black, and five silver pieces) and 70 grubs in the colors of:

  • Gold
  • Black
  • White
  • Yellow
  • Pink
  • Bubblegum
  • Black and green mix
  • Chartreuse and more colors depending on the seller.

There are different trout magnet kit sellers on amazon, so there are many variations in colors and kit content. As long as your prey is a small worm-eating fish, you can use a trout magnet to catch it.

You can also use a crappie magnet, but remember they are significantly bigger than trout magnets. Lastly, it is beneficial to note that you can change your trout magnet set up to adapt to different fishing styles.

What is Drift Fishing?

Drift fishing is a form of fishing that works with the idea of the water current moving your bait effortlessly. It can work on all types of water bodies irrespective of their flow pattern. Also, drift fishing is perfect for use in a place where you are learning to locate the fish.

Drift fishing works by drifting your bait in this case your trout magnet close to the bottom of water or towards the surface. You can do this by suspending it under a buoyant device (bopper or popping cork). Often, while drift fishing on a boat, anglers use a drift sock harnessed to the boat. It expands in water to stabilize the boat’s speed. Over time, drift fishers and anglers have changed the approach to accommodate different types of water conditions.

Drift Fishing vs. Bottom Bounce Fishing 

Bottom bouncing is similar to drift fishing. However, it is a modified form of drifting that attracts fish to strike or start feeding on bait. Similar to drifting, it helps anglers locate fish in unfamiliar waters. The steps involved in effective bottom bounce fishing are:

  1. Drag a natural bait or bucktail jig along the bottom of a moving boat
  2. Let the bait stir up little clouds of mud or sand by dragging it. 
  3. After bottom bouncing for a while, strike with other techniques to hook the species you are interested in catching.
  4. Check the bait frequently to avoid leaving debris that you picked up accidentally. 

How To Fish The Mini Trout Magnet In California Rivers, Creeks, and Streams

The entire process of rainbow trout fishing in California streams, creeks, or rivers is relatively straightforward. Once you get your equipment and necessary angles right, the only thing between you and your fish is catching them. Some areas don’t have as much fish as others, so it’s best to angle in sections until you grab a bite. Here is a detailed process for trout fishing in California.

Trout Fishing Setup: How to Organize a Rod and Line to Drift Trout Magnets 

Usually, when organizing a trout fishing setup for trout magnets, you will use the jig heads they come with. However, in this one, we will rig it on a leader line with only a hook. It will allow the grub to float above the bottom. This is what you will need:

  • The reference rod type is a 2-6 pound, 7-feet long ultra-light piece. The weight of the rod makes it easy to catch small fish. However, any kind will do, especially if it is small.
  • A 3000 spinning reel
  • A leader line, the size you use depends on factors like your water clarity (for reference, 12-pounds). It’s better to use a line that you can easily break without ruining your trout fishing setup.
  • A ten-pound braided line. The line cuts through the water and allows a lot of sensitivity to feel the bottom. It will enable you to feel the fish bite and avoid getting caught by debris and floating substances when drifting.
  • A plain barrel swivel for a bit of weight and to separate your leader and braided fishing lines
  • A number two Bait hook.
  • Weight a number 7 split shot

Follow these steps in setting up:

  1. Run the braided line along one side of the swivel, tie an improved clinch knot, and then secure and pull it tight.
  2. Connect the leader line on the other side of the swivel and make knots like in step one.
  3. Link the bait hook to the leader line and secure it.
  4. Add the weight above the swivel above the braided line and clamp it for extra security.
  5. Set up your trout magnet on the hook, just like placing a worm on it. Then let it hang horizontally to mimic a natural presentation.

Choosing the Best Part of Water to Fish: Following Water Flow Current for Effective Trout Fishing

After completing the trout fishing setup, it is now time to start fishing. Since we are focusing on stream-flowing water, you will need to find a place with a moving current. The current will drag the line and allow it to flow down the bottom of the water. In a slow current, you would not be able to drift fish and cast your weight correctly.

Direction, Angles, and Positions for Effective Trout Fishing

After picking a portion of the river, creek, or stream with a pleasant water current, cast from the top of the water flow, throw at a 45-degree angle and follow the stream with your rod to improve tip sensitivity. 

When to change out Trout Magnets Colors 

The next thing to do is follow that pattern and let the grub move along in a natural motion. After covering the desired area, you can now switch your trout magnet for one with another color. Try as many colors as possible before heading up or down stream to the next fishing location. 

Why Use Weights When Trout Fishing in California Rivers, Creeks, and Streams? The Weight Selection Guide

Since your trout fishing experience is in flowing water, weights are vital. Using weights (or sinkers) allows your bait to sink appropriately and follow a more natural procession downstream. If the sinkers are too light or too heavy, they will not follow a proper flow. When rainbow trout fishing, it is essential to start light.  If your rod feels overwhelmed or isn’t hitting bottom fast enough, you can now add weights. Slowly add weight till your bait hits bottom and follows the current naturally.

Setting Up Sinkers: Types of Sinkers to Use

Many anglers buy weights as an afterthought, but it is best to do proper research before buying one. There are many types of sinkers and different ways to rig each one for effective fishing. The right ones will bring the fish running to you. Here are some common types of sinkers.

THKFISH Split-Shot Fishing Weights Sinkers

This is one of the most versatile weights an angler can use. For one thing, you can place them anywhere along your fishing line. In our reference video, they used a split-shot sinker as weights when angling.

OROOTL Fishing Line Sinker Slides

They have holes in their core and are useful for different types of weight fishing. They are the easiest types of sinkers to find in tackle shops.

Worm Weight Fishing Bullet

These are usually cone-shaped and have a hole in their center. These weights are helpful during freshwater bass fishing, and they have different weight varieties.

Drop-Shot Weight Sinker

It is a more simple type of weight that has a looped wire for attachment at the top. The looped wire helps to take a snug fitting fishing line deep into the water. It allows you to change adjustments in weight in response to varying depths.

Toasis Fishing Rubber-Core Sinkers 

These weight types are still in use because you can easily fit them on fishing lines to get bait. Anglers use them when the sinkers they need are more extensive than split shots.

SOUTHBEND Pyramid Sinker

Their use is similar to stationary baits. They are commonly used for holding live baits in areas with plenty of fish. Also, anglers that prefer to stay on-shore and chase catfish use this sinker.

Shrimpy Joe No-roll Sinker Weights

These sinkers have holes in them and are perfect for use during stationary fishing. They lay flat on the bottom and resist the current of water.

Bead Chain Trolling Sinker

These are long, slender weights that can pass through rocky covers. They allow for a streamlined angle when trolling baits.

Essential Trout Magnets Fishing Tips to Remember 

While trout fishing in California streams, lakes, or other water bodies, it will be helpful to remember these trout fishing tips:

  1. Always try to feel the bottom. Lift the rod up and down to avoid hitting bottom. This motion also acts to attract fish towards you.
  2. Try to sense when a fish bites so that you can hook quickly. Most fish bite and pull away, so the speed of catching is helpful.
  3. Prepare for the likelihood of getting a bite when you change the color of the trout magnet.
  4. Try to avoid casting excessive shadows on the water so that you do not chase the fish away. The water usually has sunlight shining on it during the day. So a shadow will be suspicious.
  5. Lastly, remember to be stealthy and quiet. Sudden movements scare the fish away. Fishe also avoid noisy areas, especially when the noise isn’t natural.
  6. When picking lines, remember that they have to be heavy enough to sink but tiny enough to be invincible.
  7. Try different angles and areas of the stream. If you are in a smaller creek or stream, you can move by inches. In larger water bodies, you can move more.


Rainbow trout are fun to catch and make for a delicious meal, but more important than the catching is to enjoy being outdoors. California offers many beautiful rivers and streams. Get out there explore the beautiful scenery and catch some amazing trout with these trout magnet techniques.

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