Fishing with Corn: A Great Bait for Trout

Corn on fishing hook

Catching trout is a favorite pastime for many anglers, and there are a variety of techniques and baits that can be used to lure them in. One technique that has gained popularity in recent years is using corn as bait. While it may seem unusual to use corn to catch fish, it can be very effective.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of using corn as bait, as well as some tips and tricks for catching trout with this simple yet effective method.

Why corn is a great bait for trout

There are three main reasons why recommend using corn to catch trout.

  1. Effective: We’ll explain why later, but corn is an effective bait for catching trout. It can also be used in a variety of fishing situations, from still water to flowing streams.
  2. Cheap: Corn is an affordable bait option. Plus, you probably already have it in your cupboard.
  3. Easy to hook: Corn is easy to rig and hook, which can be especially helpful for newer anglers.

Next let’s talk about why trout like corn so much.

Why do trout like corn?

Trout are attracted to corn for a few reasons.

First, trout are often raised in hatcheries and fed a diet that includes corn, so they are familiar with the taste and smell of this food.

When corn is prepared properly as bait, it can mimic the look and texture of natural trout food, such as insect larvae or small fish eggs, which can entice trout to bite.

How to rig corn on a hook

Once you’ve decided to use corn for bait it is important that it is hooked in the correct
manner and on the right sized hook. By far the best way to hook corn is to mount it directly onto the
hook which should be either a size 10 or 8. You can choose to use one kernel on the hook or
to thread two or three kernels onto the hook to cover the shank and the point of the barb.

For more info on hooks, check out the 3 best trout hooks.

Real corn vs artificial corn

Artificial corn bait, such as Berkley Gulp! Corn or Powerbait, are synthetic baits designed to mimic the scent and appearance of real corn. This type of bait has become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly among anglers who are looking for a convenient and effective alternative to using real corn.

Let’s compare the two types.


One of the main advantages of using artificial corn bait is that it can be more potent than real corn in terms of its scent. This can be particularly useful when fishing in heavily fished areas where fish may have become accustomed to the smell of real corn.


In my experience, they both work equally well in most situations. Whichever type you’re using, you’ll find out if the fish are biting it within a few minutes. If trout aren’t biting one type, they probably won’t go after the other.

Price and availability

Another advantage of using real corn is that it is typically cheaper than artificial corn bait, making it a more cost-effective option for anglers who are looking to save money. Additionally, real corn can be easily found at most bait shops and grocery stores.

Check Price of Berkley Gulp! on Amazon

One potential disadvantage of both real and artificial corn bait is that they tend to fall off the hook easily, particularly if not rigged correctly.

Tips for catching trout with corn

Here are some things we’ve learned while trout fishing with corn:

  • When using corn as bait, fish it under a bobber or by using a small sinker a few inches above the hook and fish it on the bottom.
  • Cast near structures such as around fallen trees or weed beds in still waters, where trout are known to hunt
  • When fishing in flowing water such as rivers, the trout can usually be found pools, waiting for a meal to come to them
  • Trout can strike very quickly but are also very quick to reject the bait if they suspect something is unnatural, so keep a tight line and set the hook immediately.
  • Use a quality trout rod. Spinning or casting rods will both work for corn.

Other ways to rig corn for trout

For anglers looking for alternative methods to the basic single-hook rig, the Carolina rig and float rig can be effective ways to rig corn on a hook.

Carolina rig

A Carolina rig is a good option for fishing in deeper water or in areas with a lot of vegetation or structure. To rig corn on a Carolina rig, start by sliding a small egg sinker onto your mainline, followed by a swivel. Tie a leader line (about 12-18 inches long) to the other end of the swivel, and then tie your hook to the end of the leader. Thread a kernel of corn onto the hook as described in the basic rig method.

Float rig

A float rig can be a good option for fishing in shallow water or for targeting suspended trout. Start by sliding a float (like a bobber) onto your mainline, followed by a small split shot weight. Tie a leader line (about 12-18 inches long) to the end of the mainline, and then tie your hook to the end of the leader. Thread a kernel of corn onto the hook and adjust the float so that the corn is at the desired depth.

Canned or frozen corn?

Both canned and frozen corn can be used as bait for trout fishing. I prefer canned corn because the kernels seem to be bigger. And personally I prefer to eat canned corn so I’m guessing the trout do too!

An advantage of using frozen corn is that you can take as much or as little as you need from the bag, and then reseal and return the rest to the freezer for later use.

Ultimately, both canned and frozen corn can be effective for catching trout, and it may come down to personal preference and convenience.

Wrapping up

Corn is one of our favorite ways to catch trout. Corn is a readily available and inexpensive bait that can be used to entice trout. Artificial corn bait, such as corn-scented Powerbait, can offer a more potent scent. It’s a great bait for newbies and experienced anglers alike.

Good luck and happy fishing!

Frequently asked questions

Is it legal to fish with corn?

In most cases yes, but some states have restrictions. Here’s a good resource for all 50 states:

What species of trout like corn?

Corn can be an effective bait for several species of trout, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. These fish are known to feed on a wide range of food sources, including insects, small crustaceans, and baitfish, and they will often take corn as well.

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