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Fish: Rainbow Trout

biggest eater trout

Post By: lvrider      Posted: 8/31/2020 3:00:18 PM     Points: 63    
What is the biggest sized trout you'll eat? Whenever I'm pike fishing I let all the pike go and keep the trout to teach the trout to not be evil carnivores. Some days I catch more trout than pike. I catch so many trout on trout patterns I had to switch to pike patterns.
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: Aug. 31, 3:26:19 PM     Points: 59330    
16 to 20 inch. Nothing to do with taste, I think if you pull them from good water and they've been in there a couple years, they'll be delicious. I just like releasing ALL large fish, regardless of species.

BTW I grill trout skin side down for 8 to 9 minutes and then flip them for about 20 seconds to sear the other side.
 Reply by: panfishin      Posted: Aug. 31, 3:45:13 PM     Points: 8397    
I'm with AWB. for trout I usually stick to that 16-20" range, partially because we don't eat a bunch of fish in one sitting. I brought an 18.5" home from Antero on Thursday and smoked it for me and the wife and we still have a little over 1/2 of one of the fillets left.
 Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: Aug. 31, 4:09:28 PM     Points: 57130    
Yep Jim hit it just right. I let just about everything over 20 inch go regardless of specie. For lake trout specifically I like 15 to 17 inchers the best. Easy to clean. I release all other trout and generally do my best not to catch them.
 Reply by: Smelly      Posted: Aug. 31, 4:17:45 PM     Points: 25062    
Agree with the other posts. Over that 20 maybe 21 in mark. They’ll still eat good. But why not share the thrill fo catching a good one with somebody else. And a 20+ in trout ,will put up a respectable fight. Too much fun to waste on the grill. As for the lower end. At about that 15- 16/in mark they start to develop some fat. And anybody that cooks knows “ fat is flavor “ . That’s why I can’t see all the frenzy that people have over 10.5 in stockers . The meat is Just ok at best . And IMO , they aren’t worth the effort to clean and fillet. Unless you want some practice at doing that .
 Reply by: spawnbags      Posted: Sep. 1, 5:47:33 AM     Points: 1    
I also believe the middle-sized ones are the best eating the big ones are more fishier but the pike are the better than that trout, you don't know what you're missing if you haven't ate one of the big Pike
 Reply by: Eyefishing      Posted: Sep. 1, 8:30:25 AM     Points: 1986    
I really only like brook trout and we all know that they don't get that big so 10 to 15 in. is about it for me. now walleye, I will keep a couple every year but release most all fish and keep nothing over 20in.
 Reply by: jdavis      Posted: Sep. 1, 10:30:07 AM     Points: 118    
My rule of thumb has always been: If its a trout less than 20" don't eat it. If its a trout >= 20" also just don't eat it.
 Reply by: MOJO      Posted: Sep. 1, 12:27:11 PM     Points: 741    
I like most any trout as long as it's very pink meated. I only keep what we eat fresh. I need to get some pike and try some good recipes. I checked out Youtube vids about cleaning and deboning, so maybe a trip to 11mile or Spinney is in order.
 Reply by: Kolorado KingFisher      Posted: Sep. 1, 1:57:00 PM     Points: 82    
I like to put anything over 25 inches in my garden, they make great compost!
 Reply by: dempa      Posted: Sep. 1, 4:00:46 PM     Points: 0    
Where do you find the ones with pinker meat? Higher elevation?
 Reply by: ScottyK      Posted: Sep. 1, 4:13:45 PM     Points: 139    
This is Aurora trout..put and take variety stockers take a season to get to nice hold over meat..
 Reply by: Digginjiggin      Posted: Sep. 1, 6:12:01 PM     Points: 318    
Pretty much like Jim and others on the size, 16-20”, release bigger than 20”.
The color and quality of meat, and taste, is a function of water clarity, temperature and main food source. For example, when I was a college kid fishing the Poudre River, I kept 16”browns on the lower river to eat, but they were white meated and not that good. Rainbows farther upstream were pink and a lot better. I learned that any trout feeding primarily on scuds or crawdads were the orange meated ones that are close to salmon. On rivers, mostly tail waters. On lakes, those that have a high number of small crawdads. These fillets are from a section of the Gunnison that has a lot of small crawdads.
 Reply by: Goosehunter82      Posted: Sep. 1, 6:22:37 PM     Points: 57130    
Good info they're diggin. Personally I like the orange color trout meat better than any other. The funny thing is I've caught trout out of the same lake at the same time of year and some of them are pink and some of them are orange and I can never tell the difference from the outside.
 Reply by: Digginjiggin      Posted: Sep. 1, 7:05:14 PM     Points: 318    
Goose, the closer to spawning season they get, the faster the meat gets paler and more watery. They don’t all spawn at the same time. Females seem to get paler quicker than the males. I have quit keeping browns now for this reason and will start keeping only Miramonte rainbows. They are the best eating trout I’ve had and rival Silver Salmon imo.
 Reply by: FishHuntNow      Posted: Sep. 2, 7:12:14 AM     Points: 413    
14 to 16 inches. I'm with AWB, large fish need to keep growing so we have something fun to catch.
 Reply by: Freestone303      Posted: Sep. 2, 10:13:56 AM     Points: 448    
I once kept a trout out of Chatfield. That thing was nasty! We ate it, but never again will I take one home from the front range. I assume it was more of a shad eater than a crawdad eater. This was also springtime, not long after ice out. But those higher elevation lakes with good scud & crawdad populations are going to be better eaters. I agree with the size range of others (16-20"). Big enough to be a meal for a few people, but not too big. I'd rather catch big ones than eat them. If camping, a 14" is a great size for dinner if sharing. Not that I eat a lot of fish anyway. I may keep a few each year.
I did smoke 2 stocker size trout (from a high altitude lake) for the first time recently. I probably won't do that again, too many bones for too little meat. Not that it was bad, but it just wasn't worth the trouble.
 Reply by: wingman13      Posted: Sep. 2, 11:22:47 AM     Points: 811    
trout feeding primarily on scuds or crawdads were the orange meated ones that are close to salmon

This^^^^^^^^. Mysis shrimp also will give you the pinker meat.

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