If you’re a trout angler in the North-Eastern US, you’ve probably seen this bright yellow or gold trout. Trying to catch this somewhat rare trout might have driven you nuts and lead you to a ton of questions. In this post we are going to tell you all about the Palomino Trout!
What is a Palomino Trout?
The Palomino Trout (Oncorhynchus Mykiss) is the result of cross breading between a rainbow trout and a West Virginia golden trout. Also known as a “banana trout,” “lightning trout,” “golden trout” and even called an “albino trout.” The Palomino Trout gets its classic streak from the rainbow trout and the bright gold color from the West Virginia golden trout.
Palomino Trout vs Rainbow Trout
Palomino Trout are often stocked with Rainbow Trout in most states in the North East. They tend to grow faster than rainbow trout and are often stronger than your average rainbow. The Pennsylvania state record for a Palomino trout is a whopping 13lb. 8oz.
Due to the bright golden color they are also more visible than rainbow trout making them easy targets for predators and anglers. This heavy pressure makes it very difficult to catch. We’ve seen many anglers spend hours trying to catch a Palomino trout and leave without a bite.
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Palomino Trout vs Golden Trout
Palomino trout have been called Golden Trout, but they are not the same fish. Golden rainbow trout originate from West Virginia and are bright yellow with a distinct red horizontal band along the lateral line. A Palomino trout is similar in look, but a little less bright and in some cases look like an albino rainbow trout.
The Palomino trout and the Golden trout both come from the same mutation of the rainbow trout with some color variations. Next time you’re looking at that bright golden fish in the water you’ll probably wonder if you’re looking at a Palomino or Golden Rainbow. One rule of thumb is the lighter the trout is, the more likely it’s a Palomino. However if you’re in West Virginia, you’re likely seeing a Golden trout.
About the Palomino Trout
Originally classified under the rainbow trout family, the Palomino was discovered to be one of the subspecies-mutations of the rainbow trout. While the Redband Trout and Golden trout were also considered the same subspecies as the Palomino, the Golden trout is now recognized as an independent species.
The Palomino trout is the result of intentional cross-breeding of the standard rainbow trout and the golden trout from West Virginia. While the Palomino trout can breed in the wild, wild populations of Palominos are very limited. This could be due to the high pressure that Palomino trout deal with during their lifetime or due to a predominate genes of the traditional rainbow trout.
Most Palomino trout are bred in hatcheries and have grown in popularity over time due to their striking colors and notorious fight. As more anglers try and target these prized game fish, hatcheries are focusing on providing more opportunities for all anglers to catch one.
The only “catch” is that they are very difficult to catch. You can increase your chances by knowing where to catch them and what baits and lures to use.
How to Catch a Palomino Trout
Finding a Palomino trout is easy if you know where to look. The bright colors are a dead giveaway, but this is only if you know where they like to hide. Like most fish, they tend to hide in shady areas or deep pools. Look for eddies near large rocks or ledges, blowdowns and brush. Palomino trout like other trout species are ambush predators and will hold near structure waiting for their next meal.
Focus on hard to reach areas that are a few miles deep in places that most people wont go. Fish during the stocking schedule so you know when trout are being put in the water. Change your lures if you’re not getting a bite. Trout are leery of lures they are seeing over and over again, mix things up to make sure you’re covering all your bases.
Palomino Trout Lures
Palomino trout lures are the same as your standard rainbow trout lures. You’re going to want to use ultralight jigs and lures or fast moving flashy lures. Since trout are a bit finicky, we like to stay on the lighter side of things throwing jigs like the 1/64 oz. Mule Jig or a trout magnet jig that is the same size.
Donkey Tail Jr.
Mule Fishing Donkey Tail Jr.Buy Now Disclaimer – This website uses affiliate links and get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Our favorite trout lure is the Donkey Tail Jr. from Mule Fishing. While actually a multispecies lure, it’s very effective suspended under a float. The subtle action of the boot tail attracts fish and entices them to take a bite. We pair this up with a 1/64 oz. Mule Jig in chartreuse, pink, or fire red.
Mule Minnow 1.2 Inch
Mule Fishing Mule MinnowBuy Now Disclaimer – This website uses affiliate links and get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
We like the 1.2 inch Mule Minnow for the same reason we like the Donkey Tail Jr. It has subtle action and is very durable. You can size down and even through this on the 1/80 oz. Mule Jig or a similar jig. Put this on a slip float rig or twitch it as you retrieve it back to yourself. Trout will definitely want to take a bite.
Worden’s Original Rooster Tail
Yakima Bait Original Rooster Tail Inline SpinnerBuy Now Disclaimer – This website uses affiliate links and get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
An inline spinner is a classic trout fishing lure. Our favorite is the Worden’s Original Rooster Tail. You can find it at almost any tackle shop and they don’t cost an arm and a leg. They don’t require any tuning or adjusting, you can fish it right out of the box. They also come in a variety of colors so you can experiment and see what the trout are biting.
Trout Magnet Original Kit
Trout Magnet Original 152 Piece KitBuy Now Disclaimer – This website uses affiliate links and get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
This is the perfect little trout fishing kit. It has jigs, it has split tail grubs in several proven colors and hi-viz floats that are easy to detect strikes from even the lightest trout bites. The only thing missing is some split shot, but we throw that right in there with the floats. This is the go-to grab and go trout fishing kit. Suspend a trout magnet under a trout float and you’ll be catching trout in no time.
Mike’s Fishing Trout Bait Salmon Eggs
Mike’s Fishing Trout Bait Salmon EggsBuy Now Disclaimer – This website uses affiliate links and get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Mike’s Salmon Eggs are a classic lure for catching trout. They float so you can put them on a light hook under a float with some split shot. These work well because most trout that are grown in a hatchery are fed on pellets that are a similar size. Mike’s Salmon Eggs also come with a very strong scent that will make even the most stubborn trout want to take a bite.
Palomino Trout Rods and Reels
Shimano Sienna 1000
Shimano Sienna 1000 Spinning ReelBuy Now Disclaimer – This website uses affiliate links and get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
|Line Capacity||2/270 4/140 6/110|
|Max Drag||7 lbs.|
The Shimano Sienna is one of our favorite ultralight fishing lures. It’s affordable, easily found in almost any tackle shop, and durable. Shimano is a classic brand that knows what it is doing with this budget friendly reel. It’s super smooth and reels in great. The drag adjustment is super sensitive too.
For around $30 you can have a reel that performs like a $50-60 reel. At only 7.2 ounces it is light as a feather. It has an amazing drag system of 7 lbs. and a gear ratio of 5.0:1. It looks great paired with any neutral colored rod. It’s well balanced and sits great on any ultralight rods. This is our go-to reel for any ultralight fishing application.
Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Ultralight Rod
Berkley Lightning Rod Trout RodBuy Now Disclaimer – This website uses affiliate links and get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
|Line Weight||4-8 lbs.|
|Lure Weight||1/16-3/8 oz.|
The Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Rod is an amazing ultralight rod. We like the 7′ version for that extra cast-ability. It also makes it very easy to mend your line while you’re letting a float rig work through some current. With a name like the Lightning rod, it’s like it’s made to catch Lightning trout.
Shakespeare Catch More Fish – Trout Combo
Shakespeare Catch More Fish Trout ComboBuy Now Disclaimer – This website uses affiliate links and get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
|Line Weight||4-8 lbs.|
|Lure Weight||1/16-3/8 oz|
The Shakespeare Catch More Fish trout combo is a great starter combo for any angler. You get more than a rod and a reel you also get a tackle box filled with lures like inline spinners, mice tails, hooks, weights, and a stringer. If you’re looking to start trout fishing for Palomino this is a great place to get a complete package.
Can you Eat Palomino Trout
Palomino trout are very tasty. They taste just like a standard rainbow trout except the flesh is a little more orange than your average rainbow trout. They are great to smoke, deep fry, or even pan sear for some trout tacos.
Where can you catch Palomino Trout
Palomino trout are mainly a stocked fish and bred in hatcheries along the North Eastern United States. You can find them along the East coast in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Maryland. You can also sometimes find them in West Virginia mixed in with Golden Trout.
Are Palomino Trout Sterile?
Palomino Trout are not Sterile and can reproduce. However due to their high visibility colors, they are often caught before they get a chance to spawn. Wild Palomino trout are very rare and limited due to several conditions.
Are Palomino Trout Rare?
Many anglers consider Palomino Trout to be a rare and prized fish catch. Because they are grown in hatcheries in limited quantities, not everyone gets a chance to catch this fish. If you see one and you’re all alone you are going to want to catch this fish.
What do Palomino Trout eat?
Palomino trout have the same diet as a rainbow trout. They will eat insects, crawfish, worms, and other fish eggs. When they are in the hatchery they are mainly fed on fish pellets. When a Palomino trout is large enough it will feed on other small baitfish.
Is a Palomino Trout an Albino Rainbow Trout?
No, while it can look more pale in the water and some call it an albino rainbow trout, the Palomino trout is yellow or a pale yellow in color. A Palomino trout is a sub-species of the rainbow trout so it does have the red stripe along the lateral line which can make it look like an albino rainbow trout.
Everything you need to know about a Palomino Trout
With their popularity growing and the opportunities increasing, more and more people will be looking to get their chance to catch a Palomino trout. Thank you for reading and good luck on your fishing adventures!