Many people often overlook the fact that trout varieties are common in the south. Trout species are not just northern fish. Consider making a trip to the south to catch Georgia trout, South Carolina trout, and North Carolina trout. Three of the more prevalent trout in these southern states include brown trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout. What are the differences between these three trout and what do you need to know before heading out trout fishing?

What Bodies Of Water Can You Go Trout Fishing?

Depending on the type of trout you are searching for, they are found in creeks, lakes, rivers, and streams, mostly away from the coastal areas of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.  

Brook trout are not common in lakes, whereas rainbow trout and brown trout are prevalent in many. The most significant population of brook trout is found in small streams. 

How Healthy are Trout populations in the South?

Hundreds of thousands of anglers target trout each year in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Because of the significant number of people engaging in fishing, stocking programs are necessary to keep the trout population in check. 

Each year over two million trout, which include brook, brown, and rainbow, are released. Because of the excellent stocking programs in each state, anglers are more likely to have a successful fishing adventure. Also, you will have a fairly even opportunity to catch brook trout vs brown trout vs rainbow trout.  

How to identify each type of the three trout

The brown trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout are all easily distinguishable from each other. It is essential to know the difference if you plan to harvest them for a meal to follow the regulations put in place for each species. 

Brown Trout

The first of the trout in the comparison is the brown trout. 

What does a brown trout look like

A brown trout, like its name, is brown in color. From the dorsal fin, halfway down, the length of the body is scattered with black spots. 

They range from seven inches long to fifty-five inches long. However, in the south, they are unlikely to be found larger than thirty inches. When comparing the brown trout vs rainbow trout, the two are similar in size.

What do brown trout eat

Much like any trout, they primarily feed on insects. Some of the insects include beetles, aquatic bugs, and sometimes small baitfish. 

Rainbow Trout

No matter if you at a baby rainbow trout or a full-size rainbow trout, they are beautiful-looking fish.

What does a rainbow trout look like

One of the easiest ways to identify a rainbow trout is its pink-colored stripe running from head to tail. It resembles that of a rainbow. Except for the pink line, the upper half of the body is silver, and the lower half is white. Black spots cover both sides of the fish from head to tail. The brook vs rainbow trout differs significantly in coloration and size.

The average rainbow trout measures around fifteen inches and length and weighs in a range of two and eight pounds, depending on food availability. Understand that a rainbow trout vs brook trout is substantially different in size. However, in the south, you likely won’t come across a world-record rainbow trout but rather an abundance. 

These won’t be confused with the golden rainbow trout that only lives in Western states’ streams and rivers. 

What do rainbow trout eat

When comparing the brook trout vs rainbow, The rainbow trout has a slightly larger diet than the brook trout. A rainbow trout will feast on fish eggs, worms, land and water insects, and crustaceans.

Brook Trout

A brook trout is the smallest trout found in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia and mostly confined to streams. The size is a primary difference between brook trout and rainbow trout.

What does a brook trout look like

This type of trout is filled with color but darker colors when compared to the rainbow trout. The upper half of the fish is typically olive green but fades below to a red or orange, depending on the environment. The belly is almost always white. Look for elongated yellow dates on both sides of the body. 

Almost all brook trout are caught between nine and ten inches long. Don’t let the small size fool you. They put up a big fight. When comparing the fight of a brook trout vs brown trout, the two species fight similarly.

What Methods Are Used To Catch Trout

The most popular method of catching trout is flyfishing. The rainbow vs brook trout requires smaller sized flies, whereas the rainbow trout vs brown trout can be targeted with larger flies.

In addition, to fly fishing for Trout in GA, trout fishing NC and trout fishing SC, conventional fishing with spinning reels is highly effective. Therefore, if you’re not into fly fishing utilize a light weight spinning or baitcasting combination.

Tie up your favorite fly or drop an egg sack or other bait on a fishing reel hook right in front of feeding fish for your best results. 

To find trout, focus your attention on deep creek pools and eddies. Also, it is not uncommon to come across stocked trout ponds. Keep a sharp lookout as sight casting yields higher catch rates. However, brook trout vs rainbow trout and brown trout are smaller and more challenging to spot.

Are Trout Worth Eating

Yes, the consumption of trout is exceptionally healthy. The fillets are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Trout is ideal to consume because of the health benefits. Keep in mind that the regulations vary based on the body of water and state. Make sure you are keeping fish that are legal to harvest in the area.

Should you go trout fishing in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia?

When it comes time to decide if you should go away for a fun family trip, the answer is almost always yes. You will find rainbow trout farms in these states but know that they can be caught naturally. One of the most popular past times is fly fishing North Carolina because of its abundance of trout species. However, keep in mind that trout fishing GA and trout fishing SC are just as popular. In addition to rainbow trout farms, these states are lucky to have a brown trout farm and brook trout farm to keep our populations high.