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Palomino Trout: How To Catch, Prepare, and Enjoy These Amazing Fish

A Palomino Trout is a type of trout that lives in the Pacific Northwest. They are typically found near lowland streams but can be found anywhere throughout their habitat. A Palomino Trout has a brilliant gold body with black spots and red fins. These fish grow to be about 10 inches long on average, but have been known to grow as big as 12 inches!

If you’re an avid angler, you know how much of a treat it is to catch something as gorgeous as a Palomino trout. These vibrant fish may not be extremely rare, but they sure can be a bit tricky to catch if you don’t know anything about them.

Palomino Trout

The Characteristics of Palomino Trout

Palomino trout are essentially Rainbow trout and West Virginia Golden trout cross-breed. While it looks similar to both of these fish, it is clear when you catch one that this fish is unlike either of its parents. This Hall of Fame fish is definitely one that’s worth looking out for when you’re on the water, so here are its basic characteristics to look out for. 

Appearance

These fish aren’t called Swimming Bananas for no reason. Being a cross-breed of such bright fish, it is no wonder that Palomino trouts are bright yellow in color. 

You’ll also find these trout sporting deep orange colors, as well, but both are just as vibrant as one another. Occasionally, these beautiful fish will even sport a dark gold stripe all down their back, adding to the beauty of this unique fish. In even the murkiest water, these bright yellow or orange fish stand out like a sore thumb.

Their Size

These fish grow much, much faster than your typical Rainbow trout, making them a bit longer and stronger, as well. If you’re lucky, the Palomino trout can be quite a hefty catch, as they’ve been reported to weigh up to 13 lbs. 

On average, the size of these fish ranges anywhere from 12 to 20 inches long. But, be warned, with their mighty size, they do put up a bit of a fight. This is why having the proper fishing equipment is key–but we’ll talk about that later. 

Where to Find Palomino Trout

Now that you know what these beautiful fish look like, the next step is understanding where you can find them. 

As much as we’d all love to believe that Palomino trout are swimming free in your nearest pond, that’s simply not the case. Here’s where they live and the best time of the day and year to try to catch them. 

Where They Live

If you’re really looking to catch some Palomino trout, your best bet is to head on over to historic Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is the home to most of the Palomino trout in the United States, so you have the highest chance of getting a good catch visiting here. 

However, fishing organizations in Pennsylvania have slowly been working to distribute Palomino trout to hatcheries across the country. That being said, take the time to seek out a hatchery if you’re looking for one of these fish, as you likely won’t come across them in the wild unless you’re in PA. 

The Times of Day/Seasons

When it comes to the time of the day, as well as the season for catching trout, you have to be careful. Easily the best time to look for these bright yellow fish are during the spring, as they’re the most active in the water. This gives you a much better chance of snagging one of these trout on your line. 

Try heading out for your fishing trip before the sun rises. Again, the fish are going to be the most active early in the morning, typically during sunrise, as well as during sunset. Even though you’ll be a bit sleepy, the Palomino trout definitely won’t be. 

Catching Palomino Trout

As we mentioned at the start, catching these fish is a little bit trickier than you may think. These hefty fish require the right lures and a whole lot of patience to get right, but we’re here to help. 

Palomino Trout in a net

What to Know

It’s important to note that this is trophy fish for a reason. When you do catch one of these, it definitely took quite a bit of skill and patience to get there. 

Often, when you place live bait on your hook and wait for a bite from one of these fish, they’ve munched it off and swam away by the time you’re reeling it in. Or, they spend a moment with your bait and find themselves uninterested. 

Because of this, actually catching one on your line is trickier than you’d think. Even if you’ve placed yourself right in the middle of Pennsylvania before the sun comes up, you’re going to need the right bait and lure to get your precious Palomino trout. To do so, you have to invest in steady, heavy lures to get the job done. 

Plastic Wobbler

The Best Lures and Bait for Catching 

If you’re looking for a classic lure that is sure to attract some Palomino trout, we’d suggest investing in the Rapala Countdown Trout Lure

This traditional lure is one that many anglers already use, and for good reason. These lures are realistic looking, move effortlessly within the water, and have enough weight to keep them firm and steady in the water. This lure has a sinking depth of up to 3 feet, making them ideal for shy fish like the Palomino. 

Many experienced fishermen turn to the Siberian Night Crawler Egg Trout Bait to catch the Palominos of their dreams. These enticing pieces of bait smell and taste like salmon eggs, making them extremely enticing for trout of all types, but especially the sought-after Palomino. Whether you’re fishing in slow-moving or fast-moving waters, this simple (and smelly) bait may be the difference between you coming home empty or with a cooler full of Palomino. 

Even though we mentioned turning towards a heavier bait to get these trout’s attention, sometimes, the opposite method can be just as efficacious. If the water is full of heavy, low-floating baits, the Palomino are likely to get scared and, instead, swim to the top of the water. 

If they do this, having light, floating baits such as Berkley PowerBait, can make a world of difference. Make sure you have both lightweight and heavy lures on hand to see which technique proves successful for you. 

Best Palomino Trout Recipe

Seasoned Palomino Trout 

If you’re looking for a basic way to treat and cook your Palomino catch of the day, here’s a simply delicious recipe to season it up and prepare it for the whole family. This recipe comes from Midwest Life and it’s easily our favorite way to prepare this golden fish. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2.8 ounces fresh Palomino trout or other trout fillets or whitefish fillet
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh morel or other mushrooms (such as crimini, shiitake and/or button), halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 7.5 ounce can tomatoes, cut up, or 1/2 of a 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic
  • ½ cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 12 fresh asparagus spears (about 8 ounces), cooked until crisp-tender*
  • Lemon wedges (optional)
  • Fresh herbs (optional)

Start by taking a medium to large skillet and heating it over high-heat with olive oil. As the oil is heating, pat your Palomino dry on both sides and coat the fish in half of your servings of salt, pepper, and flour. Then, place the fish fillets’ skin side down into the pan. Cook it for about three minutes, flip it, and cook for another three minutes. Then, transfer to a warm plate. 

With your remaining salt, pepper, and flour, coat your mushrooms. Then, cook them in the pan with garlic and hot butter until browned. Then, add your tomatoes and broth, (or wine) and cook until it is bubbling. 

Then, reduce the heat and boil uncovered for five minutes until the sauce thickens up. Add your asparagus and then serve over your beautiful Palomino trout. Feel free to add some lemon wedges and fresh herbs for even more flavor and nice plating. 

Start Fishing!

What are you waiting for? It’s time to start catching your own Palomino trout! Even though these bright yellow and orange fish can be a bit tricky to catch, that doesn’t mean they’re impossible. 

Now that you know exactly where to find them, how to catch them, and even how to cook them, there should be no reason you come home empty-handed. So, the next time you’re getting prepared to head out to the water, make sure you’re ready to catch one of these Hall of Famers.

Curious about other types of fish and how to catch them? The Broken Reel is here to help. On our site, you can find various posts about all types of angling, helping you to become the best fisherman possible. 

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