Why do Trout Jump out of the Water? – 9 Reasons

Trout rise aspects have been a discussion among anglers in clubs, on online forums and the banks. A rookie would see the jumps as a phenomenon just like dolphins do when hyper. But why do trout jump out of the water? Primarily, it is to catch emergers as they are top in the menu list. However, there are other reasons for the jump just like there are for a splash, a swirl, a gulp, a subtle head peeping into the water films and a wink in water surfaces.

All the trout jumps happen by similar physical and biological properties as when they make various rising forms. During any rise, a trout opens its jaws to create a vacuum and sucks in water, a bug, or most often, air. Watching a trout jump allows the angler to understand and appreciate the adaptation features of this species towards predation. Brookies hardly jump while rainbow trout are mostly associated with jumping higher.

Why do trout jump out of the water? A trout jumping

Food motivates all living things including fish. For trout, it gives them extraordinary feats hence the jumps. In this case, the emergers and other insects aren’t in the water. They are in the air slightly above the surface of the water. Others could be flying around. Trout have to employ the jumping strategy to feed. Trout easily target insects that fly low. This is common during the mayfly season. Normally, trout are energy conservers and love to feed on the surface of the water. Jumping consumes a lot of their calories but when there is a hearty meal in prevalence, why not?

2. To Escape Predators

Just like a hunter goes after a meal he sees will suit him, so does a fisherman/woman. The two might involve predation but approach aspects are different. Trophy fish feed on smaller fish and a trout will feel the need to keep safe from the angler’s hook. This makes the aquatic food chain sustainable otherwise if all trout would have made themselves available to the predator, the chain would have crashed.

Aquatic life has fish as a primary part of the food chain hence the continuous predator and prey relationship. Trout will strive to prevent landing in the predator’s net or another fish’s mouth. Anglers have devised means of camouflaging hooks and flies to lure the fish more. But how trout perceive some colors is what keeps them on high alert of any potential human predator.

3. To Drop External Parasites

Trout too are affected by external parasites. You may think that because of their slippery gills and sharp fins, they are safe. Maybe not because leeches, lice (Argulus), external protozoa, and Salmincola siscowet are common on the skin of trout. The latter is very common in lake trout. Trout can’t counter such parasites using their fins or mouths. The only option is to jump in desperation. Parasites that are loosely attached will fall back into the water waiting to cling on another fish. These parasites are irritating, uncomfortable, and the jumps are a way of debugging.

4. Getting the Angler’s Hook out of their Mouth

Have you had KFC and it stuck in between your teeth? The discomfort and rush to get a floss or bamboo toothpick are unexplainable. Trout feel worse when your hooks and bait get stuck in their mouths. They go crazy and attempt to get the hook out by jumping. When they flip and flop out of the water, they get more slack in the fishing line and the hook can easily get out. Most anglers have lost fish because they breach the water. To avoid losing as many in this manner, how fast you reel in the fish and how proficient you are with your trout rod will matter.

5. Readjusting their Bladders

When the trout’s swim bladder bulges, its volume increases thus displacing so much water. The fish becomes more buoyant and tends to float upwards then jumps. The jumping action readjusts the swim bladder, deflates it, and the buoyancy levels of the fish reduce. Fish sink displacing little water.

Flying Fish jumping in the water

6. Excitement

What do you do when you win a lottery that can change your life for the better? Exactly what you are thinking! Jump! Jump! Jump! That is what trout do when they are hyper and overly excited. Maybe a good trout psychologist can tell us what makes them this happy because our fancy speculations could be wrong.

7. The Vibrancy of their Youth

What do humans between the age of 9 and 20 behave like? This is a young stage full of life and enthusiasm. It is a similar case to smaller trout. Young trout are in the excellent physical condition and jump to feel rejuvenated. The same enthusiasm humans in the above age bracket show what young trout experience.

8. Getting over Obstacles

Trout head upstream to lay their eggs and in areas with waterfalls, they can jump as high as 13 feet to get over a barrier. They do this by vertically swimming and jumping out of the water. Trout point their heads towards the direction they need to go and flex their backs to make their bodies assume an S shape. The tail faces one side and this makes the fish generate more thrust backward. The same technique the trout uses to get over an obstacle is the same they use when jumping to catch emergers, mayflies and other insects.

9. They got Spooked

Trout are nervy and jump when spooked by kayaks or boats. If one trout jumps, it can cause a chain reaction by spooking the rest.

Why do trout jump out of the water? - Wrap Up

While trout jumps are beautiful scenery to the human eye, sometimes it gets nasty. Sometimes high jumpers like rainbows make mistakes and land in boats or tanks. You will be unlucky if the fins slice your body. Most trout anglers have their experiences with these chaps jumping. Forget them jumping out of your hands. We’d like to read yours in the comment section and let us know what you think about why do trout jump out of the water in your presence – could you have been planning to make it your lunch?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.