From the Archives ...

Early season - Bob McKinley

Presented from Issue 105, August 2013
Bob is a professional fishing guide and guides for trout and estuary species. Check him out at

There are several things we look for in our early season trout waters. It is still winter and cold, so some of the things to consider are: Altitude as this dictates the water temperature and therefore feeding activity. Food for the fish. Availability of trout food is generally dictated by the quantity and quality of weed beds.

Quantity of fish.

Three waters which I believe fit all three requirements are:

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2018 04 07 Pontoon 21 Greedy Guts bloody tiger prawnWill I or wont I go fishing, that was what was going on in my head this morning. In the end I did go and headed over to Merseylea for a spin session. It was only going to be a short one as I had several things to do at home that I haven't got around to lately. When I arrive at the river I was surprised not to see any cars parked near the bridge seeing as it was quite a nice morning to be on a river. After a twenty minute walk through a few paddocks and a dried up back water I was at my starting point only to find it wasn't the same here any more. There has been quite a lot of work done along the river and my fast water run I loved to fish was now a wide deep stretch of water. Any way I put on a F3 rainbow Rapala lure and started casting to the opposite river bank while slowly retrieving the lure at the same time letting it go with the flow. After the forth of fifth cast & retrieve I had a follow from an interested trout that followed the lure right up to where I lifted the lure from the water. That's where it ended, it turned and slowly moved away. Onto the next stretch of water, this one was more to my liking as it hadn't had a lot of work done to it. It had been made a little deeper but two thirds of it was still okay for wading my way up the river. Before I entered this stretch of water I had a change of lure, it was the Daiwa ghost brown lure I went for.

This was a lure that I had repaired after it had been broken in two after landing a trout during a spin session. I filled with and expoxy resin and stuck the two halves back together after inserting a matchstick in the center of the lure. I'm interested to see how it holds up if and when I catch a trout on it. If a large trout takes it, then that will really put it to the test. I was keeping it mainly to use in the smaller streams I fish that has some small to medium size trout in them, but I thought what the heck give it a go here in the Mersey... There was a nice flat water near a willow tree to my right, it looked to me to be a nice trout holding area and that's where I sent this little lure. Half way through the retrieve the lure was taken by a nice medium size brown that put the lure through it's test. It made several runs down and across the river while leaping a few times before it tired and I had it in the net. The lure was still in one piece as well which was a relief. I decided to take it off because I wasn't all that confident it would hold together if a larger fish took it. Most of the damage to the small lightweight lures happens once the trout is in the landing net when they tossed and turn in the net. I've been pretty lucky most times because the trout have tossed the lures around 75% of the time once in they're in the net... I replaced the ghost brown lure with one of my newly purchased 44 mm Greedy Guts suspending hard body lures as I wanted to see how it would go on the trout. The colour I'm using is the bloody tiger prawn a lure that's mainly used for bream fishing on the mainland. I really liked the colour and felt it would be fine for trout fishing.

I have a few other hard body lures that are very close to the same colour and they have all caught trout so there's no reason this one will miss catching a few fish. It did okay on the first small fast water I used it in, I picked up a nice medium size rainbow trout. I wanted to catch a brown trout on it because as most trout fisho's know rainbow trout are more aggressive and will take just about anything one throws at them. I slowly fished my way upstream working both sides of the river when I came to a nice wide shallow fast run at the tail end of a slow flowing stretch of river. This shallow run gave up three good medium size browns, these fish didn't hesitate to take the lure either. I was pretty happy to see how well the little Greedy Guts lure worked on the trout. I bypassed the long wide deep stretch of river before having a few more casts into a medium/fast piece of water where I caught another trout, this one was a 300 gram brown and a good way to end my spin session. One and a half hours well spent in the river at Merseylea this morning with 5 browns & one rainbow trout caught and released doesn't get any better than that.

Adrian (meppstas)

 2018 04 07 Back water that gave up a brown trout MerseyRiver

Back water that gave up a brown trout Mersey River


2018 04 07 First trout caught here

First trout caught here


2018 04 07 First trout of the morning MerseyRiver6095

First trout of the morning


2018 04 07 Greedy Guts bloody tiger prawn catches another wild brown trout2

Greedy Guts bloody tiger prawn catches another wild brown trout


2018 04 07 Pontoon 21 Greedy Guts bloody tiger prawn

Pontoon 21 Greedy Guts bloody tiger prawn


2018 04 07 Small brown that was taken on a Greedy Guts bloody tiger prawn in a small back water

Small brown that was taken on a Greedy Guts bloody tiger prawn in a small back water


2018 04 07 Wild rainbow trout falls to the Greedy Guts bloody tiger prawn lure

Wild rainbow trout falls to the Greedy Guts bloody tiger prawn lure

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