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Sea run trout tactics – Craig Vertigan

Sea run trout tactics – Craig Vertigan

During the trout off-season I tend to spend a bit of time chasing bream, to continue getting a fishing fix, and spend time tying flies and dreaming about the trout season to come. It’s a time to spend doing tackle maintenance, stocking up on lures and dreaming up new challenges and goals for the trout season ahead. When the new season comes around I usually spend the first few months targeting sea runners. Sea run trout are simply brown trout that spend much of there lives out to sea and come in to the estuaries for spawning and to feed on whitebait and the other small endemic fishes that spawn in late winter through spring. Mixed in with the silvery sea runners you can also expect to catch resident fish that have the typical dark colours of a normal brown trout as well as atlantic salmon in some of our estuaries that are located near salmon farm pens. Living in Hobart it is quick and easy to do a trip on the Huon or Derwent and is a more comfortable proposition compared to a trip up to the highlands with snow and freezing winds to contend with.

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2018 04 23 IMG 6186 Another beautiful day was forecast so I headed over to the Meander River again today for a spin session in the hope of catching a few more trout. I forgot to check the river level on the BOM site before I left and after a drive through heavy fog I finally arrived at the Meander only to find it was running at the same height as my last trip here. Right away I knew I was in for a tough few hours in the river with so much water coming down. I decided to drive to another area that meant for a long walk to the river, but I didn't have to cross it, I could fish it from the side that I entered the river. There are a couple of deep stretches of water that I can bypass quite easily, the rest of it is mainly fast water with a few medium runs thrown in the mix... After a forty minute walk I reached my entry point and started casting the Rapala brown trout lure around without all that much success over the first couple of hundred meters.

I tried a Daiwa Ghost brown, Greedy Guts & Atomic hard body lures followed by a few different Mepps spinners, not one of these drew any attention from a trout. Perhaps they just weren't in the stretches of water I had fished so far, that's all I could put it down to. I had another change of lure, this time it was the Rapala rainbow patten that I went for. Finally after eighty minutes of fishing I had a take from a nice brown that stayed on all the way into the net. This fish was sitting in a small flat water next to a old log that was laying parallel to the river bank and it came hard and fast at the lure taking it without any hesitation. A quick photo then giving it time to recover while I kept it in the water while it was still in the net is was soon on it's way... Now that I had caught a trout I thought I would try another small f3 Rapala one that I have had for quite some time but yet to use, this one's a juvenile rainbow trout patten. I had only moved some twenty meters further upstream when I cast into another shallow flat water next to the river bank when the lure was taken as soon as I started the retrieve. This was a bigger fish than the one I had caught five minutes earlier, it made several runs before I had it in close enough to slip the net under it. Good thing was that it spat the lure once in the net & his beautiful brown went 540 grams, it was returned to the river after a quick photo.

I moved on another five meters and flicked the lure into another small shallow flat water and picked up another brown, this one was a smaller 330 gram fish that I didn't bother to photograph it.That was the last trout I caught over the following kilometer of river, I never had a follow or even spotted a fish until I came to a fast water run when I had my forth hookup. That fish was full of fight made a few leaps & runs before I had it close enough to ease it into the net. Just as I about was to slip the net under it the little Rapala popped out of it's mouth and it away it went. That's when I decided to call it a day, not one of my better days by a long shot. Still catching three trout was much better than not catching any at all which I'll take any day..

Adrian Webb (meppstas)


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