Pre-spawn trout action heating up
  |  First Published: April 2011

With a mild and wet summer well and truly behind us now and the outlook for winter bleak, you can bet that the trout fishing is going to heat up and provide a lot of excitement.

The rivers are flowing at their best with early signs already indicating stream trout are soon to begin their annual migration upstream looking for a suitable spawning ground. Water temperatures are crisp, the air has that chill about it and the daylight hours are cut even shorter with the end of daylight savings on April 3.

But the fishing is only about to intensify as trout become even more active and aggressive as they are putting on body condition before their migration. This is a great time to be a stream trout angler and a great time for those keen to get into this exciting sport!

Rugging up and strolling along a trout stream set amongst a beautiful backdrop is a great way to spend the weekends.


A good start for small streams and rivers in the West and South Gippsland region are the hardbodied floating minnow-style lure. The advantage of these lures is that they have a terrific action in the water but once you stop retrieving the lure, it will float to the surface, which is great for retrieving amongst snags and other obstacles. Casting can be difficult amongst snags and dense bank vegetation so the advantage of the floating lure is that you can flick it out into the stream, let the stream flow take the lure to your strike zone, then retrieve.


Spinners are another type of lure with a spinner blade that rotates around the shaft looking like an insect or frog moving in the water. These come in a range of sizes and blade colours and you’d be hard pressed not to catch a stream trout on these productive and faithful lures.

Soft plastics

Soft plastics are cast and retrieved similar to any other stream trout lure except for every wind of the reel, give the rod a flick to promote action in the soft plastic. A personal favourite is the grub shaped plastic with a wriggling tail as it provides the best action in a flowing stream resembling a tadpole or small fish. The beauty about soft plastics is that trout will often have another go at the lure if they miss the first strike.


Fishing with livebaits or artificial baits is another popular technique.

Live baits such as garden or scrub worms are the most common form of catching stream trout and are still an exciting technique for any trout angler of any age and skill. Drifting baits is similar to casting a lure as you casting into trout zones, letting the bait drift downstream before retrieving it. Use a small baitholder hook with split shot attached right above the eye of the hook. Fishing baits off the bottom or under a float is the most relaxed method and often the most popular for a family day out.


Flyfishing is also another admired technique for stream trout fishing. As the stream flows have been fairly high this whole season, many anglers are still nymphing using the ever-popular black bead-headed nymph. Attaching a dry fly indicator with a bit of flare and colour has also helped anglers have a productive day out on the streams.

Rivers looking good

The Tarago River downstream of the reservoir is flowing high but still presenting a lot of fishing potential. Picnic Point and Fisher Road Reserve on the Tarago River in Drouin West are great starting points for a day out fishing and terrific spots for the family.

Bunyip River on the other hand is flowing really strongly and not looking too accessible or fishable at the moment. The Latrobe, Loch and Toorongo Rivers are looking terrific for April and no doubt full of good-sized stream trout. Other rivers in the South Gippsland region that are looking really good are the Lang Lang and Foster rivers which hold small trout with the odd big fish over 2kg.

Feel free to send me a report or photo particularly if you have any success stories fishing with the family and please email me any questions. Happy fishing!

A nice rainbow trout caught and released on a soft plastic in the Toorongo River. Typical size of the naturalised rainbow stocks this season which will hopefully grow up and be exciting sport in years to come.

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