Time to tempt a trout
  |  First Published: September 2008

September is a favourite month of mine. Not only does it mean that the days are getting longer and we are coming into a warmer part of the year, but for me it brings great anticipation as the opening of the trout season approaches.

Whether you go away and camp with a bunch of mates or the family, or sneak off by yourself, trout opening is always an enjoyable time to fish.

Bait fishers will catch plenty of trout in the Otways by casting a scrubworm upstream and letting it drift back down with the flow of the river current. This is especially effective when fishing small streams that have rapids flowing into deeper pools of water. Cast into the fast flowing water and allow your bait to drift into the depths of the pool: if there are any trout waiting for a feed they will grab your offering without hesitation.

On one recent rip to the Ford River, some of which remains open all year, I caught a trout that was so full of worms he couldn’t swallow any more. With the increased rainfall the banks of the river were collapsing in places and all the worms were getting washed out of the soil that had fallen in the water. Obviously if you come across a situation like this it is a good time to fish with worms for bait.

September also sees the local rivers fill with swarms of tiny whitebait as they migrate from the sea to spawn. The trout love to feed on these tasty little fish and will also take a lure cast in their vicinity. The best whitebait runs occur in the Aire, Barham, Wild Dog and Cumberland rivers. The trick is to cast your lure down along the bank, keeping it as close to the edge as possible as this is where the trout will be waiting to ambush the whitebait. Good lures to use in the Otway streams include floating 3-7cm Rapalas, Rebel Minnows or Berkley Dropshot Minnow soft plastics. The season opens on Saturday, September 6 – I’ll see you out there.

In the saltwater anglers are still having good success from the beaches at Wild Dog and Marengo, with schools of hungry salmon and the occasional silver trevally being landed. Best baits have been whitebait and bluebait fished on a paternoster rig around the top of the tide. If you can find a day with a high tide at sunset, you will be in for a good afternoon’s fishing.

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