Trout on the hit list
  |  First Published: October 2012

October is always a productive month on the northwest coast of Tasmania. There are plenty of options in both salt and fresh water, but most attention will be on brown trout.

It’s the heart of the sea runner season and local anglers are very excited. The whitebait are thick, the lampreys are migrating and the sea run trout are on the prowl!

I found the lower reaches of the Emu River a great place to catch some above average sea runners. 3” soft plastics with a baitfish like profile worked on light jig heads around the pylons of the bridge produces well. For a more adventurous approach, nothing beats wading the clear gravely waters in between the Train Bridge and the Spillway throwing small hardbodies. Just make sure it’s a low run out tide.

If you’re feeling even more adventurous then go west and hit the Reece Dam Power Station. It really is a different experience if you haven’t fished it. The sea runners are fat and you won’t see more whitebait in one place. It’s hard to describe but the trout bust up like salmon chasing whitebait while the power station is on. Just work lures in the current in the general direction of the boils.

The Guide Dam produces some good browns early on. This water is often neglected but it shouldn’t be! Green and gold Ashley spinners hauled across the dam may not be the prettiest way to catch them, but it is effective. The Ashley has out-fished soft plastics, hardbodies and bait on multiple occasions.

Wading the western shore produces more than the east, although the bigger ones are usually caught on the eastern side.

The upper reaches of the rivers will now start heating up as well. This includes the Mersey, Emu, Blythe and Leven rivers. Google Earth is a great fishing tool and helps you locate new spots. Look for areas that wouldn’t suffer too much from fishing pressure.


For those perfect days that don’t come round too often in Tasmania, go spend a day on the flat waters of the northwest coast. It is the most productive land for a feed of flathead, gummies or squid.

To locate what depth the flathead are holding, start at 20m and go up in 5m intervals until you find a productive depth. Remember to put up with gurnards and if all else fails hit the rocky reefs looking for Australian salmon. It always pays to hang a squid jig over the side too.

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