Whitebait run kick-starts trout
  |  First Published: October 2014

Trout season got off to a good start in September and continues to keep the freshwater anglers happy with brown trout being taken from the smaller streams such as Skenes, Smythes and Grey rivers.

These streams hold large populations of small trout and are well worth visiting during the spring. When in the mood, the trout have no hesitation in chasing down lures, bait or flies, which makes for some fantastic sight fishing in these shallow, clear water streams.

The larger rivers in this region such as the Aire and Barham also hold plenty of small trout in their headwaters, but it's lower down in the system where the big wild browns hide. The upper estuaries of these two rivers comes to life each spring as the huge schools of tinny Tasmanian whitebait move out of the ocean and into the rivers to breed. The trout love gorging on these tasty little baitfish each spring with October being the best month for anglers to target the whitebait feeders.

The secret to success is to fish your lure close to the bank as this is where the whitebait travel and the trout are actively searching for a meal. Long slender lures that imitate the tiny baitfish work the best. Bream also get in on the action and it is not uncommon to catch both bream and trout in the same location while fishing the estuary reaches of these two coastal rivers during spring.

The deep water reefs off Cape Otway are fishing well for gummy and school sharks, which have been caught up to 30kg in recent weeks. Fresh fillets of salmon or barracouta are excellent baits and even the odd snapper has been caught on these baits as well.

There are still plenty of flathead over the sand bottom in 30-40m and they are well worth targeting for a feed.

Further inshore around Marengo, the King George whiting are starting to return in numbers for the summer months ahead. Light paternoster rigs loaded with pipis tend to work very well and other species such as silver trevally, sweep and leather jackets are common by-catch.

The Apollo Bay boat harbour should be full of squid by the time October ends, so pack a squid jig and test your skills at catching a lovely feed of calamari.

Other options for October include salmon fishing from Wild Dog Beach, bream and estuary perch fishing in the Barham and Aire rivers or try for an early season snapper run off Cape Patton.

The days are getting longer and warmer so there is no excuse not to be out on the water. Until next month, stay safe and happy fishing.

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