Fantastic plastics a treat for trout
  |  First Published: December 2007

Central Gippsland was hit with another huge downpour of rain in the first week of November, causing our rivers to swell beyond their banks for the second time this year. This will make fishing difficult in the short term, and those trout are going to have to be really resilient to handle two floods in such a short period. In light of the great fishing that was had just prior to the flooding, especially in the Macalister, I’m sure they will bounce back.

The Tanjil River had minor flooding that should raise the levels of Blue Rock Reservoir. This will be great for boat anglers, as low water levels had previously caused the closure of the Willow Grove boat ramps, even though the water level was at 70% of capacity. This latest downpour should certainly cause the Willow Grove boat ramps to be reopened by December. Now, enough about rain – lets talk fishing!

First up I must mention one of the biggest Traralgon Creek trout caught in a few years. Darren Baumgarten was fishing on a Friday evening when he landed the monster brown trout on a 7cm Rapala. Darren knows the creek like the back of his hand, and can nearly name every trout in the creek. He was specifically targeting a larger specimen – hence the reason he was using a bigger 7cm lure. The trout was 60cm long and weighed over 4kg. This shows how good our local rivers really are.

In another great report, keen young angler Jack Moon out-fished his old man by landing a ripper 1kg brown trout on worms when fishing locally.

Soft plastics are my favourite method of fishing, and many anglers have been catching heaps trout using them. Many anglers are even switching to soft plastics instead of the tried and tested Celtas and Tassie Devils. And why not – I believe plastics will out fish ordinary lures anytime and any place.

The good thing about a soft plastic, somewhat obviously, is that it is soft. If a fish hits it and misses, you just simply stop retrieving. Let the plastic sit there, and the fish will come back and take it. I have had a trout hit the plastic six times before being hooked, and this is because a plastic doesn’t feel foreign to a trout like a hard-bodied lure or spinner.

Plastics that have been working a treat on trout are the Berkley 3” Power Minnow, which is my favourite, and the Berkley 1” Power Nymphs, which will take really spooky, selective trout. The Squidgy Pro-range Critter isn’t too bad either.

Almost just as important is the jighead. All I can say is go light. Use 1/40 oz through to 1/16oz, and only use the latter in faster, deeper water. I never go heavier that 1/16 oz in a river. Then match the hook size to the plastic. For 1–2” plastics, use size 2–6 hooks (depending on the brand), and for 3” plastics use size 2–2/0. Another thing to remember is that if you are using a larger plastic, such as a 3” Minnow, and the fish keep biting onto the tails, just chop a centimeter or so off the nose of the plastic. This should cause the trout to hit the hook instead of just the tail, which happens a lot when fishing amongst small trout in small creeks.

For more information about fishing in Central Gippsland, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 51748544.

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