Trout season beckons
  |  First Published: August 2009

Beach anglers are still having good success from the sand at Wild Dog and Marengo with schools of hungry salmon and the occasional silver trevally being landed late in the afternoons.

Best baits have been white and bluebait fished on a paternoster rig or metal lures cast out behind the breaking surf. A wetsuit is a good option when wading out to cast lures and provides a much safer option then waders when trying to sneak that last little bit of casting distance.

The boat harbour has been full of garfish but they are proving difficult to hook. Using plenty of berley to bring them around and a small piece of pipi or squid on a size 14 hook should bring a few of them undone but also bring plenty of patience as they are proving tricky to hook.

Schools of squid are also coming into the boat harbour in waves and can be caught by casting and slowly retrieving a prawn style squid jig. If you try and there are no squid around give them another go an hour or so later as they have been entering the harbour in good sized schools.

The Barham and Aire River estuaries are giving up plenty of black bream to anglers fishing with prawns and worms from the bank. Both of these rivers are open to the sea and should remain that way if the rain keeps falling. Fish the incoming tide and watch for schools of whitebait showering against the banks to give away feeding fish. Bream and 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 and Wild Dog Rivers from September to November. 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 fish will be waiting to ambush the whitebait on their travel upstream.

Good lures to use in these rivers include floating Rapalas in 3cm or 5cm, Rebel Minnows or Ecogear MX48. If you're chasing trout from one of the smaller streams in the area then bait drifting will catch plenty of trout in the Otways. This is done by casting a scrubworm or bunch of garden worms 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 that flow into deeper pools of water.

Cast into the fast flowing water and allow your bait to drift back into the depths of the pool, if there are any trout waiting for a feed they should grab your offering without hesitation. Don't use any weight other then the bait and keep an eye on your line for any 'takes', once the fish has your bait wait a second or two and then strike.

This is a deadly way to catch trout but many will be hooked deep down so if you’re not fishing for a feed or have caught enough already then stick to lures which will mean the fish can be released more easily without harm.

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