Tips to catch trout. Trout are one of the most popular freshwater fish species to target. They have beautiful colours, can grow to impressive sizes, they fight well on light gear and are great for catch and release or eating. In Victoria your most commonly come across the rainbow and brown trout but we also have brook trout and tiger trout. They can be targeted in many different ways. bait or lure fishing by land, boat or kayak, wading upriver streams and trolling in a boat or kayak.
Despite what you might think trout are an introduced fish species. Dating all the way back to 1864 with the first eggs trout being shipped from England and released in the Plenty river of Tasmania an experiment. Trout has since flourished in our lakes and rivers, so you would be forgiven for thinking they were a native fish species of Australia.
Trout wild or stocked are found in many lakes and rivers around Victoria. They thrive in cool and clean water conditions that are well oxygenated. Trout particularly like lakes and rivers with running water. They often choose to reside within shade and areas with covers such as snags and submerged rocks, logs and trees. Sometimes they swim in schools and during peak warm times they will often head for the deepest water to keep cool. They’re often caught in the shallows whilst feeding on baitfish, bugs, crustaceans, other small fish and insects. They actively feed on dawn and dusk which are the peak time to target them.
Trout are stocked in many of our lakes around Victoria generally prior to each school holiday break. To check the latest trout stocking details, have a look at our Victorian Trout stocking guide. Ensure that you have an active Victorian fishing license. Redfin is a frequent bycatch when targeting trout but that isn’t bad news. If you would like to know more about redfin then please read our guide on the best lures to catch redfin.
This guide Tips to catch trout will provide you with some helpful information on catching trout.
Rod and reel selection to target trout
Fishing rods have come a long way in recent years. Ultra-light spin outfits are more accessible and affordable than ever. They can turn light freshwater fishing into an exciting sport. We would recommend when fishing with lures to use a rod between 6 foot and 7 foot in length. That is a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo class. Couple that with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 size reel spooled with 6-8 pound braid and equivalent leader. My go-to for many years has been a 6 foot 10 rod that 2-4 kilo paired with a 2000 size reel spooled with 8 pound braid.
The best lures to catch trout
One of the most popular forms of catching trout is by flicking lures. Covering lots of ground trying to find where the trout are residing. Mixing up your retrieval speeds, pauses and twicthes until you find a mix of whats working that particualr day. There are quite literally hundreds of different trout lures on the market however here is a list of some of our favourite lures that we have had great success with. When unsure try and match your lure with the bait that’s widely available I the system that you are fishing. We have broken these up into different categories of lures.
Metal spoon lures to catch trout
Spoons are great in lakes, particularly deep ones. They allow you to cast great distances. They come in flashy colours and bring out the predatory instincts of a trout. Some of our favourites include the Strike Pro Bob n Spoon, Nories wasabi, Pontoon 21 Paco spoons
Hardbody lures for trout
Rapala countdown series ( Spotted dog, light minnows, floating minnows ) EcoGear mx48, Daiwa double clutches, Rapala X-Rap ( try xr08 in clown ), bullet lures 5-0 minnow and Savage Gear 3D prey minnow, Crank lures such as Savage fathead or Berkley 3B Fatdog.
Soft plastics to target trout
squidgy wriggler, 4 inch fish arrow Berkeley t tail minnow pearl olive, strike tiger softie, Gulp 3 inch minnows, Strike Tiger nymph, z man slim swimz, zman grubz, Savage Gear slim minnows. You will need to use jig heads anywhere between 1/6 and 1/20 depending on the system, tidal flow and depth that you are fishing.
Surface lures to catch trout
Surface lures are also another good option for catching trout. The bent minnow is a top choice here. You should also experiment with small poppers, cicadas, hoppers and stick baits that you generally target other species such as estuary perch and bream with.
Old classics to catch trout
Blades, Blue Fox Vibrax spinners, Savage Gear Rotex spinners ( fire tiger ), celta spinner, Mepps Aglia spinners, Tassie devil ( pink, rainbow and holographic popular colour choices )
Catching trout with bait
Trout are aggressive feeders so fishing with bait is another good way to target them. You may choose to go with a traditional bait fishing rod that is more flexible and has a nibble tip which is more aligned with bait fishing. Make sure you check the rules and regulations of the system you are fishing to ensure bait fishing is permitted. We break up using baits into 3 categories, live baits, dead baits and artificial baits.
Live baits to catch trout
Good live bait options include scrub worms, earthworms, minnows, mudeye, maggots, yabbies, crickets, grubs, grasshoppers. These work really well suspended from a float, on a small running sinker rig or a paternoster rig.
Dead baits to catch trout
In some lakes baitfish such as glassies and pilchards fish well.
Artificial baits to catch trout
Artificial baits will include power bait and bread dough. The range of power bait in today’s market is quite amazing with trout nuggets, and floating salmon eggs in a range of colours and scents. These work particularly well on stocked trout which are used to feeding on these and trout pellets in hatcheries.
Below shows some good ways to rig up for bait
Running Sinker rig
A great all-purpose rig that will catch much freshwater fish
Berley feeder rig
Is a great rig using berley in the cage to attract trout in the area then using maggots or powerbait on a small hook
These can be a great choice when suspended baits such as mudeye and worms at a certain depth
Fly fishing for trout
Another very popular form of targeting trout is by fly fishing. Fly fishing is an art of its own, there is no other fishing style quite like it. Many will try this style of fishing and be hooked for life. When starting its best to seek the help of a professional or someone experienced who can help you with casting and rigging techniques. Fly fishing requires specialised rods which allow you to cast very light artificial flies. This works exceptionally well in shallow streams with occasional deep pools. Using the current of the water to move your fly into the strike zone. Trout are happy to reside in calm areas or quite quick running water. The move upstream waiting for easy meals to pass by.
Best Locations to catch trout
Victoria has numerous lakes and rivers across the state that are wonderful for targeting trout these include some of the following.
Eildon Pondage, Goulburn River, Rubicon River, Lake Purrumbete, Lauriston Reservoir, Hepburn Lagoon, Newlyn Reservoir, Tullaroop Reservoir, Blue Rock, Lake Toolondo Acheron River, Steavenson River, Tanjil River, King River, Ovens River, Kiewa River, Mitta Mitta River, Lake Catani, Lake Eildon, Lake Eppalock, Lake Hume, Lake Bullen Merri, Lake Wendouree, Lake Dartmouth
Also, don’t forget that more family-friendly lakes are being established and stocked with trout.
Final notes from the author
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