The lowdown on lake trout

The lowdown on lake trout

Like them or not, introduced trout species from North America and Europe are here to stay, and these days they are fairly widespread in our southern regions. NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and even Western Australia have good populations of both brown and rainbow trout, and while they get a lot of attention in the streams, the lakes they inhabit can also dish out the goods for sporting anglers. 

Trout have been stocked into many lakes around the southern half of Australia, and those with streams feeding into them also allow the fish an opportunity to breed during the winter months.

Trout are highly seasonal fish in their natural habitat, and this is no different in lake environments. As a general rule, they will tend to go deep when it’s warmer, and shallower when it’s cooler.

In the warmer months, anglers with boats will often venture out into the deeper water and troll using lead core lines and downriggers with small lures, trying to get these presentations down below the thermocline to where the fish will be sitting. Sometimes they will venture to the shallows in the morning or afternoon to hunt insects on the surface, and this is where fly anglers and lure casters can have a ball casting at these rising fish.

In winter fish will often be up shallow and feeding, or trying to find a feeder stream to venture up and complete their life cycle. In any case, they will be aggressive and will happily snaffle a larger presentation. In this situation, it’s not a bad thing at all to walk the bank and flick a lure or fly! Lures such as the Daiwa Pro Double Clutch IZM Hard Body Lure, Black Magic Spinmax and Atomic Hardz Shiner Deep Hard Body Lure, and soft plastics such as ZMan Grubz Soft Plastics and Berkley Powerbait Power Grub 2.5IN are great casting lures.

In the shoulder seasons, the fish will likely be transitioning, and each day could be different. If fishing autumn or spring, make sure you have your options covered. If fishing from the bank, be sure to have super shallow presentations on hand such as the soft plastics mentioned above, as well as those that can be cast out further and into the depths, such as the Black Magic Spinsect Fishing Lure.

Trout fishing in lakes is something you can do all year (provided you can handle the crazy weather changes and often harsh conditions) and is a great alternative if one of your streams is unfishable.


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