Trout season opened with a bang back in September, with the Victorian Fisheries Authority releasing around 2000 trout averaging 4kg into the Goulburn River. These fish were released at different locations along the river and have no doubt provided anglers with plenty of entertainment throughout the spring months. However, with summer upon us it's time to change up our tactics from when we were targeting trout in the spring. Trout are a cool water fish and with the rising water temperatures they begin to feed a little differently.
TACTICS FOR SUMMER TROUT
There is nothing more satisfying than fishing throughout the summer months, especially for trout. One thing to note, when the temperatures rise you can expect all sorts of creepy crawlies out and about while pushing your way through the brush to polaroid a trout sitting in the shallows. It always pays to keep a close eye amongst the brush and on the ground when you're walking the edge of a riverbank. Spiders and snakes are a common sight, and the last thing you want to do is get bitten if you're in a remote location. As a safety precaution, it does pay to carry a first aid or snakebite kit with you just in case the worst should happen.
Victorian summers can be a harsh time of year; 35°C+ temperatures can heat the water's surface very quickly, sending trout out to find the coolest water in the river. Nevertheless, the rivers run clear, free of silt and run-off from the winter rains and snowmelt helping to provide gin clear water and allowing for some of the best visual trout fishing you can experience.
When the temperatures rise, focusing on the peak bite times is paramount. Early morning on first light until around 10am and then again late in the afternoon from 5pm until dark tends to be when trout are at their most active. Early morning feeders often cruise the river in search of food, focusing their attention below the water's surface. During the middle of the day trout often search for cooler waters to hold in, and this is the time to be hitting the deeper pools.
By late afternoon the insects are out and usually in numbers. If you have the patience, sitting on the riverbank watching how trout feed is a spectacular sight. For the most part, late afternoon trout are back out searching for that easy meal sipping off the top, and this is the prime time to be tossing small surface lures.
Depending on the river being fished, it pays to really keep a close eye on the water. Picking out areas where a deep pool or gutter lays along the edge of a shallow gravel or sand bank tends to be where you'll find a hungry trout. A long cast ahead of the pool with the lure worked along the edge usually finds its match.
Clear running rivers and streams cause trout to be easily spooked when the sun is high. Even early in the morning, the fish will see you before you see them, unlike in winter and early spring. It is times like these when long and accurate casts get the result.
Trout lures certainly are a dime a dozen these days, and although you might have an extensive collection of expensive hardbodies, spinners, plastics and topwater insect imitation lures are a good first option.
Hardbodies still have their place in the summer months. When targeting deeper pools, a deep diving hardbody such as Yakamito's SXY Shad, Megabass Great Hunting 48 and Megabass Shading-X 62 will get down to where the fish are holding in the cooler waters. If you're flicking the edges of the banks early in the morning, Yakamito's Slim Minnow 60, Megabass X-52 Acrobat, Megabass Great Hunting 45 and Zerek Stream-X are all successful lures to use. Then, during