Relaxing Rainbows

Mark Grenovich explains the attraction in fishing for Rainbow Trout and talks about introducing young inexperienced anglers to Rainbow Trout fishing by using one very simple, yet effective method.

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Some of my first introductions to fishing as a youngster was bank fishing on western/central Victorian lakes. It was a good day if you caught a fish, more than one was fantastic. Forays into saltwater fishing seemed far more productive and appealing to impatient youngsters with more bites and more fish. So it would seem strange that, for someone living on the coast, I have been frequently taking my two young boys freshwater fishing off the banks of some local lakes. The attraction is the Rainbow Trout . They look good, fight well and as I’ll describe, fishing for them can be very easy.

Rainbow Trout are heavily stocked in Victorian waters as they are ideal specimens for “put and take” fisheries. They are a fast growing species that quickly reach catchable size. Fisheries Victoria also uses Rainbow Trout for a number of other specialized stocking programs. Fisheries Victoria undertakes an annual program of stocking on-grown or advanced yearling Rainbow Trout into small waters (normally less than 5 hectares surface area) in or adjacent to population centres, with the waters being accessible for juniors and anglers with limited mobility. Even though most rainbow trout fisheries are managed as put and take they are an infinite resource each season.

At times they can be really easy to catch and letting a few go makes good sense so more people can enjoy the fishery. It is a good chance to help teach young anglers proper releasing techniques with a fish that is well suited to such as task. Trout lack any sharp spikes like other common fish like bream, perch and flathead making them very “kid handling” friendly. Minimise the time spent out of the water for fish about to be released, handle with wet hands and cut the line as close to the hook as possible for any gut hooked fish.

bows1 The majority of these stockings coincide with the second and third term school holidays when water temperatures are best suited to trout. Rainbow trout are stocked as they are normally bigger than the available brown trout at that time of year and are easier to catch by inexperienced anglers. All in all it adds up to lots of rainbow trout swimming around local lakes just waiting to be caught. Whilst the thought of catching pan size rainbows isn’t going to get most seasoned anglers excited it’s a different matter for the young or inexperienced fishermen. There are many ways to do this as rainbow trout are a ravenous predator. I have kept a wide variety of angling species in aquaria and the rainbow is right up there as an aggressive predator. bows 014

Rainbows will respond to all manner of lure, fly and bait techniques given the conditions that suit each specific technique.However if we’re talking about introducing young inexperienced anglers to rainbow trout fishing there is one very simple, yet effective technique.This method is bait fishing Powerbait on the bottom on a running sinker rig. Powerbait is a synthetic bait that comes in paste or nugget form. I mainly use the nugget form just for its complete simplicity. Simply slide two nuggets along the straight shank of a Mustad Aberdeen hook in size 4 or 2 and you’re away. The thin profile of this light weight hook allows the power bait to float just up off the bottom, right in the vision of any cruising trout. The weight of the sinker is necessary for casting weight and also to hold the floating Powerbait near the bottom. Once casted out , the rod is then put in a rod holder that allows it to lay vertical, pointing at the direction the cast has been made. Line is then looped around a bite indicator, often just an empty bottle. Now you can either sit back and relax or, particularly if it a family trip, do things like kick the footy, cook a BBQ around or play in the sand with some toys! There’s nothing too fancy about this, but the excitement amongst the kids when the call goes out that the bottle has gone over and they drop what they are doing and race towards the rod is priceless.

Another one of the things that makes this an easy option for family fishing is that rainbows often bite best during “gentlemen’s hours” No need for freezing early morning starts, just rock up and set up during the best part of a winters/spring day, the hours between 10am and 3pm. Even when doing more serious adult angling trips, using far more esteemed techniques, it’s amazing how the rainbows will bite during this time of day, as opposed to the lower light conditions favored by many other species. It is an easy trip to do on a whim as there is no need to spend time on bait collection. No need to spend hours collecting, keeping and using live freshwater baits such as minnows and mudeyes.

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Tackle for such an operation can be simple or expensive as you wish to make it. It’s important though to have well maintained effective gear for a number of reasons. You wouldn’t like to use poor, ineffective gear yourself so introducing youngsters to angling with gear that won’t cast or retrieve effectively will only frustrate them too. Quality yet not super expensive combos like the Daiwa Revros and Laguna range are outfits can give quality features on a budget suitable for junior anglers. A good quality drag is important too as a big rainbow will put on a memorable battle should you come across one and believe me it does happen.

So if the kids are bored and looking for something do to why not get along to the nearest stocked lake and try some bank fishing for bows, you might be surprised how much fun you’ll have yourself!

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Mark Grenovich

About Mark Grenovich

Mark Gercovich is a school teacher who lives in the Sth West of Victoria at Warrnambool. He has been contributed to a wide variety of angling publications for almost 20 years. Despite being a successful bream tournament angler he enjoys a wide variety of fishing scenarios from fishing skinny water for big trout to chasing meter plus Kings on lures and live bait. Mark has also traveled extensively having fished in every state of Australia as well as Vanuatu.

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