Bream Style Trout!

Mark Grenovich loves his bream fishing but like all anglers, likes to vary his target species. What to do with all that bream gear………….catch trout of course!

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The revolution that has been the Australian bream on lures scene has spawned an amazing amount of tackle and techniques. But many anglers don’t just want to catch bream all the time. Lots of switched on anglers are using the techniques, tackle and equipment that they use on the bream circuit on other species. Trout in particular are very responsive to being pursued using bream tackle and techniques.

Fantastic Plastic

‘Matching the hatch’ is always a reoccurring theme of trout fishing. Some styles of plastics are an excellent imitation of the local baitfish that thrive in southwest rivers and form an important part of the local trout diet. Minnow shaped plastics such as the Berkley bass minnow and the Squidgie evil minnow are perfect examples of lures that match the profile and have the colour to imitate the local galaxid population. If you’ve ever used galaxids as bait and observed how a sick or dying one behaves, then your half way to knowing how to work the plastic. A few sick twitches followed by a vertical drop is the way such a incapacitated minnow acts, an action that is impossible to replicate with a hard bodied lure.

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These minnow style plastics work great on lake trout as well. Just add a bit heavier jig head than you would use in a river situation. This aids not only with casting but helps with a vigorous side to side motion that lake trout seem to love. This motion is imparted with your wrist as you retrieve in attempt to get the plastic swimming in an erratic left then right motion.

Stickin’ it to ’em

That same sick/injured minnow drop described above that makes a falling soft plastic so effective is also the reason why stick minnow style hardbodies are also effective on trout. Lures like the Daiwa Kojirou and Tiemco stick minnows can be cast hard into overhanging trees and against vertical weed beds and left to slowly twitch their way down. Why would use throw one instead of a minnow style soft plastic, particularly when they cost five times as much ? One advantage they have is that they are heavily armed with two treble hooks, no trout is so much going to give them the slightest nudge without hooking up. Also isn’t it always good to show something different to fish, particularly to a big old educated trout .

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Hard at it

The finish on many bream hardbodies is nothing short of amazing. Many of these works of art imitate a small fish in a degree unthinkable 10 years ago. Once again with observance of natural bait fish behaviour that occur in the trout domain you will notice they often suspend motionless in the water column. Many good bream hardbodies are specifically designed to do this making them deadly imitations in even clear water. One fall back of the hardbody though is it doesn’t cast as far when compared to the old Tassie devil or even a heavy jig head rigged soft plastic. However many modern hardbodies are closing the gap so to speak. Lures such as Zipbaits Rigge’s and Khamsins, the and Daiwa Double Clutch have weight transfer systems allow for much longer casts. This not only aids with casting distance but provides a great centre of balance when twitching or jerking the lure.

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Feeelin the vibe

Metal vibes, or blade style lures have taken the bream world by storm in the previous two seasons and many of their benefits can be applied to trout fishing. One benefit is they cover great distance on the cast. They can cover the distance of a heavy lure like a Tassie Devil, but have a much smaller and natural looking profile if the fish are a bit spooky towards a big winged colourful monster that particular day. Vibes also enable you to fish to deep holding fish spotted on your sounder. Yet the same lure then can be pinged a great distance and burnt back across the top should a surface feeding trout be seen as your concentrating on deep fish.

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Being able to fish a vibe down a vertical drop also has its trouting advantages. Many rivers and lakes in my local area have columns of weed beds that have deep holes in them or defined, sudden edges. The ability to be able to freefall a vibe down along such structure allows you to put your offering right in front of the cruising trout who love to patrol such areas. Once again the benefit of being able to drop the a lure that can be worked at a variety of depths down into eddies, over weed beds and into holes, and behind rocks and tree falls. Vibes can also be a beneficial lure selection if your trout water happens to contain yellowbelly and redfin. Both these species are very receptive to vibes and good mixed bags can be taken without having to change lures.

Up the “dirty” creek without a paddle

The Western District of Victoria offers some excellent dirty water, early season trout angling. Using popular bream style paddle tailed like the Ecogear grass minnow paddle tails, is a very effective way of targeting them. These lures send out a subtle but effective vibration that helps the ambushing trout locate the lure going past in the dirty water.

One of the accepted advantages of using a soft plastic lure is that fish hold on for longer than a less natural feeling hard body. This becomes important when fishing fast running water. It isn’t always easy to keep constant feel on a lure when casting into fast flowing water and letting the lure rise and fall over and around structure. A trout can hold onto a soft plastic for that split second it takes you to regain touch as you take up the belly in the line. A trout hitting a hard body lure at that time and not hooking up may not even be felt by the angler. As well as missing the chance to set the hooks the angler also doesn’t know the fish was even there. Therefore he may not put in those few extra casts to that area where the fish was holding, and in the dirty water it often takes several casts to the one area to achieve a result.

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Interestingly, many moons ago, my Breamin started using floating Rapalas and a Trout rod. Things seem to have turned full circle with more and more of my bream equipment being part of my trout arsenal. What the hell am I going to do with that box full of trout lures ??


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