To me there is something special about catching Trout in Saltwater. Sea trout spend a significant amount of time in saltwater but are more commonly targeted in freshwater. Sea trout go to sea after roughly 2/3 years in freshwater returning at a later stage to spawn. Food is in much greater availability in saltwater allowing the trout to be in great condition ready for spawning. The sea trout is often overlooked with many anglers waiting for the bass to arrive in greater numbers in a few months time before dusting off the rods. The potential fishing is not to be missed by sport anglers in my opinion.
Targeting sea trout can be approached in many ways with lure and fly the preferred option. A medium light lure rod is ideal to use with ultra light rods similar to rods suited for light rock fishing also practical in some situations. Hard lures or metals ranging from 40mm to 120mm are used according to the time of year, smaller lures early in the year moving on to bigger lures as the season progresses. Sea trout will attack a big lure no problem, I have hooked trout to 8lbs weight on lures as big as 145mm so do not be afraid to fish using a bigger lure.
A 7 or 8 weight fly rod casting a floating or intermediate line would be a fair choice to combat windy coastal conditions with small sparse flies effective early season moving on to mini flatwings or deceivers during peak season. A good option is to fish a team of flies often a rays fly on a dropper with a slightly bigger fly on the point.
You can also successfully target them using methods such as popped up fish baits or free lining sandeels. Bombarda floats can also be used to present flys.
To give yourself the best opportunity of catching place yourself in a location where sea trout are more concentrated such as the lower reaches of estuary’s fishing either side of low water will increase your chances of catching because the fish will drop back into holding pools with the tide. Locations to focus on for sea trout include:
Open shore (perhaps between estuary’s – moving fish)
Estuary’s or Harbours (often brackish waters).
Sheltered bays or inlets.
As with all fish it is crucial you take care when landing, unhooking and returning sea trout. Reducing the number of hooks on lures and crushing barbs on all hooks is very important. Do not play fish for long periods of time but equally do not bully fish to the bank. Carrying a landing net and the correct unhooking tools place less stress on the fish.
Guided days and Workshops for Sea Trout are available however it must be noted that some areas are not open for fishing until mid march. A state licence is required when targeting salmon or sea trout.