First thing I have to confess, I am by no means an ‘expert’ on Sea Trout! I am at the bottom of the learning curve when it comes to catching these fish in salt water.
However, I have been out now for a few sessions the past three weeks and I am already starting to formulate theories to catching these fish. Each time I go out I learn something new or am presented with a new scenario which I had not accounted for – but this is, in my opinion the beauty about fishing.
Old Classics Always Work!
No matter how many times we go out fishing for Sea Trout we never leave with an Abu Krill – why? Because it works – Fact!
I admit that I am always looking to use new, shiny lures to catch fish on but there are times when you just have to accept that old lures work, have done and always will.
It is always worth having one or two in the box just to be sure. If you are like me, you will want to try using lots of new stuff or different things to see what works …. experiment and learn.
Lure size: From 50mm to 140mm
Luckily the first few sessions we had in the estuary the water was crystal clear, sun was bright and high what looked like a nice day was perhaps not so good for fishing.
We tried a range of lure sizes and found that we had the most luck on smaller sub 80mm lures and in particular small metals.
Contrast this to our next session when we found the water brackish, dark and an overcast sky. I hit two Sea Trout between 3/4lb and 1lb 4oz on a Megabass X-140 in Hama Shirasu and an IMA Gene 130 chrome sides, blue back. These lures were considerably larger than anything I would expect a Sea Trout to hit.
My logic to using them was this. Firstly, I was trying to hunt out big trout, thinking that (rightly or wrongly) big lure = big fish. Secondly, I thought that these trout are in eating sandeels and in reality big sandeels will be around the 110mm – 150mm, so why not try bigger lures.
I had tried these however on the bright days to no success – this got my thinking. Perhaps when the water clarity was not as clear the trout could not clearly identify the size of the lure and only picked up on the flash and thus they are not as aware of the size? I had thought the bigger lure would be easier for the fish to ‘find’ in the murky water.
Either way I was astounded to hit a Sea Trout on the X-140. I bought it as a Bass lure, and no questions about it – you simply know this thing will nail you a hungry Bass, but a Sea Trout? It certainly had me giggling on the sand when I landed it.
Profile and Shape:
Another conclusion which I have come to is that profile and shape is vital for Sea Trout. When we look at the lures that have caught me fish they are all slim, thin and sandeel like in profile:
Various salt water Flies
IMA Gene 130
IMA Komomo SF 125
IMA Sasuke 90
Smith Troutin Surger
I have yet to try soft plastics yet – maybe the summer will see that experiment started!
But then you get adventurous and try something different – say a small Tackle House Feed Shallow or a 115mm Angel Kiss – no fish. That is fine because I suspected they would perhaps be too fat or thick. Will it stop me trying them again – no. I think it is worth thinking outside the box and trying bigger, larger lures at times. Mix it up and see what works.
We tried a small Abu sinking lure which we had sprayed a red belly onto, primarily as a small Bass plug.
Four casts later we got the head shake and the fish was on. This shows you that theories are great but every now and then they go out the window! This lure is stubby/chubby – whatever you want to call it. It is not sandeel shaped!
But it worked!
Anyway these are just a few observations I have made over the past few sessions out after these fine fish. I am still hunting for that fish which will break the 2lb mark, which may sound small for some people but for a Donegal trout it is a decent one. I think my next trip will take me out to the very mouth of the estuary and into the surf to see what lurks in the waves……
As always the fish go back with a good kick and a splash to fight another day …..
The adventure continues.