I was up early on Monday, convinced that my soft plastic lures would have a basketful of fish on the table by lunchtime. I decided to go back to the southern end of Bronte Lagoon where I had missed a few trout on the fly, earlier in the week.
This area is close to the road, easy to access and has lots of fish holding terrain. The tree line is close to the shore, providing shade on hot days and also encouraging lots of insect life. There are also clumps of strap weed, tree stumps, boulders and fallen trees all along the bank. I had my waders on but started by fishing along the bank with various GULP soft plastic lures.
Bronte Lagoon - lots of structure but perhaps I was too early for the fish
I think I was a little too early at about 6.30am. As the week went on I began to realize that the Trout prefer a bit of warmth or sun, before they start actively feeding. I suppose that the warmth brings out the insects and that’s when they get going.
I walked up and down the bank but could not raise a bite, so I drove back to another small reservoir, just south of the Pump Pond, near Taraleah. This reservoir is fairly deep and is filled from two sides by canals. Where the water flows in, there are some good eddies and I thought they looked worth a try.
It was about 7.30 am and I decided I would try a hard bodied lure. I had picked up a couple of RAPALA XR4s in the Brown trout colour , before I left Brisbane so I tied one on and cast into an eddy where the water was running out of one of the canals, into the reservoir. I put in about five casts, retrieving the lure slowly with plenty of pauses and twitches. On the last one there was a great swirl and a good sized Brown trout knocked the lure flying out of the water as it struck. Unfortunately the fish and lure did not hook up and I was left standing there, replaying the scene in slow motion on the bank.
I cast around a bit more but the fish did not strike again. At about 10.00am I gave up again, resolving to try again later in the afternoon. I was gaining a healthy respect for these fish, they were far from easy to catch.
A 35cm Brown Trout from the Pump Pond Reservoir
That afternoon I came back to the same spot at about 5.00 pm. I decided to try a soft plastic lure and put on a GULP 3″ Jigging Grub in the Peppered Prawn colour. I rigged it on a 1/12th oz jighead and cast it into the swirling eddies again. A few casts produced nothing so I moved round the corner towards the slack water and put out a few more casts. On the third, there was a solid thud and I struck hard. Line started peeling and after a few lunges, I felt the line slow as the fish tried to bury itself in the strap weeds. I tightened the drag a little and pulled it free. I soon had it on the bank – a Brown Trout – just over 35cm long. Delighted, I kept this one for dinner and it certainly tasted sweet.
Trout are definitely harder to catch than I expected