Jesse is part of Daiwa Australia’s pro team and has a reputation for knowing how to catch a wide range of species and a willingness to share his knowledge. He’s been fishing the Gippsland area for brown trout for some years with plenty of success and lots of tips to share.
Jesse’s Top Tips For Gippsland Trout Fishing
- Be open to trying different things when trout fishing. Often switching lures, changing retrieves or fishing spots that seem less likely to hold fish will produce results.
- Be prepared to put you lure into difficult spots where other anglers might hesitate to try for fear of getting snagged up. Often there’s a quality fish there and because these streams are relatively shallow it’s not hard to wade in and retrieve a snagged lure.
- Stealth is important. Where possible, fish quietly from the banks where possible, wading only when necessary. Avoid fast movements, stomping on banks and wearing bright colours. Be observant and you’ll spook less fish.
- Work from downstream to upstream. Trout usually hold station facing upstream and will see a lure coming towards them.
- Most of the streams in west Gippsland are less than 2 metres deep, Jesse usually focuses on water waist deep or less, with rubbly or sandy bottoms. In the latter, submerged logs and trees provide fish holding structure.
- Best fishing conditions are when the water is reasonably clear water and there is a little bit of flow. If the water is a little less clear, concentrate efforts in shallower areas or pockets of clearer water.
- Trout fishing in this part of Gippsland is a year-round opportunity, but Jesse reckons the spring and Autumn months are when the trout are more active. There is a closed season on trout in rivers during winter, so obviously avoid fishing those times. Through summer the water can get a little too warm for trout and they can become a bit dormant.
- When it comes to trout fishing, Jesse doesn’t buy into theories about lunar cycles or other factors. He does find that the fishing is best on overcast days – even bad winds or other adverse weather can help.
- In the days following rainfall it can be harder to locate fish, but often once they’re found they’ll be feeding freely. If the river levels are up, look for areas out of the main flow but where there is still some flow.
- Low light periods can be good for trout fishing around Gippsland, but they can be caught throughout the day.
- Look for bridges (use Google Earth before leaving home) and check out the access near bridges or where the river runs close to a road. Overgrown streams can be productive at times, so take the time to look for access points and watch the water to see if you can spot a feeding trout.
- Jesse mostly likes to use shallow running hard body lures in natural colours but finds that soft plastics can be effective if the fish have seen lots of hard body lures.
Jesse’s Tackle Recommendations For Gippsland Trout
- Waders are an important bit of kit for staying warm and dry, but also for protection from snakes. Wear lightweight clothing as you’ll warm up doing plenty of walking in waders.
- A light, 1-2kg spin rod of around 6 ft long is perfect for casting around overhanging cover. Couple this with a 1000-2500 size reel. Jesse is currently using a Daiwa TD Hyper 603 LS with a Daiwa Kix LT 2500. He’s currently using Daiwa J-Thread mono line in the 6lb class, but has also had good success with J Braid in the 4-8lb class with a 2m 6lb fluorocarbon leader.
- Carry insect repellent, sunscreen, water and a first aid kit as you’ll be walking a fair bit and may be 30-60 minutes from where you parked your car.
Jesse’s Best Trout Fishing Lures
- The Doctor Minnow Jointed 5F is a shallow running hard bodied lure with an erratic wiggling action that trout find hard to refuse. These can be cast upstream and across with twitches of the rod tip to impart extra action. Dart them around structures such as boulders and logs in areas of fluctuating depth, but particularly in the shallower water.
- The Daiwa Wise Minnow in Iwana colour is a great choice. Other colours work well too. Jesse tries to use lures that are similar in colour to food items at his chosen spot but will switch to flashier colours if the water is coloured. This lure is fished in a similar way to the Doctor Minnow, but has a different action, works a little deeper and is a better option below waterfalls or in slightly deeper pools.
- Jesse suggests having a selection of small soft plastics. They’re not his first choice but can catch fish when the hard bodies are drawing blanks. His preferred plastic is the Strike Tiger Nymph in brown or black, although brighter colours can work late in the season. Cast upstream and then allow then to hop downstream quite slowly. Be prepared to get snagged occasionally.