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It might be cold in Victoria during winter, but the fishing for rainbow trout can be sizzling hot!

And don’t worry if you don’t own a boat because baitfishing from the shore can be very effective.

We all know rainbows are partial to dough baits however glassies are another option that can be deadly at times.

These small baitfish are generally sold in your local bait supplier


Here are a few tips about fishing them:

  1. Keep them whole – Glassies aren’t big. Certainly no pilchard! So keep them whole and rig them on a long shanked hook. Three or four half-hitches around the bait will keep it sitting neatly on the hook. And a final half-hitch around the wrist of the glassie’s tail, will ensure it doesn’t fly off during a cast.
  2. Vary casting distances – When fishing from the shore, it can be tempting to think that longer casts are better. Not necessarily! Until I establish a pattern, I like to fish one long and one fairly short, maybe only 20m from the bank. A light running sinker rig is all that’s needed.
  1. Bite indicators –they feel a bit primitive, but there’s lots to be said for bells and light sticks on rod tips for visual and audio clues of a bite. A good metal rod holder is also good to keep your reel out of the dirt and provide a solid housing for those fish that take the bait, bolt and hook themselves.
  2. Fish the lee shore – staying out of a headwind, however light, is important during a Victorian winter. But a lee shore and still water have other advantages. You can watch your line for early indications of a fish that’s picked up your glassie and is moving off. That type of subtlety just isn’t possible when shoreline waves are tossing floating braid around in a headwind.
  1. Schooling bows – rainbow trout love to school so if you get bites, or land fish, don’t move too far away. Similarly, be patient in a spot because sometimes it can be hours between bites. Then all of a sudden, both rods go off at the same time as a school passes by. Glassies are not a bait that get hassled by little nibbling fish. So leave your bait be and just enjoy the scenery and staying warm!

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