- Arripis trutta
Unique to Australian and New Zealand waters, the Australian Salmon (somewhat misnamed, as it is not a true salmonoid) is a favorite target of AKFF fishermen on the east coast. Known more for its fighting qualities than for its suitability for the table - this pelagic species ranges from under 30cm up to 80cm in length.
Once hooked, salmon will often make several runs - and often go airborne to attempt to spit hooks. They can be hooked on lures, fly, soft plastics, or baits like pilchards. Salmon can be taken in the wash around reefs or rocky headlands. They also quite often patrol gutters at beaches. However, a popular way to fish for salmon is to look for schools that are working baitballs, casting small lures right into the frenzy.
Salmon are migratory. On the east coast, large schools migrate up the coast in late winter. These schools will often be feeding on large schools of tiny baitfish commonly known as eyes and can be extremely hard to catch without matching the hatch. Fly fishers tend to do well at these times. At other times of the year, schools will be smaller but the fish will be less fussy. Solitary fish can also be found in deep water estuaries.
The AKFF record Salmon can be found in our Salt Water Records section.
Many members have success chasing salmon using small metal slices (eg: Halco twisties), but salmon will also happily take soft plastics.
Try the following options:
- Gulp Shakey Shad, in smelt (white/grey)
- Squidgy 4" shad in blue
- Squidgy 4" hottail fish in red or white tail
- Anything in white to match the size of what they are hitting
- River2Sea Searocks in 7g or 10g
- Slowly cast & retrieve plastics close to headlands.
- When encountering a bait ball, send in a SP, let it drop for around 5-10 seconds, then attempt to quickly 'rip' the plastic back through the bait school. The edges are generally where the fish are, so let it drop down through the school, or cast towards the edges.
- Small metal slugs can also be worked around the edges of feeding schools. NB casting into the middle of a school may cause the fish to sound, earning you the approbation of your fishing mates. Keep an eye out though, as they may resurface close by
- Trolling diving minnows in deep water estuaries can produce the occasional salmon