Salmon, Australian

(Arripis trutta)

Commonly referred to as Salmon!

The Australian salmon is a magnificent sport fish that has a reputation for thrilling anglers from all walks of life as they migrate up and down our magnificent Southern Australian coast line. Unfortunately due to them being labelled as a non event when it comes to their eating qualities large numbers of  Australian salmon are harvested each year mainly for pet food and fertiliser, a real tragedy considering the sporting potential of the species! They are a strong, robust fish that take most bait and lure offerings with gusto commonly taking to the air during battle making them a truly enjoyable angling species in deed.

Distribution

Australian salmon can be encountered in W.A. waters from as far south as Albany right up to Jurien Bay and also throughout S.A., VIC and southern N.S.W.

Growth

Australian salmon can grow to over 90 cm in length and weigh as much as 9kg in weight although most fish commonly encountered around Australia average around 3 – 4kg.

Habitat

Australian salmon inhabit coastal inshore waters such as beaches, rocky head lands and shallow off shore reef systems with ample food sources available. Salmon can also be encountered in deeper waters to 120 meters during spawning.

Identification

Australian salmon are a thick, muscular, torpedo shaped species that are green to grey in colouration with yellow fins. The mouth has no teeth and the tail is forked and powerful enough to propel the entire fish from the water.

Taste rating

  • Twenty Taste Rating
    20%

Australian Salmon are better known for their fine sporting qualities rather than their poor taste although they are quite tasty once smoked and eaten with crackers and cheese!

Sport rating

  • Ninety Sport Rating
    90%

Australian salmon are exceptionally strong for their size and are a worthy opponent in any anglers book!

Tackle requirements

Light graphite rods in the 3 – 6kg range, around 6’ in length matched to spin reels in the 2500 – 4000 class spooled with braided or gel spun lines with a breaking strain of 10 – 20lb are ideal for casting both lures and baits out of a boat for salmon. Shore based outfits need to be slightly heavier and longer to achieve the distance required to reach schools and control rampaging fish once hooked in turbulent surf or rock fishing situations. Trolling for salmon is also a popular technique and requires a light overhead or spin combo spooled with 4 – 8kg brightly coloured nylon or braided line. Small lever drag reels and light rods are ideally suited for this exciting style of fishing. Australian salmon do not have teeth so light nylon or fluoro carbon leaders are generally required to prevent fussy fish from seeing brightly coloured main lines and also to aid in landing. Salmon are also a fantastic target species for salt water fly out fits which should be rated between 7WT – 9WT depending on the size of fish being targeted.

Recommended baits, lures and rigs

Live mackerel, small mullet and whiting will all make great live baits for fussy salmon, try fishing them on light nylon leaders and running sinker rigs. It is also important to match your hook size to your bait. Small to medium sized hard bodied lures are also ideal for both casting from shore and trolling from a boat at around 4 – 6 knots with metal slices, soft plastics, surface lures and fly’s all proving to be incredibly effective on this veracious species. Surface lures such as poppers and stick baits are not only especially effective but also visually spectacular when launched upon by this large, powerful species!

Handy hints and tips

When fishing for Australian salmon try using  slightly main lines and leader materials, this will enable anglers to experience the true fighting capabilities of this great Aussie species!

Preferred fishing times and tides

Australian salmon prefer a rising tide that coincides with low light periods such as dawn and dusk at most shore based locations and are generally not too hard to tempt no matter what time of day when off shore.

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[What The Fish]