Game Fishing

Sea Trout

Our brief, plain speaking guide to sea trout.
Sea Trout

Sea trout are something of a chameleon fish, and easily mistaken for salmon, and also brown trout. In the open water, they have bright silver sides, easily detached scales, and white belly fins – and it is common for people to mistake them for salmon. But, when an adult sea trout enters fresh water, its colour changes and becomes similar to brown trout making it more difficult to distinguish between the two. The key difference to look for then is its darker spots, versus the brown trout’s reddish spots.
Finding them
Sea trout are widespread around the UK and Ireland, where they enter freshwater river systems for breeding between April and September. They prefer clean and cold upland rivers and lakes, quite a change after spending its life until then in the sea!
Food and bait
Sea trout feed with small fish, prawns, shrimps, crustaceans, and even small eels – they like a good feed – so luring is best done with live bait such as worms, or obvious-sized pieces of fish, or eye-catching fly-type lures. They often are drawn to food just a few inches below the surface, and will chase after bait quite vigorously if it appeals. Wading into flows (watch your footing and for a strong  tide if near the sea, obviously) – works well.
Sea trout normally breed October to December, at which point adult males will look most alike to brown trout with the distinctive lower-jaw ‘kype’ hook appearing. The female lays eggs in depression in gravel-bottomed streams or rivers, where the male will fertilises them. She then returns to flick gravel over the eggs with her tail, the resultant gravel beds being referred to as ‘redds’.
All salmonid species share the same life cycle, so sea trout develop from eggs to alevin, fry, parr, and then ‘smolts’ in adulthood. Alevin in newly hatched eggs do not move from the red; fry stay around the redd eating small invertebrates; parr  grow up to around 15cm in length; smolt are big enough to swim out to the sea.
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