A chance mystery fish

Ausho

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Hi all,
Second day on the forum reading old threads, especially ones by Zerkalo on his treasured Stour weir pool. I had on a number of times stood on the bridge over the weir wondering what lurked below. Now I know, cheers Zerkalo.
Reading them, I recalled a January morning planning how I could catch 21 target species in a 12hr or 24hr period. Penciling in venues alongside the target fish one being the Brown trout. Now anyone knowing Birmingham will know its not noted for Brown trout, in fact it's not noted for it's rivers. Two chance conversations with different people at different times informed me of Brown trout in the Worcester Stour in its upper and lower reaches. The upper reaches which rise in the Clent hills 15mins away were out of bounds, private land. But the lower reaches that was a different matter, as far as I know all free fishing if you can get access and I knew of a spot near Stourport next to the Staffs/worc' canal. OK juices flowing could I catch one within an hour of leaving home?? Lets try nothing ventured.... I had a few maggots and worms leftover and nothing better to do, I set off at 11am that morning with minimum tackle to catch a trout by 12pm. Keeping to the speed limits of course I arrived with 35mins left 5min walk to the peg, set up leaving 25mins to catch. Set up was a straight lead to 3lb hooklength, and a worm on a size 16. A couple of twitches but nothing positive I did strike at a nice stick bite. 11:59 my fine tipped rod snatches around at what proved to be a pound chub that got the heart thumping. Failed, but a valiant attempt I thought. It was an unlikely challenge for a January morning. I decided to have a wander up the river and check out the weir above where I was fishing. Whoa I fancy this, a lovely smooth glide ideal for trotting a stick. Not having my float rod with me I thought I would return and give it ago another day. I returned in March before the close season with Float gear to give that glide a go. I set up a light stick shirt button style, but finding I hadn't a plumbob I guessed the depth at 4ft planning to alter till I dragged bottom. Maggot on the hook, first swim nothing, deepen off to 5ft my float buries, my strike latches into a steam train that takes line to a depth far deeper than 5ft. What the.... and what a fight eventually lifting my net under something I had only caught once before. I had done something similar on the Thames at Lechlade trotting a weir. The fish just over a 1lb of silver with fine black spots. Is it a sea trout or a salmon smoult??? Whichever it is I will let you decide, personally I favour a sea trout. Pretty amazing for a river that was once classed as dead due to all the different coloured dyes that were poured into it from the carpet industry. Well that was the only fish I managed but enjoyed it all the same. Life is good!!
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62tucker

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Might be a discussion but for a few years now I been told a sea trout is just a brown trout that’s been to sea so same species. 🤷‍♂️
 

Zerkalo

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I have no idea on identifying different kinds of Trout but it's great to have someone else who has fished the Worcs Stour on here and nice to see Trout coming out of there. As you say, once a very polluted river. I'm on my third season of fishing that weir now and have had one Brown Trout out, hooked another but it jumped out the water and shed the hook.
 

tipitinmick

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I have no idea on identifying different kinds of Trout but it's great to have someone else who has fished the Worcs Stour on here and nice to see Trout coming out of there. As you say, once a very polluted river. I'm on my third season of fishing that weir now and have had one Brown Trout out, hooked another but it jumped out the water and shed the hook.
Me neither Zerkalo. Like sea fish. They all look the same to me. Apart from those that look like they’ve been stood on. 🙄🤣🤣
 

Ausho

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Yes not many fish the Worcs Stour. I am more the Warwickshire Stour now having joined both the Shipston anglers and the Stratford on avon club. Had a session last week. 5 chub for 8lb,, 5lb of dace and 4lb of trout in just over 2ft of water on the stick.
 

Zerkalo

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I don't know the Warks Stour but that sounds like a good day. I noticed in your first report you mentioned the Arrow. I've never fished that myself but my step uncle used to fish a lot of rivers in the area. We were speaking about the Warks Avon the other day, I think he mentioned something about where the Arrow joins the Avon but on googling it I'm not sure that's right. I tell him when I'm going to check out different stretches of river and he always says something along the lines of "used to be great there!"
 

John Step

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People sometimes ask me if I'm interested in sea fishing, and I always just tell them I'm not because I wouldn't know where to start!
I tried it once from a day trip on a boat in the Solent.
Under way, nice and bracing.
Anchor down, start throwing up. Hanging over the side. Continued until finish time.
Small round hairy ring came up!!! Joking.
Engine started and under way to shore.
Nice and bracing started recovering.
Asked if I would like to go on the next outing.

WOULD I ROBLOICKS!!!!!!!!!!!
 

mickthechippy

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Might help with the whys and wherefors and identification

My local chalk stream is quite famous for its run of seatrout, even getting a mention by Isaak in his bible of early angling, as the "fordwich trout"

 

Deejay8

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A sea trout and a brown trout are the same species, Salmo Trutta. A sea trout is usually born with the instinct to swim down the river and live at sea, unlike non migratory brown trout, which always stay in freshwater. But pollution or a lack of food can prompt a brown trout to become a sea trout. A sea trout and a salmon can easily be told apart by the peduncle of the tail. On a sea trout there is no defined wrist where the tail meets the body, but on a salmon, the rear of the body narrows before it widens again at the join to the tail, forming what feels like a wrist that you can grasp. Also a salmon doesn't have spots below the lateral line, unlike the sea trout. A sea trout and a brown trout can be difficult to tell apart if the fish has been back in freshwater for a while, although males can become quite salmon like with a hooked mouth. Generally sea trout are larger than brown trout, but as they come back to the river to spawn after just a few months, unlike salmon which stay at sea for years before returning, they can be fairly small on their early returns to the river. Unlike salmon, sea trout are better at surviving the transition between sea and freshwater, and the rigours of spawning, and will return to sea and come back to the river several times in it's life. The salmon usually dies before it can reach the sea again.
 

Robwooly

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There's plenty of small brown trout in the rivers and brooks in and around the West Midlands and some rather large ones in a few urban rivers that would surprise a few. Not the best sea trout area though.
 

Ausho

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So sea trout it is, thanks for commenting.
As for the Arrow, a fantastic little river flowing from the Lickey hills. Googled it to check(Rises on Beacon hill apparently) flows through Redditch and Alcester. Joins the Warwickshire Avon on a BAA stretch accessed from Salford prior and opposite the Marcliffe stretch. I fished it when it was controlled above the Salford to Bidford rd bridge A439. I don’t believe anyone controls it now. But a great place for Barbel and Chub.
 

MarkW

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Not a seatrout; the sheen on a seatrout is very different to that on a brown trout, almost a mauve colour. I grew up catching lots of accidental seatrout and brown trout (plus a few salmon) on the Dorset rivers and with experience easy to tell apart from brown trout.
 

Zerkalo

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Since catching a Brownie from the weir I've always hoped for another one, I think there stands a good chance. I'm glad my reports have been read too. Although I think they have improved as time has gone on reading the old ones back. 😁 I've been fishing on the weir and had another angler turn up and say to me "oh, you're the angler with the blog". :LOL:
 

Ausho

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Sorry MarkW, You did say brown trout, didn’t realise they can change colour. This one was in winter the one on the Thames was in the summer. They had very similar markings. Others say Sea trout are Brown trout that go to sea. Researching tinternet this morning, one site(wildtrout.org/trout facts) said that “ Brown trout(Including Sea trout) belong to a single, polytypic, species. They are, however, so variable and adaptable that attempts have been made to assign them to at least 50 separate species. Whatever all that means? I just know it put up a fantastic fight and was very welcome.
 

Ausho

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Oh and thanks Deejay8 for your explanation. Nature will continue to baffle and amaze long may it do so. I wish I took a better pic now to check the mouth and tail area. But will know better if ever I catch another.
 

Deejay8

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Oh and thanks Deejay8 for your explanation. Nature will continue to baffle and amaze long may it do so. I wish I took a better pic now to check the mouth and tail area. But will know better if ever I catch another.
The fish in your photo looks very much like a brown trout. They have such a variation of colour to them. I can see why you thought it might be a sea trout. As MarkW says, they usually have a very metallic sheen to them, so this is more likely a brown trout. It's definitely not a salmon as the spots are not limited to above the lateral line. Trout do tend to darken in clear water, and become lighter in coloured water. And this summer the rivers are carrying more colour, due to the weather.
 

squimp

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That looks like a brownie to me.

I caught 3 ‘trouty’ fish (actually 2, as 1 was caught twice in a week) a few years back from the Thames just above Oxford. they were 2.5 - 3lb. An EA contact told me that they were seatrout. Later it transpired that they were actually brown trout stocked into the Colne tributary by Cotswold Flyfishers.

Yesterday a guy told me that he had 5 trout in 5 casts from the upper Thames recently !
 
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