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Getting Acquainted with Slob Trout: What You Should Know

What is a slob trout? Slob trout are essentially a phenotype of brown trout, which is usually found in estuaries, saltwater or brackish water in areas where the rivers meet the sea.

Slob trout are essentially the continuum between the sea trout and the trout that are typically found in brackish water. In this article, we’ll discuss the question, “what is a slob trout?”

So, What Is a Slob Trout?

Also sometimes referred to as the bull trout, slob trout were classified as a separate species. In the 19th century, slob trout were classified as Salmo eriox by William Yarrell in A History of British Fish. However, it was discovered that slob fish were Salmo trutta after a long-drawn dispute between biologists.

Slob trout are bulky fish and are not “true” sea trout. The slob trout do not go through the smolt stage like the sea trout, which essentially distinguishes them from sea trout.

As mentioned earlier, slob trout live in the brackish water of estuaries and saline lagoons or sea lochs, which are cut off from the sea.

This is because the physiology of the slob trout allows them to survive in the brackish waters of the saline lagoons and estuaries without the adaptations required for them to survive in the sea.

The slob trout usually inhabit these places because they can find ample food in these areas and they usually travel up and down the estuaries, saline lagoons, saltwater, and brackish water bodies looking for food such as seaweed, shrimps, small crabs, mussels, snails, etc.


hand holding a brown trout

Slob trout are bulky fish with a stunning appearance.

Author Note: These beautiful fish have a glistening body with a shimmery gold lame trim. Slob fish have well-proportioned, thick-set bodies and they are powerhouses and tend to grow to massive sizes.

The ample supply of nutritious food in the brackish estuary and salty lagoon waters such as snails, shrimps, etc., enable the slob trout to grow easily to the 2 lb to 4 lb range.

And, what’s more? These large fish with their superbly conditioned bodies are big fighters.

Slob Trout vs Sea Trout

Both slob trout, as well as sea trout, are typically found in rivers, burns or lochs that flow into the sea.

Both these fish have life cycles that are quite similar to that of brown trout. In the case of sea trout, till they are 3 years old, some of the fish turn silver colored and are known as smolts.

These smolts usually swim from the rivers to the sea and feed on shrimps and other small fish such as sand eels, etc.

After a year, some of the sea trout may return to the freshwater; however, others stay in the sea for up to 5 years.

Slob trout typically live in lochs or estuaries, where the rivers and sea meet and keep moving in and out of the freshwater.

Slob trout may either be dark brown or they may be silver colored like the sea trout. They may travel to the sea; however, when it is time to spawn, they return to the freshwater.  

How to Fish for Slob Trout

Bown trout revives after catching

Slob trout are challenging fish to capture. They are typically good fish for fly fishing, but they are also excellent for backing-stripping runs.

This makes the slob trout an excellent sport fish. Just like other trout fishing, the key to successful slob fishing is to understand the slob trout’s feeding patterns.

Author Note: Typically, at specific stages of the tide, there is a large amount of food available for the slob trout and they gather to feed ravenously. And, this is the best time when the slob trout are most accessible to fly anglers.

Once the tide comes in, the debris at the bottom of the estuary or lagoon is stirred up and the tide also brings in a fresh crop of food from the sea.

Slob trout are familiar with the tides and appear around the tidal entrances exactly in time when the tides come in, bringing with them their daily supplies of food.

The best time for fishing slob trout is during the spring tides when larger volumes of water usually flow into the lagoon over the sill. This stirs up more food, which increases the supply for the slob trout.

Spring Time Fishing

Brown trout

During the spring tide, you need not focus on the tidal entrance alone. Instead, it is a good idea to determine where the water is getting funneled and this will lead you to the slob trout.

Typically, the slob trout will gather for up to 1 hour or more before the high tide waiting for the food that will come along with the spring tide and so, a couple of hours before and after the tidal peak is the best time to fish for slob trout.

Top Tip: Any other time that you go slob fishing outside the high tide time, may result in drawing a blank.

However, you may still be lucky to snare some of the slob trout that may be loitering around by casting your fly close to the tidal entrances along the rock outcrops or islands and the shoreline, which may be good fishing grounds for slob trout irrespective of the time of the day or the stage of the tide.

The evening time is the best for slob fishing where the winds, as well as the increasing pressure, adds insects, as well as invertebrates to the ample aquatic food. In short, the best time to go slob trout fishing is when the tide is high. A high spring tide is a better option, especially during the evening.

When looking for slob trout, the best is to make long diagonal casts very close to the shoreline; however, ensure that you cast across the wave or flow instead of straight down because when on the prowl for food, the slob trout usually orient themselves facing into the wave or current and so you will end up catching the slob trout instead of other types of fish.

Also, fishing your fly around features like rocks, seaweed banks, mini-reefs, etc. offer cover and may help to draw out the slob trout from their hiding holes.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, we hope that after reading our article about what is a slob trout, you have all the information about this type of trout, where they can be found, and when is the best time to go slob trout fishing. With some high tide, wind and good luck, you’re sure to catch a few of the slob monsters.

Happy Hunting!


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