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Winter Options abound
  |  First Published: June 2010



While the Derwent still has active bream about, many local bream anglers turn their attention to other nearby areas such as the Little Swanport system and the Lune River to the south.

Bream Options

A few recent excursions around the Pittwater bays near Midway Point have found some good bream on offer here as well. Weed beds on the margins of the drainage channel created by the Coal River flow have yielded some good fish over 1kg.

Lightly weighted soft plastic worms and shallow minnows such as an Ecogear MX 48f have caught most of the bream for me at this location. The area is hard to access with bigger punts but is perfect for kayakers and small craft enthusiasts.

The Prosser River is another local option for the winter months. The shallow weed beds downstream of the bridge on the southern bank can provide some good sight fishing for bream and silver trevally in July.

Although the Derwent can suffer from slow fishing due to the low water temperatures over winter, at times the bream can still turn it on. Sinking minnow lures, blades and heavier soft plastic rigs will help you get down and amongst the generally deeper holding bream.

Give the Ecogear VX and ZX range of blades a try as these lures have proved to be perhaps the best blade on the market to date. Bladed style lures can be fished much like a soft plastic rig. Allow the lure to sink to the desired depth before employing a hopping type retrieve.

Play around with the retrieve speed as bream will react differently from one day to the next. Scenting these lures, and others for that matter, is always a good idea in the colder months.

Southern Bluefin Tuna

Southern bluefin tuna have been the main target for most local offshore anglers during June. Late June usually sees most anglers pull up stumps on the tuna but the diehards will push on until they get that big fish as long as the weather holds.

A few very big fish of 116kg, 118kg and 128kg have kept the trophy tuna hounds on the water well into winter this year. Skirted lures have come into their own over the last month or so, although 160mm Killer Vibes have taken plenty of solid tuna on other days.

The occasional large albacore of about 20kg were still being caught during June but have all but disappeared by now.

Huge numbers of SBTs were off the south western shore of Victoria, which might mean our season will run for quite a while longer.

Snotty trevally

Snotty trevally are always about at this time of year and these highly sought after table fish have been available in good numbers over the last 4-5 weeks. Sabiki jigs sweetened with small strips of chicken meat are one of the best rigs for these fish.

Snotties can be berleyed to deepwater land-based locations or to anchored vessels.

Chicken feed pellets and granulated fish berley from you local tackle store are both good forms of berley for this type of fishing.

Flounder

Flounder season has been in full swing with a good run of plate-sized fish common this winter. Shallow bays from Howrah down to Opossum Bay in the Lower Derwent estuary have been producing plenty of flounder. The Pittwater shallows have also been attracting many schools of good-sized specimens. The sand flats around the islands visible from the Midway Point causeway are the type of locations that often produce great flounder sessions.

Flounder will tend to lie in wait in deeper waters near flats and rush into the shallows for a feed right on dark. With this in mind it can be worth being ready at nightfall as this period often produces the best fishing.

Still conditions are a must when spearing in the shallows, so make the most of the good conditions when they occur. Although the bag limit is 30 fish, a good-sized flounder will make a meal for one. Keep this in mind and only take what you need and can eat fresh.

Remember a bag limit is a possession limit, which means it includes whatever is in your freezer.

Australian salmon

Australian salmon continue to be one of the main target species for local light tackle saltwater anglers. Recently, the bay at Cremorne has seen good numbers of sizeable black back salmon chasing baitfish in the shallows.

Similar schools of salmon are always in and around the Frederick Henry Bay region. Trolling with metal slices or medium sized minnow lures is a reliable way to find salmon when they are not visibly busting up on the surface. There are quite a few sizeable cockie salmon throughout the lower Derwent as well.

Metro anglers can do well on these hard fighting fish with 3” soft plastic minnows and light braided line rigs. Sessions either side of high water are the best time to find salmon boiling near the surface as they hunt down baitfish.

The odd sea trout will be a welcome by-catch for Hobart anglers fishing for either salmon or bream in the Derwent mid reaches over winter.

Winter trout and salmon

The odd big Atlantic salmon is being taken at Craigbourne Dam in recent times. Diving minnow lures in black and gold have been the stand out lure when fished methodically along the margins at the lower end of the storage. These big Atlantics have continued to put on condition since release with some fish weighing in around the 6kg mark.

The brown trout that were also liberated earlier in the year have also fared well over recent months. Several local trout anglers have reported catching one or two well conditioned browns of around 2kg on some trips to the dam. Soft plastic minnows in pumpkinseed and smelt colours have taken trout as have soft vibe lures.

Lake Meadowbank is always worth a look over winter as well.

Try the inflow area for both Atlantics and post spawn trout.

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