Bring on the searunners and bream
  |  First Published: October 2010

The big rains that fell in early September have added another boost to the substantial highland lake levels and have also helped other lowland waters to reach their capacity.

High levels in early spring are a great investment towards the productivity of our inland waters for the remainder of the season.

Tooms Lake

Tooms Lake has produced a few massive brown trout from amongst the weed and deeper channels. One long time angler of this venue was able to troll up a 12lb brownie using a lead line and mid sized Stumpjumper lure. A few other notable browns of around 5lb have also come from this water of late.

It seems the improved water quality at Tooms has helped put some condition on the resident trout as well as the more recently stocked ones. Anglers have done well in the Rainbow Point and White Rocks areas so for this season.

Craigbourne Dam

Just when Craigbourne Dam was starting to wane, IFS have released another sizeable batch of 330 ex-brood rainbows and Atlantic salmon during early September. The timing couldn’t have been better with the dam level and fishing action both on the rise.

Hobart anglers had a good reason to get out in the rain over Fathers Day weekend with many anglers finding success with the salmon soon after release. There should be some good times to come at the dam as levels rise and the stockies settle into regular feeding habits.

Early and late in the day, anglers can often see the big Atlantics venturing in shallow and along rocky edges. Prospecting with soft plastic minnows and diving hardbodied minnows is a sure fire way to connect to rampaging Atlantic salmon. Anglers can expect to tangle with the odd rainbow and brown at this dam as both species have been stocked in reasonable numbers of late.

Derwent River Options

Hobart anglers often keep an eye on the river at this time as hordes of juvenile Australian salmon often invade the estuary during October. So far the rain has kept the sambo’s at bay.

Lately, Goats Bluff just outside the heads on the Frederick Henry Bay side has been a reliable land-based salmon platform. Light metal slice lures and heavier castable soft plastic rigs have both been successful rigs at the bluff.

Pilchards rigged on small ganged-hook rigs are another good way to tempt salmon. Either slowly retrieved or left to waft about in the swell, pilchards or bluebait are excellent saltwater baits. Bait anglers should ask for Tas Baits when buying bait as these local producers use only local fish and provide a great range of well-presented local baits.


Those still looking to find good numbers of flathead will need to search the deeper holding areas at this time of year. Try different channels and even do some spot fishing in different depths outside or wide of your local bay. Multi-rigged plastics and fresh baits do well when fishing deep at this time of year. Keep your mainline as light as possible as this will make it much easier to keep your rigs hard on the bottom.


October is perhaps one of the best times to target large calamari, as a larger percentage of mature fish are present at this time of year. Calamari will never be too far from their favourite seagrass beds or shallow reefs. Dennes Point and Opposum Bay both have some fantastic squid fishing settings only 30 minutes from Hobart central. Try drift spinning the shallow bays with the aid of some good polarised eyewear and a handful of quality jigs.

A light breeze gives the angler just enough cover and drift while still allowing you to watch calamari pounce on your lure, fun fishing with the added bonus of a great meal at the end of the day.

Searunner action

Searunners are still a solid option throughout the mid to upper river as waves of bait and searunners continue to filter into the Derwent system. Old Beach, Green Point and the Lime Kilns area above Bridgewater are all locations worth prospecting this month.

Imitation baitfish type soft plastics are great tools for searching out a trout or two. Hardbodied minnows and streamer flies are also very attractive offerings, especially when presented to actively feeding trout. The upper estuary below New Norfolk should start to produce the better fish this month, as the migrating bait schools are usually prolific here during October.


Finally, this month normally sees the first real increases in bream activity on the Derwent. Bream will be gathered in pre-spawn clusters at this stage of the year and will frequently hold in quite deep water. A slowly worked 3-4g jig and worm style soft plastic will get bites during the infrequent periods of feeding activity while the river temperatures are still quite cold.

By the end of the month, water temperatures and bream activity will be on the increase and the bream fans will back on the water.

Lures that operate well down deep such as Ecogear VX40, 1/8th rigged Berkley 3” Fry and Ecogear SX43 always do well in the spring months.

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