The last couple of months on the Derwent have provided some fine fishing for sea run brown trout, as the average size seems to have increased this season.
There has been a solid showing of 1.5kg plus trout this year with some really chunky units throw into the mix as well. Quite a few keen Derwent anglers have taken their personal best sea trout this year as the trout fattened up nicely on an abundance of baitfish throughout the estuary.
The Lime Kilns area above Bridgewater and The Wash below New Norfolk have both been hot spots for active trout well into October with many notable trout around 3kg being taken at both these locations. November usually sees a decline in activity from the sea runners but some will still be about if you’re able to locate a good bait source.
Small mullet and sandies will be on their menu right now as the whitebait run fades away. Successful sea trout anglers are usually those that are happy to but in the hours as this is often a pursuit for the dedicated. Stick to using a standard 6cm shallow minnow, 3” soft plastics or 13.5g Tassie Devil when lure fishing.
Craigbourne Dam’s recent rainbow trout stocking has created a steady stream of both opportunity and success for anglers applying all manner of presentations to these feisty trout. Water conditions have remained somewhat coloured, which has not made it easy for the trout and salmon to find lures. Accordingly, bait anglers using both natural and dough baits have done well if they are set up in the right areas.
The rainbows have recently preferred the shallow grassy edged zones that fringe the road as you drive into the dam. Early and late in the day seem to be the best times to work lures for the trout especially in calmer conditions. Settled water seems to help the trout to be able to home in on lures by sensing either the lure vibration or flash, even in the dirtiest water.
With that in mind, anglers will do better by using slower retrieves that allow fish some more time to locate their target. Obvious lure colour choices such as black, hot pink, fluoro green and high flash finishes in both suspending and floating varieties are sensible choices until the water clears.
I managed to get into a few decent rainbows fishing a light soft plastic rig with a very slow lift a drop retrieve, trying to keep the lure high in the water. I was fishing late afternoon in reasonably calm winds and there were some active rainbows that were swirling just below the surface. I fished a dark almost pellet type colour in a 50mm Bream Prawn.
Takes came only metres from where my lures were landing. I’m fairly sure that pen reared ‘bows like the current stocking do react quickly to things that drop into the water much like a feed pellet. Match the hatch as they say!
Other anglers have done well fishing hot colours in Tassie Devils in conjunction with traditional fly droppers. Most takes have been on the red and black Matuka droppers either cast or trolled about the lake edges. Some very nice brown trout are turning up too as they have been fattening nicely over the last season or so.
The Derwent River will now begin to show its hand as one of the best light tackle fisheries in the land, as bream moving to and from spawn areas produce some great lure angling. Rising salinity and temperatures in the estuary help the whole scene to get firing this month. Light soft plastics and blades work well at this time of year especially as searching tools to locate the often-congregated bream.
Once found, anglers can change to diving lures to suit the depth they find the bream holding in. Schools can usually be found hugging rock or timber edge structure right now and small suspending lures are perfect for getting in the face of the somewhat territorial bream. Small diving lures in the 40-60mm size range are good choices for edge structure work.
Many local saltwater anglers will be gearing up for the opening of the striped trumpeter season that kicks off this month. Deep spin jig combos have really taken off as the preferred rig for this type of angling in recent times and if you haven’t tried using this type of gear, you should.
Loaded with 50-80lb braid, these rigs allow anglers to fish a variety of bait and lure rigs down around the 100m mark while still being able to detect every bite and with improved retrieve/fighting capabilities. It’s always a good idea with this style of fishing is to invest some good dollars in a well-built reel and even more importantly, some quality braided line.
The southern rock lobster season also kicks off this month and those heading out should take time to note the changes to limits this year.
Our local calamari action really gets going this month as well and although there are some regions that remain closed until the middle of this month, our local haunts around Hobart are open to fishing. Fishing the shallow sea grass beds is one of my favourite angling events of the year.
Calamari can provide some excellent sight fishing fun right now using light finesse tackle in shallow bay locations about the lower river, Tasman Peninsula and northern Bruny Island. Those restricted to land-based outings can do quite well using squid jigs under floats or by utilising longer Egi rods that assist anglers fishing around rocky outcrops.
There are plenty of fishable jetties and the like in the area as well with Opossum Bay and Pirates Bay being a couple of notable spots worth trying.
Hobart fishers needing a relaxing bent-rod session will find hoards of cocky salmon about the lower Derwent this month. Small slice lures or even surface lures are good choices when fished on light enough spin tackle to allow long casting. High tides in the mornings are always good and it also pays to keep an eye out for sea birds feeding on baitfish if you need some help in finding better concentrations of fish.Reads: 2632