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Big black bream the highlight
  |  First Published: March 2012



March in the Derwent Valley is the month for the big Tasmanian black bream.

Post spawn schools will now have broken up into smaller packs of bream and will increase their already regular feeding patterns attempting to put on some condition. The mid-estuary stretch of the Derwent between the Bridgewater and Tasman Bridges will now become home for our local bream population.

Hungry bream will be keen to hunt over shallow intertidal zones during high water, which will present anglers with consistent sight fishing opportunities over the coming months.

Bream will normally focus on a mixed diet of mussels and baitfish at this time of year. Therefore it can pay dividends to find areas with plenty of shallow mussel-coated rock combined with a good baitfish presence.

Baitfish feeders make for some quality hardbodied minnow session over the next few months. Those that are fairly new to this type of lure fishing should start collecting a small range of shallow running minnows in the 5-7cm range for working the edges. Both natural fishy colours and hotter/bright colourations will work. There are some excellent shores perfect for breaming in the Otago, Lindisfarne and Montrose areas.

Bream on fly

Recent bream outings on the Derwent have including some good flyfishing in addition to the great lure action. I take a 7 weight fly rig with a weight forward floating line on occasions when we can spot good numbers of bream. My flies of choice are a 1/0 chartreuse and white weighted Clouser, #2 Bass Vampire in black and purple or a Green #2 Woolly or Fuzzle Bugger.

I run a simple straight section 3m leader of 12-15lb fluorocarbon. Most casts end up being into around 1m of water or less. Successful casts usually are the ones were we manage to get the fly around a metre in front of a holding fish and are able to impart a few quick strips of the fly into the retrieve. If the bream turns onto the fly a few more nippy strips and then a dead stop pause can often result in a solid ‘clunk’ type take.

Bream certainly get a bend on a fly rod and present local anglers with an interesting option each summer while water temps are up.

IFS stocking based fishing

Inland fisheries have continued the stocking program with some big drops of salmon over summer. Lake Meadowbank received about 1400 1kg fish during January and these well-conditioned specimens are being caught regularly about the lake. Most are excess brood stock which have been well fed making them superb table fish. On the other hand Craigbourne Dam has remained fairly quiet despite the numbers of trout and salmon liberated in this fishery.

Constantly coloured water has slowly but surely killed off the weed beds in many areas. Very shallow point areas that still allow some amount of light onto the bottom are continuing to maintain patches of healthy weed. These were the only zones where I found fish on a recent visit to the dam.

Bay Fishing

The bay scene about the south east quarter has really fired up this summer with water temperatures being much warmer than last year. The local flathead population has been very obliging in these conditions. That combined with some very favourable patches of weather has provided the crowds with constant sport this summer.

Soft plastic rigs as usual have been the standout method for bay drifters targeting the tasty flatfish. Good quality gummy shark have been on offer for those that head outside the local sanctuaries to target them. Large cut baits of squid or small whole fish are often the preferred baits for these sharks.

Other local highlights over the summer have been the size of the Australian salmon in some areas and the massive numbers of squid about this year. Small concentrations of chunky sambos have made for some hot sessions few those lucky enough to encounter the right schools.

The Dunalley Canal area has been as good a spot as any to look for big black back salmon. Try some mid-sized poppers or even larger metal blades if you get the chance this month. Hobart anglers looking for an afternoon or mornings set rod fishing could try Marion Bay beach past Dunalley as it can be a good beach fishing location for salmon and even gummies.

Arrow Squid

While calamari have really been quite spasmodic and on the move lately, arrow squid have been about in ridiculous numbers. Expect that to change now as the local calamari grow a little more and win back their territory from the plaques of arrows. The calm afternoons over the next few weeks are the perfect time to prospect for a few calamari.

I recently found some good weedy ledges and rocky reefs that held squid at the entrance to the Prosser River. It’s always fun to find some new spots to put on your annual must-fish list and this area and similar nearby locations are worth checking out.

Tuna

On the tuna front, the albacore have been quite good since late January and should stick around as we head into the peak bluefin period. Now is a good time to check your tuna rigs and re-rig where necessary, as a solid bluefin is sure to test your gear. With some school blues already about we may not nave to wait long for some good tuna times.

Some popular lures to get hold of are 5-7” skirts, Yo-Zuri Hydro Mags, Rapala Xrap Mag20/30 and Lively Lures Mack Baits in 5” and 7”.

Reworking your split ring and hook set up on larger tuna style hardbodies is a common upgrade when targeting large blues.

Factory trebles are often replaced by larger single or assist hooks using heavier test split ring to ensure you stay with that fish of a lifetime.

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