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Southern kingfish and bream
  |  First Published: April 2012



Yellowtail kingfish have been a hot topic last month as good catches started to happen in several spots about the southeast corner of the state.

The Derwent River has coughed up a handful of small kingfish but there have been some better numbers taken in the Eaglehawk Neck, Triabunna and Coles Bay districts. Local Hobart angler Adam Hill was able to boat a solid 3kg king from hard in against the rocks at Bellerive Bluff.

Interestingly, this fish had recently been feeding on good-sized whiting. Catches at Triabunna have been the best so far this year with a 20 fish haul taken on one boat load of anglers that trolled 130mm Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows to find the schools of yellowtail. They then proceeded to pitch mid-sized soft plastic minnow rigs to the school they had located.

Snapper

Some other interesting catches have taken place on the Derwent with several good snapper being caught in the lower river. While it’s hard to get exact locations to pass onto fishers, I have seen photographic proof and it seems some of these mid-depth reefs are in sight of the Hobart metro area.

There have even been a few pinkies taken off McGee’s Bridge near Midway Point of late. Food for thought.

Flathead

While these minor saltwater species have provided us with some variation in our normal local fishing options, it could be easy to forget what a great summer we have had in regards to flathead. Within Frederick Henry Bay, numbers and size of sandies has been above average for some reason. While the days shorten a little this month there will still be plenty of flatties out there to be had.

Throw away that boat rod and get into the flatties with a light soft plastic rig, you’ll have more fun and probably catch more as well.

Calamari

Calamari lovers will be out and into some better-sized squid this month as they have grown well over summer and always tend to reach a good size by this time of year. The old favourite spots around Opossum Bay, Pirates bay and Dennes Point are always good locations complete with excellent weed beds that attract and hold the calamari.

Calm weather is always helpful while squiding, as they don’t seem to like windy days at all. It can also be a good idea to get hold of a mix of jig colours and sizes when fishing for calamari as they are know to be fussy. Fishing a light 6-10lb line will also assist to improve your catch rates.

Southern trout

Trout anglers should be eager to hit the lakes and rivers this month also as our predominately brown trout fisheries fire up. Lure fishers in particular will do well during the usually aggressive autumn bite. A decent sized hardbodied minnow that invades a trout’s space is a good angle to take during what is now a pre-spawn period. An erratic lure action can also be the key to success at times during this part of the year.

I prefer to fish slim profile minnows in both rivers and lakes during autumn. Some of my favourite minnows are Ecogear MW62f, MX48 and Nories Laydown Minnows.

April will often provide a string of favourable patches of weather that can make for good day trips to the highland lakes. Hobart anglers do have their own little patch of alpine lakes set in the Mount Field National Park. Lake Fenton, Dobson and Belcher are known as the best waters. Lake Dulverton at Oatlands is producing some fine trout right now as well if you can handle fishing this weed-dominated water. Some fat specimens around 4kg are available for those that can extract them.

Throughout the Derwent Valley streams around Easter the more dominant individual trout tend to make themselves more obvious by holding away from structure as part of their pre-spawn behaviour. This tends to make them an easier target for both lure and fly fishers.

Our trout have had the whole summer to gain condition and are at their peak fitness this month making for some of the best sport of the year. Don’t miss out.

Game fishing heats up

While there has been a solid showing of mostly albacore so far this tuna season, the peak bluefin period is now upon us. There have also been some good sized yellowfin tuna and striped marlin taken over the last two months making for some memorable trips for the lucky ones.

The big blues that most tuna hounds tend to look forward too each year will now hopefully start to show up. Big 7” Mack Baits, Yo-Zuri Hydro Mags in the bigger sizes and larger skirted lures are all popular lures around Easter time.

Bream

As with trout, our local bream tend to be in fine condition right now, which offers the light line enthusiast some top angling in the Derwent estuary. Hardbodied minnows tend to be the best tools for working the shallow Derwent shores that our bream love to feed over. Keep in mind that soft lures can be a better option on some days such as times when a colder wind sends the fish deeper for example.

Light soft plastic rigs are cheaper too and can be a good option when leaning your way around a new shore and the structure that lays sub surface. The new Ecogearaqua Bream Prawns are a good option for those looking for a new soft lure that brings results.

These lures are bringing home the bacon in the tournament scene, which goes to show that that do excel in their field. Deep running hardbodied lures and blades also start to become a very useful bream lure in April.

Now is the time to try out these styles of lures if you haven’t had the chance before. If you can’t find bream in the shallow-edge zone, try jigging some blades or sinking some minnows down into the 3m zone for a change. It can work very well at times.

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