Big southern blues keep the winter chills away
  |  First Published: August 2012

August heralds the new trout fishing season with opening weekend on the first weekend in August.


The Derwent is a magnificent trout fishery with quality resident browns and some awesome silver sea runners added in to the mix. For the first three months of the year it offers up world-class fishing both in numbers, condition and fighting qualities.

Anglers are best advised to target channel edges and rock points on the outgoing tide for great results. Some great results around Masons Point just north of the Bridgewater Bridge on a good high tide when fish will push up along the reed edges hunting baitfish.

Most of the well-known lure brands will produce results these days, just look for something in a baitfish imitation, a pretty fish or galaxia colour will bring the desired results. Fishing the river between New Norfolk and the Bowen Bridge at this time of the year will increase your chances also. This region I’ve always found to be the most productive over many seasons.


One of the Derwent tributaries is also on the radar on opening weekend and on throughout August is the Tyenna River. The Tyenna produced one of Australia’s biggest ever trout last opening, a massive brown weighing in at 12.4kg or 27lb 7oz taken on the Sunday: just one of many thumping great trout caught from this small river each and every year.

I don’t doubt it will be very popular with local anglers once again as that magnificent fish will be recalled as people start to decide where to head. Berkley T-tails in olive pearl seem to be a favoured choice and small hardbodied lures that dive to varying depths in a multitude of colours work well also.

Also fishing well at the start of the season are two lesser-known tributaries in the Styx and Plenty rivers. I spent much of my younger years walking these rivers and they were always quite rewarding. Small lures work well, bibbed preferably with the humble old Celta coming into its own as the weather warms and the water levels recede.

The big stockie Atlantic salmon out at Craigbourne Dam continue to provide plenty of sport with some pretty respectable fish in the 6-8kg mark being landed. Dylan Loh grabbed two nice fish on 102 Bengal Tiger Tassie Devils at 13lb and 15lb respectively on consecutive days.


Everyone had been waiting for the big southern bluefin tuna to arrive and as I was sitting down to write this report I received word that several anglers were all hooked up to some jumbo-sized fish off the Tasman Peninsula.

I was feeling nearly as devastated as the three people involved when I later learned that all three fish had been lost one way or another.

One huge fish was lost after 5 hours which is a lot of effort for no return. A couple of years back another fish pulled the hooks after the 8 hour mark which no doubt would be truly devastating stuff.

Kieran Gilbert onboard Moonshine Charters also hooked up in the same location around the same time and fought out a fish for over 2 1/2 hours. It was brought alongside but just shy of a gaff shot and dived under the boat catching the propellers and was lost. The fish was estimated to be over the 100kg mark.

I hope the big fish continue to come through for the remainder of the season, it would be nice to steal that record back for Tassie anglers. There have been very few big fish landed this year with schoolies continuing to dominate catches. Seals are also in plague proportion swimming directly behind spreads at times just waiting for hook ups and an easy feed.

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