Sea runners come on strong and early
  |  First Published: September 2012

While I look forward to the opening of trout season and that first Saturday in August each year it’s September when the fishing really peaks in the Derwent River.

The searun trout are at their best and the weather is on the improve as the daylight hours begin to draw out a little longer.

Whitebait numbers are starting to increase and it’s these bait fish that bring through the bigger numbers of searun trout. Some pretty exciting sessions can be had in the right conditions. A dropping tide is very helpful to localise fish along the channel edges. The faster moving water on the run-out tide pushes bait to the edges of the current as they seek respite from the strong flows. The trout both resident and searun will charge into the edges scattering schools of bait. It’s quite a sight at times and needless to say makes it very easy to see where to direct your casts.

Some days the trout will not be interested in anything but the small bait they are feeding on, but more often than not you can pull a few fish when they are actively feeding like this. I prefer to use more natural looking colours when chasing these trout and most manufacturers have more than one lure that is worth a try. Some old favourites would include Nories Laydowns, Ecogear MX48 and MW62, Daiwa Presso and Strike Pro Flatz Minnows to name just a few. Any of the baitfish imitations will produce trout, it’s more a matter of getting them in the right place.

When the fish aren’t showing, casting along the edges of channels, rocky shores or weed lines will always produce fish. The Derwent holds a huge head of trout and some quality fish too. A couple of genuine trophies have been spotted over the years. He best I’ve seen was one of about 15-20lb in the old scale that followed up a deep diver slashing at it beside the boat, missing unfortunately. Another very large fish we spooked from under a floating weed mass at Green Point and the third I’ll mention was being flung around by a seal near the Lime Kilns.

Land based anglers should look for rocky points with good current running past. Hardbodied lures and fishing plastics a little deeper should bring results. The options are endless between Bridgewater and Store Point near the Bowen Bridge. Get out there and give it a try.

The Tyenna River also gives up some thumpers regularly into September. Often better fishing can be had now as water levels recede somewhat from winter rains. The best fishing here is during periods of high water and the local devotees do extremely well to find the true trophies during this time. Plastics such as Olive T-Tails and Gulp Smelt successful items. Small mid-diving hardbodied lures also high on the list of options.

The Tyenna is always very popular in the early season as news of the big fish of August travels quickly. Everyone wants a piece of the action but many go away disappointed. It takes time to discover and learn a waters secrets. Not everyone is going to rock on up there and pull a double figure fish in their first visit. Sure it can be done but patience is a virtue and you should take something away from every visit, particularly the not so successful trips.

Another tributary of the Derwent is the historical Plenty River about 10 minutes drive out of New Norfolk. The water of the Plenty is what feed the Salmon Ponds in turn giving trout life in not only our home state but mainland Australia and on to New Zealand. The lower reaches below the Salmon Ponds are in the process of receiving a facelift with work to clear the banks of overgrown willows and blackberries.

I grew up on the Plenty and this is where I learnt to fish. It was a great little stream and produced lots of typical trout. The odd escapee was in the bag also but very few and far between. The old Celta was my favour lure and floating a worm out of the rapids and riffles also produced good trout. I’m looking forward to heading back there this season to rekindle some old memories.

Craigbourne Dam has received regular stockings and has had a steady stream of visiting anglers for many months. And it’s understandable with Atlantic Salmon in excess of 20lb are still swimming around in there. Soon after release it’s best to fish the deep shore between the toilet block around to the dam wall. After they settle, bait fishing anglers do very well from the boat ramp back to the level wall you drive over on the way in.

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