Bream throw caution to the wind as game species arrive
  |  First Published: December 2012

We are very lucky here in Tassie with so many options around a 60-90 minute drive from our major population centres.

Lucky for me I live on the banks of the Derwent and that’s where I’ll be this summer.

Over November and December the bream have been stacking up about the usual spawning haunts and January sees them become a little less selective and preoccupied. Some quality fish can be found once again starting to spread out throughout the river and starting to provide some far better sport.

At this time you really can choose to target them in your preferred style of angling; flats, deep channels or rocky banks. They are finishing up from spring spawning and feeding a lot more consistently, settling back in to the patterns many of us are familiar with. My personal preference is to fish with minnow-style lures in the Derwent over the next few months.

Plastics and vibes have their place but confidence is the best lure in the tackle box and that’s where I put my money. A couple of smaller shallow lures for the 1m range and something like a Daiwa Double Clutch, Smith Cherry Blood or sinking Ryuki Duo to cover the deeper drop offs and reefs and I certainly can’t wait to throw a few Cranka Crabs about the place.

Aside from the bream there is still a reasonable head of trout in the lower Derwent estuary.

The ones I have caught lately have been feeding almost exclusively on crabs, gorging on them to a certain degree. This gives some indication where you might find them. Look for rocky shores with a gentle sloping bank where the tide can expose and cover a good couple of meters of shoreline.

Over the last few years the added bonus of yellowtail kingfish has arrived in our system. This ‘must catch’ species certainly has grabbed hold of our imaginations and is on everyone’s bucket list. They however appear much harder to catch in the Derwent than outside on the coast.

I’ve been lucky enough to land several kings around the Tasman Peninsula but everyone that I’ve encountered in the harbour (and we’ve sighted plenty of schools) has been a different story.

Speaking of the peninsula we should see the first yellowfin tuna and albacore very soon.

One can only hope the striped marlin turn up once again as the game fishing scene saw a big boost with these sport fish from the top of the tree being a real chance to hook up last summer.

Numerous marlin were caught last year and many more sighted in the wake providing visual hook ups and real adrenalin pumping moments as the big fish trailed lures close to the back of the boat.

Let’s hope the southern bluefin return in good numbers and in particular a few more jumbos as they were pretty scarce last season.

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