Bream rule the estuaries while tuna rule offshore
  |  First Published: February 2013

Two things for southern based anglers that really start heating up as we enter February; big black bream dropping back into the estuary and albacore and yellowfin tuna on our south east coast.

I suppose we can also add our two infamous must-catch species that are still on everyone’s list: yellowtail kingfish and marlin. Sprinkled in is the rumoured big snapper that are being landed about the place but those successful anglers are tight lipped about these fish to date.


Around the Derwent the big blacks are spreading right back through the entire system. Hit up any of the regular haunts and you should find more than a few good fish. High tides will have them hard up in the shallows feeding actively. Small or shallow running hardbodied lures are generally the preferred method to target these fish. Cover plenty of ground and you will often find fish in patches.

As the tide recedes fish will pull back from the shores and mid-running lures will be the ones to choose. Still targeting shores and sounding drop offs ideal places to target. The deeper shores, gutters or channels look at vibes or soft plastics to pick up the fish.

Some very good bream have been around again in early summer so I’m hopeful that we should see some excellent bags for the Derwent leading up to the annual Classic and ABT rounds. Last year’s Classic series was a very close event and kicks off again this month on the east coast. Check out www.bream.com.au for details and entry forms.

Game Fishing

On the game scene, albacore were caught very early in December off St Helens and have moved south with the warmer current. Some yellowfin are in the mix as always. We also had a report of a few southern bluefin taken which although not unheard of points to a good season for our premier species.

At the time of writing it’s just a guessing game in relation to striped marlin. It was an extraordinary summer last year with plenty of hook ups, sightings and fish landed. It really did reinvigorate the game fishing scene on the east coast with boat numbers up right along our big game coastline. One could hope we see something like that again. Given the tuna were here early I’d hope we see a few of these magnificent bill fish again this season.

The kingies are always talked about now and they are about. Regular schools can be seen right up to and about the Hobart harbour. While not always keen to take lure or baits they are there and perseverance is what is required. Many great articles have been written over the years and some of the tactics employed by our mainland counterparts should be taken on board.

On the snapper front there was one large red landed not too far from an eastern shore headland around some light structure. Last summer one group had repeated success of a night-time close to Bruny Island. Again, very few details were revealed but the photos told the story, big fish and plenty of them. It’s definitely another new dimension to our fishing scene here in the south of the state.

For those who are chasing stockies, both Meadowbank and Craigbourne received the last of their stockings for some time prior to Christmas. There should be plenty of sport at both waters for some time given the amount of fish released in the last half of 2012. The reports from Craigbourne have been both plentiful and regular so I would expect the good fishing to continue.

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