Big bream back on the chew as summer heat beckons
  |  First Published: December 2012

The warmer weather is well and truly upon us and it’s really one of the best times of the year just to get out on the boat enjoying a day on the Derwent.

The pesky little cocky salmon have been about in force for many weeks but also to have been the famous Derwent black bream. They have been on the move since mid-October and are already in numbers in some of the regular early summer haunts.

At this time of the year they are in spawning mode and while I tend to leave them alone, mainly due to pre-Christmas workloads, but anglers can hook in to some very big numbers on the days they are on. They’ll take pretty much anything thrown at them, hardbodied lures, soft plastics, surface lures, you name it. Not much can go wrong on these days.

Then there’s the days they won’t look at anything. You can see them and given the water clarity I’m sure they can see you too. I’ve witnessed them stacked up so thick that when you land a lure in the middle of them out of desperation they erupt like a salmon pen being peppered with pellets at feeding time. Quite bizarre on a glass still day. Takes me back to days growing up at the Salmon Ponds at Plenty.

I was going to say surprisingly but perhaps not, is the chance of landing a good trout in the Derwent still, and solid at that. Very impressive have been the middle estuary trout around the Bowen to Bridgewater bridges. I still like to target them with hardbodied lures but on the calmer days soft plastics should produce better results. More often than not they have been showing, chasing and busting up bait schools, while not plentiful they are there in reasonable numbers to produce results.

I also find spinning the banks of the Derwent above New Norfolk to be rewarding in early summer. Trout numbers actually pick up through this section as fish follow elvers (juvenile eels) all the way to Meadowbank Dam. Some cracking fish can be taken and while public access has been halted to the dam base for many years there is still scope right through should you approach land owners for permission.

The IFS together with TASSAL and SALTAS have been busy keeping stocks up to Craigbourne Dam, a short drive from Hobart. They have pumped a significant number of Atlantic salmon in to this water over the past 5-6 months and anglers have been having great success.

Meadowbank Dam also received a good stocking in October and should continue to provide good sport in to the new year as these fish spread out further than at Craigbourne.

In the salt we will all be waiting for the arrival of the yellowfin tuna and albacore to south east waters. Also on the ‘must catch’ list are yellowtail kingfish.

We seem to have a fascination with them down here being somewhat exotic to our waters. Well if you’re lucky enough to hook one you are in for a treat as they go very hard.

I’ve only managed about half a dozen rats and I can only imagine what the big fish pull like.

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