August in the Hobart region means one thing to the majority of anglers, the first Saturday of the month and the opening of the trout season.
Regardless of how much we fish in the lead up on the Derwent below the boundary at the Bridgewater Bridge that first weekend is always a highlight and marks the traditional season proper.
And of course this means sea run trout and without doubt these are the hardest fighting trout I’ve encountered any in the state. Generally the fish caught right at the start of the season are resident or slob fish. The searunners really start to fire closer to the end of August and are sparked by a flush of fresh water. Any considerable influx seems to switch them on and even a week after a minor flood event and discoloured water their numbers increase dramatically.
The angling clubs of the south take part in a large competition run by the New Norfolk Anglers Club and needless to say the Derwent is a busy place on opening weekend. Anywhere between 100-200 anglers usually take part and the water between Bridgewater and New Norfolk is very popular. Trolling is the mainstay for many anglers but the best bags are taking drift spinning or cast soft plastics or in the dead of night from the many accessible shores that abound the Derwent.
I find lures fishing the most successful method for the first weekend, mainly with soft plastics fished after dark. Get yourself some local fresh bait and you’re in for a real chance at a big resident or searun trout. The Derwent is loaded with quality fish. Put in the time and you won’t be disappointed.
Many of the nearby tributaries will be very popular, none more so than the Tyenna River where many will head chasing some of the state’s biggest trout. Pretty much without fail this little stream will give up at least one monster trophy fish right from day one of the season.
Debate still rages at why they get so big but one thing is for sure they are very impressive trout and there are quite a few of them up for grabs. But don’t expect to turn up and bag yourself a trophy first go. Plenty of local knowledge, skill and quality tackle is required to land one of these memorable fish.
Soft plastics are definitely the best choice of lure to target fish although shallow and mid-running hardbodied lures will account for their fair share. Time, patience and dedication will reward you.
The Derwent itself fishes well right up to the Meadowbank Dam. While access is through private land, approaching landowners the right way should see a few gates open for you. Fishing the top and bottom of rapids and ripples always rewarding.
Targeting the deeper, slow moving water with plastics, deeper running hardbodied lures and traditional lures such as Tassie Devils and Devon spinners can be very rewarding.
Other tributaries such as the Styx and Plenty rivers hold good fish although not to the size and quality of the nearby Tyenna they both can produce some entertaining fishing on their day. The mouth of both these rivers are hotspots for bait fishing anglers and after dark can give up much better than average fish.
Craigbourne Dam has been somewhat surprisingly fishing quite well. Plenty of well-conditioned trout being landed on lures and plastics in the off season as one of our year round fishing waters.
The IFS are set to resume stocking of this water and for more up-to-date information please head to the IFS website and check their stocking page for recent movements.
Finally good luck to all heading back out for the first time into the new trout season for 2013-14. May it be a great year for all ahead.Reads: 3443