Seatrout on the move
  |  First Published: October 2009

While it is tempting to head to the highlands in spring, I tend to keep my hand in on the Derwent as there is usually a good mix of both sea trout and bream on offer in the upper estuary.

The first half of the normal sea trout run was interrupted by more rains throughout September and into October. Hopefully that should only make the action during this month more intensified as the river above Bridgewater has been inconsistent so far this year.

However, sea trout in the Derwent estuary have been in superb condition so far this season for those that have been able to get out on the good days and catch a couple. I’ve found that fishing in the channels with a deep soft plastic presentation has been the most consistent method. A combination of light braid and leader, a 1/8th jig and a 3”minnow or stickbait pattern has had the most success.

Some shore based anglers I’ve spoken to have done well using an Ecogear SX48f and the 50mm Daiwa Shiner in the mid reaches along the flanks of Geilston Bay and on the Berriedale points.

Some quality fishing has been had in the lower reaches between Cadbury’s point and the Hobart metro area with a few large specimens being taken along the Bedlam Walls stretch. One lucky local angler was able to land a magnificent 12lb sea run brown. The Bedlam Walls stretch always seems to hold some big trout during spring and some real trophy fish are caught there every year. The whitebait have finally showed up in noticeable quantities in the last couple of weeks or so which is a great indicator for the month ahead.

Australian salmon

The mouth area at Carlton River has seen some quality Australian salmon to around 1kg caught. This location fishes best on the turn of the high tide when salmon seem to move in or out of the river. High tides early or late in the day offer the best chance of reliable action. Moving along the beach or even up into the lower river can be worth the effort if the salmon are a no-show near the mouth.

Silver slice lures are perfect for the cockies and black-back alike. Rigging with lighter 10-12lb line will allow much longer casts than the 20-30lb line many chasing salmon seem to prefer. Light line also gives you the choice of using smaller metal lures, which can be a real bonus when the salmon get a bit fussy.


Calamari numbers will become stronger this month as the weather warms up heading into December. Dennes Point and Opposum Bay are always good places to try as they have healthy established weed beds that the calamari live and hunt amongst. While not as aggressive as arrow squid, I much prefer the eating qualities of southern calamari.

Sight fishing for them in and about the weed patches is great fun and some terrific fishing is there to be had. Many see this form of angling as a chuck and chance affair. In my book, that couldn’t be further from the truth as calamari need some real finesse at times. They have acute eyesight and therefore can be hard to convince with an artificial sometimes.

Have you ever wondered why some squid jigs cost so much? That’s because they’re well made and have a superior lifelike finish. Try them, as with all top end lures they can make all the difference.

Bream issues

Unfortunately the talk of the bream scene around Hobart lately has not been about the great fishing but more about the pillaging of mature spawning bream by some thoughtless anglers.

It’s no secret that bream school up at this time of year and can be easily over-fished by those without a conscience and or little regard for regulations. I have no doubt that big hauls of bream well in excess of the daily bag limit are regularly taken from the Derwent by unscrupulous line fishers and illegal netters.

As I talk with many anglers as part of my work, it seems some anglers are not able to comprehend the concept of a possession limit nor the level of care necessary to preserve our stocks of old, slow growing bream. For those interested in maintaining a future for our Derwent stocks its time to write that letter to a minister and fisheries to voice your concerns.

This is an excerpt from a reply received from David Llewellyn, Minister for Primary Industries and Water concerning current issues with the Derwent bream fishery.

“The need for change to the regulations has been identified recently by bodies and persons including the Inland Fisheries Advisory Council, TarFish and a number of concerned anglers. There is no doubt that the regulations pertaining to the bream fishery (Derwent) are in need of review in order to address the potential impacts of increasing participation. In response to your specific concerns and the concerns of other members of the public about over exploitation during the impending spawning season, I have been advised that Inland Fisheries Inspectors have commenced targeted patrols”

It will be interesting to see what develops in the near future.

Beside all that, bream fishing should really warm up over the next few weeks. Enjoy the fishery and be sure to release any spawning fish where you catch them. Bream are often in transit to spawn areas at this time of year.

Once groups of fish are located the action can come thick and fast if they decide to bite. Soft plastics fished against steep edges or in the deep holes near bends in the river are often the best bet for locating bream.

November can also be a good time to consider fishing Meadowbank Dam as the water temps will rise and hopefully so will the trout. Inland Fisheries sometimes give this water a top up of Atlantic salmon at this time of year. So keep an eye on the IFS website www.ifs.tas.gov.au and a rod at the ready. With all this water about there will be few local fisheries that don’t fire up in the warmth of November.

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