The gifts of Spring

WITH the start of September comes spring and we were gifted some decent weather this week but expect that to change pushing through to the weekend.

In fishing terms and specifically related to estuaries and rivers, September is searunner month as it’s generally the best time to target them.

Temperatures are rising and in turn bait fish are starting to move and one of the sea runners main targets in the Derwent River at this time of year are Flathead Gudgeon.

I’ve talked about them before but Gudgeon are a bottom dwelling species that not a lot of people are familiar with but the local trout are well aware of their increasing presence at this time of the year.

Gudgeon are present all year round, more than in the past and in general they’re not seen or caught a lot as they spend most of their time under rocks and it’s at night when you’ll see more under torch light.

At this time of the year Flathead Gudgeon are looking to spawn around reefs and rock laden bottoms which in turn attracts the attention of hungry trout.

Trout feed on sandies all year round in the river and like humans they enjoy different foods that the changing seasons provide.

From past experience once Gudgeon activity increases in the river it usually coincides with the presence of whitebait and along with sandies, smelt, jollytails and lampreys there’s ample food to tempt a trout’s tastebuds. spinning bait like Gudgeon, sandies, jollytails and wattle grubs accounts for a lot of fish at this time of year when targeting tidal movement in areas that hold this type of food.

Usually, the first to the middle stages of an outgoing tide are best times to fish because once it reaches late in a low tide run the bait has already made an escape to safety and they know water movement has peaked which leaves them less vulnerable.

Just recently I managed to catch and release a nice trout which crunched a Gudgeon spun slowly just as the tide turned to run out.

The fish had a couple of wounds down its side which were possibly from a seal bite but this didn’t stop it putting up a powerful fight.

Seals have made fishing tough going through the river recently and their presence has obviously make trout wary.

Just recently Meadowbank Lake was spilling and with the extra fresh water released to the river it’s clouded water clarity which hopefully has pushed the seals out and we need more rain to help bring in more sea runners and kick start whitebait runs as well.

Up in the Highlands some good fishing has been experienced at Lake Echo around structure for those casting soft plastics and hard bodied lures.

Boat access is always a positive but shore-based anglers can still get amongst the fish targeting trout around the timber and rock laden shores.

The Brady’s Chain is still fishing well with anglers catching good numbers of Rainbow Trout as is Lake Meadowbank which has given up some solid brown trout lately as well.

Lake Crescent has started to fire with anglers catching some big brown trout on soft plastics and hardbodied lures and respect this place and the fish this it offers please.

Keep in mind Lake Sorell as well as temperatures rise because there are some big fish to be caught there too.

Some chunky Brook Trout are still being caught from Lake Plimsoll and Clarence Lagoon as well.

If willing and able Lake King William, Great Lake, Lake St Clair, Lake Pedder, Lake Gordon, Arthurs and Wood’s Lake are other waters I’d be looking to target as well.

Remember the wild West Coast runs of the Arthur, Pieman and Henty Rivers which offer great trout fishing at this time of the year as well.

Reports have been surfacing recently in regard to rubbish being left at popular angling spots around the state which frustrates the majority of anglers that do the right thing.

A recent post online displayed a number of empty lure boxes left on a popular riverbank situated in the north of the state and if you’re a regular fishing video viewer on media platforms it’s not hard to work out who might be responsible when multiple videos show anglers have been using the same lures on the same river for quite some time.

Saying that it’s a common theme everywhere we go and even though the majority of anglers do the right thing there is a minority that don’t and ultimately, they threaten where we can and can’t fish. Some popular places we all like to fish have been closed and others are at risk of being closed due to disrespect. Do the right thing and take all your rubbish with you and make an effort to take any other rubbish you see with you as well when you’re leaving your fishing spot.

Tight lines until next week.