The New Norfolk Licensed Anglers Association (NNLAA) is hold the first ever trout tournament on the Derwent River on September 7th – 8th. Run under rules and guidelines as per previously successful  trout tournaments it is a catch and release event with all fish caught to be photographed on a brag mat or measure with team ID and recorded on a score sheet. 
Teams fish from 7am through to 2pm each day and must return and place the team key tag on the board before the 2pm cut off or penalties start to apply.
Fishing is by cast and retrieve only by way of lure, fly or soft plastic. No trolling or bait fishing is allowed. Teams may use an electric motor to hold position or maintain a drift but they cannot be used to impart action on a lure.
The event is run out of the centrally and sheltered location of the Austins Ferry Yacht Club. Teams are required to attend a briefing on the Friday night starting a 8pm. There will be a random draw and one lucky entrant will take home a Howler Custom Rod ready to use in the event the next day.
The event is being strongly support by the local industry with Tasmanian manufacturers getting behind the comp. Successful brands like Cranka Lures, Strike Tiger, Yep Tassie Tackle, Tassie Devil Lures and Addiction Soft Plastics all contributing to the prize pool. Local Hobart tackle stores are also supporting the event.
The NNLAA is running the Classic as a non-profit event and will be donating all profits to its chosen charity for the 2013-14 season. This year the club is supporting a young Derwent Valley girl from Glenora Primary School, Kayla Harvey who is suffering from the very rare Angelmans Syndrome. We are a club that has proudly helped out other young Derwent Valley kids in the past, last year we donated $600 to Rose Ackerley, a St Brigits primary school student who was undergoing cancer treatment with regular trips to Melbourne. This year we hope at least double that amount and after a very successful opening weekend event we look set to reach our target after the Classic. We must thank everyone who takes part in these events for helping us reach that goal.
The Derwent despite some healthy rain fall has been fishing extremely well. There are some exceptional searunners in the system. Regulars that have kept a few fish have found large baitfish and small eels as the main part of their diets. Larger 4 inch plastics have been great imitations and lures around the 80mm size have also been fishing very well. Smaller lures around the flats and edges have been more successful there.
The Derwent is all about fishing its features. Use the tide to your advantage and this comp will see a reasonable high with some nice run out also. Target the channel edges, either against the banks or reed edges, any rocky points and they don’t need to be big just enough to break the straight current flow. Channel edges in the wide open expanses fish just as good as anywhere close to the shore. 
The fish are being caught from Lindisfarne right through to the Wetlands area of New Norfolk at present opening up the river to a wide range of styles and strategies.  When your fishing a tournament don’t waste an hour in a spot you think should hold fish if you haven’t caught any. Move elsewhere and hit that spot again later. Watch the other boats and try to hit up spots that haven’t been fished. Being a tidal river you can get away with fishing another boats ‘dirty water’ more readily as fish will move following bait and feeding intermittently.
Lures to use in the Derwent can be wide and varied. The Cranka range has some great Derwent colours with a wide choice to cover  the baitfish population, Clear Ghost, Bluebait and Jolly Tail are favoured choices. Ecogear have some good choices as do the ever popular Pressos and Nories Laydown Minnows.
Soft plastics are too open to a myriad of choices. The Strike Tiger 3” Curl Tail Grub in Home Brew, Pearl Olive, Champers and Whitebait Pearl are great choices. The 4” Smoke Flash is a great choice for lamprey feeds swirling on the surface in mid river. Fish it unweighted and hold on, they can be bigger than average fish. Pearl Olive T-Tails in Berkley have been fishing well as has the ever popular Gulp Smelt.
Anything that resembles a bait fish will catch. 
It’s going to be a great event with first place taking home over $1000 in cash and prizes. A Howler Custom Rod up for grabs at the briefing and plenty of other great prizes at the presentation from all our sponsors. We hope to see a few new teams take part with many new faces already entered. The tournament scene bug can bite once you try it so come along a give it a try.
Entry is $130 per team fishing the 7th and 8th of September on the Derwent River. Boundaries are the Tasman Bridge as the lower limit and the upper limit is the tidal reach at the Lawitta rapids 2km upstream of the New Norfolk Bridge.
Entries and details from Justin Causby 0439737144.
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