Derwent trout worth the chase

Alistair Creed

The Derwent River is one of my favorite trout fisheries, it can be a good challenge to the best fishermen. I always look forward to the first few months of the season on the river the weather is pretty good. I found that an overcast day with a gentle breeze is the way, the fish seem to come on good in these conditions. So far this season I have bagged 17 trout, all these fish were resident fish. All fish apart from one were caught on soft plastic, the other on fly.

I find drift spinning the shallow flats and the weedy shores can be very rewarding. This style of fishing means that you can cover a greater stretch of water. Often when you drift over a drop off on a incoming tide you will find the fish are starting to move up onto the flats.
When I fish these areas I keep a look out for some kinds of feed that trout may feed on such as beetles, white bait, shrimp, and sometimes fly life. At this time of the year whitebait is on the main menu.
When chasing these fabulous fish I choose to use soft plastics and sometimes the good old hard body. Soft plastics are my favorite way to catch trout and there is a great range to choose from.
I mostly use 3 inch minnows for they look like the trusty old whitebait. Most of the fish I have landed this season were caught on 3 inch minnows. The colors that I found most deadly were dark greens, light greens and silver eg. Emerald shiner, Pearl watermelon and Blue pearl. These plastics are in the Berkley Power Bait range.
When I use hard bodies I use a good old Johnson special in green and silver or black and gold with red spots. If you have some of these, and prefer to use hard bodies give them a crack. They are dynamite on the Derwent.

When rigging soft plastics I use 8 pound braided line, with an 8 pound leader about 6ft long. Try a 1/8 jighead as this give enough weight for a reasonable cast and action without sinking too quickly.
I work my plastics with a slow retrive with an up and down motion, letting the plastic bounce off the bottom or running it across the weed.
When fishing the drop-offs I occasionaly let the plastic sit on the weed then let it drop deeper, the fish sit under the weed and you can see the fish come out and smash it then its up to you to keep it out of the weed.
Most of my trout fishing in the Derwent is done north of the Bridgewater Bridge. Above here you will find big flats, drop-offs and weedy shores.
If you have some time to spare give it a go the rewards can be great. You don't need to spend heaps, a rod and reel combo and a few jig heads with a handful of soft plastics and you have a weapon to rod target trout.
You can also access some of these great spots by car if you don't have a boat. There is a new jetty at Masons Point for you to use if your not too good on the feet and I have caught many trout over the years off that point.
So give it a crack and enjoy your fishing and the rewards will come to you. The trout are in good condition at the moment in the Derwent and they have plenty of go if you like a good fight. See you all on the River somewhere.

Alistair Creed

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