Scamander River, Tasmania

Scamander River flows through Scamander township on Tasmania’s east coast, south of St Helens.

The river flows under two large highway road bridges before running to sea.

The mouth flows over sand and closes at times.

Though trout are found in the upper reaches, this river is recognised as a bream water, with black bream being abundant throughout the tidal section up to the first weir about 12km from the mouth.

As well as black bream, the river often has Australian salmon in the lower section when the mouth is open to sea.

Silver trevally are caught from the boat ramp jetty and around the road bridges and rocky shores near the mouth.

Yelloweye mullet are usually about, and there are good numbers of luderick to be had, usually around the highway bridges.

The river has a variety of habitat and it all produces fish, including the shallow sandflats, reedy banks, and still backwaters.

The upper tidal river is shallow with rockbars and rock walls.

There is usually abundant fallen timber that holds bream, depending on what winter flooding has washed in.

The lower river has overgrown shallow muddy banks that harbour bait such as crabs and nippers, upon which bream feed.

The lowest section, downstream of Upper Scamander boat ramp, has good road access, and fishing from the car is possible in places.

About half way up the river is Trout Creek, which has Trout Creek Reserve camping area, a great place to overnight and launch a kayak or cartopper.

Earthworms are as good a bait as any for bream, especially after rain, but peeled prawns, cockles, whitebait, bluebait, crabs and nippers pumped from the mudflats are all good baits.

The bream can be caught on small lures, including surface lures.

Bream are usually about all year, but spring is arguably the best time to chase large numbers of big fish.

Schools of bream gather under the river’s road bridges in winter, having migrated in from other areas, and the fish move upstream in spring to spawn, usually remaining until Christmas.

There are sight fishing opportunities over sand, but a careful approach is required.

Though bankside access is good, a small boat or kayak really opens up the river’s potential.

Scamander bream are caught to 40cm+, although are usually smaller.

The upper freshwater part of the river flows from the hills through a series of weirs.

The river’s second weir is now the first main obstacle for fish heading upstream. This weir is located near the Upper Scamander bridge, and is a whitebait congregation point in season.

Trout caught are mostly small wild browns, with the chance of sea runners showing up in late winter/spring.

Scamander township is a popular family holiday destination because of its great beaches and ocean views, with the added bonus of great saltwater fishing.

The local beaches fish well for Australian salmon, and if a mulloway were ever to be caught in Tasmania, the beach immediately outside Scamander River mouth is surely a likely spot.

The Scamander trout minimum size is 220mm, with a bag limit of five, and the river is open to lure and bait fishing.

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