Over Winter I get asked more about garfish than anything else. I know we have monster southern bluefin tuna still hanging around, but the humble little garfish can be a mainstay for anglers.
They are one of Tasmania’s most sought estuarine fish during the cooler months. They are plentiful, great fun to catch and delicious to eat. You don’t need to go zooming around the bay looking for them as they will come to you. Kids love catching them — and so do I.
The cooler months are best, and finds the bigger fish inshore and in many Tasmanian estuaries.Read more ...
I left home just on 1.30pm in beautiful weather conditions and headed on over to the Mersey River at Merseylea. I went to my usual spot only to find a couple of cars parked there and being a Sunday with such great weather I don't blame them for having an outing on the river.
I did bother seeing if they were bait fishing or if they had headed off for a session in the river with lures or the fly. I drove on up to the top bridge and found it clear of vehicles which was unusual as this area is normally busy. Parked the car, on with the waders etc and I was soon in the river working my way upstream.
The river was still a little higher than I would have liked but it was wade-able and that's all that mattered to me. I was using the same rainbow pattern slim 6 cm Muzza's hard body lure that worked for me on the last trip to the Mersey River. The river bottom was like an ice skating rink here as it well and boy it's tough going and even more so in waist high water.
Finally after not having any rain for four days the Mersey River was just low enough for me to get in and have a spin session. Not that it was real low, but it was just low enough for fishing if one took care in doing so. There was still plenty of water coming down and with the river bottom being so slippery it was a matter of knowing the river and where it was safe enough to fish without being swept away. In saying that, I did have a one moment when I thought I may have been body surfing the fast water in the spot where I chose to cross over to get to a backwater run. It was well above my knees and with the rocky bottom being slimy it was hard trying to get a good footing even with spiked felt sole wading boots on. Any way I did make it across to the backwater in the end without taking a plunge.
By Adrian Webb
Well with daylight saving and Easter out of the way it was back to work for me today. What a great day is was to be back at the office with no wind, clear skies and crisp air. Couldn't have been a better day to go back at all.. This morning I had to travel to one of my other offices some 45 kms from Sheffield. Still it was a beautiful morning for a drive in the country side and it helps to get the brain into gear for the work ahead of me. My office today was the Meander River.. No better place to start off my first day back after a brief break.
2-12-2014 Trip One
On Monday the 1st December I headed on over to the Mersey River at Kimberley & Merseylea. The conditions were overcast,humid and with light drizzle on and off, but the only downfall was the wind coming from the Nth East something I never like fishing in. Once in the river at Kimberley I was lucky enough to hook a nice rainbow on the second cast, but as they've been doing lately this one did the same. It tossed the hook on the second or third jump I think it was. There were quite a few fish leaping from most sections in the river and this is always a sign that it's going to be a tough session.
After having an hour of acupuncture this afternoon I was off to the Meander River for another (4.00pm) afternoon session. The last trip here the brown trout really won out by tossing the hooks more times than I can remember ever happening during a session. I don't normally lose more than I catch, but that trip (20-11-14) I did when I hooked and lost ten in a row before spitting the dummy and headed for home.
Seeing that the day was nice and fine with just a light Nth Easterly I headed on over to the Mersey River at 5.00pm for a late session. It wasn't worth going any earlier as it was to bright plus the sun was still on the water, so by around 5.00pm there is usually plenty of shade on the river from the masses of willows that line the banks.
After having a few good showers of rain this morning and with the cloud now high overhead I decided to go on over to Merseylea for an afternoon spin session. There wasn't a breath of wind, but the air temperature had dropped quite a few degrees from earlier in the day but that wasn't a problem any way.
Day One, 18/11/2014
Headed on over to Lake Leake to catch up with Samuel and Connor who are also well known as the "'Lake Leake Boys'" to have a couple of days spin fishing the Elizabeth River. I checked in at the Lake Leake Inn with mine hosts Jan & Walter Milner who always greet their guest with a warm and friendly smile. After lunch (which was great & very filling) I headed on over to catch up with the Evans family and was met with another warm welcome at their household too. It was good to see them once again as well. Samuel wasn't around as he's working two days a week now with his Uncle in the building trade doing work experience as a carpenter which is a great trade to get into.
With Adrian Webb up our way for a few days, we decided to give the Elizabeth River a smashing session using the Mepps spinners. We arrived at the river at around about 2pm, where we got the gear out of the car, threw on the waders and started walking down the river. We walked a good 2.5km past the Weir, where we worked our way back up the river
The first 1.2km was unsuccessful, with only seeing 4 small trout that were easily spooked. Where I then swapped to a silver Aglia, and cast in to the faster running water where this little fish started playing up! First fish for the day, a nice little brown that was about 200grams. Back in the river he goes. We then walked through a heap of long grass, where Connor had caught a lovely brown that was about 340grams. A few photos and back in to the water he goes. In this time Adrian had caught a lovely brown around the 200gram mark as well.
After giving the elbow a two day rest since the acupunture last Friday I thought I would put it to the test with a short spin session on the Mersey River at Merseylea. I was on the water by around 10.00am which was really not the best time to be starting a session seeing it was warm, clear water and sunny. But I was only here to see how the elbow would hold up. The first run I fished was a long slow flowing section and I didn't spot a fish at all, not even a follow. So it looked like being on the river at this time of the morning exactly what I expected and if I was going to catch a fish today, then I was going to have to work for it. I noticed a chap watching from the bridge some 100 meters behind me and I was wondering if he had wanted to fish this area. The next time I looked around he was gone and I assumed he had gone below the bridge to fish a lower part of the Mersey.
With the wind coming from a variety of directions today I headed on over to the Meander River for a spin session. I arrived there at 1.20pm much earlier than I would normally hit a river, but I new the area I was going to fish would have good shade along most of the 1.5 kms of river from thick vegetation along the river banks. On my arrival I found the river was running around six inches higher than my last trip here as well. It just meant that some of the areas where I cross over will take a little longer than they normally do due to the stronger flow.
After bombing out with my sweeps in the Melbourne Cup today I headed off to the Dasher River for a few hours in the hope that it would fair much better than today's sweeps did. Arrived at the Dasher around 3.40pm and after a 30 minute walk I was soon in the river casting the well used little copper black fury spinner into the very tannin coloured water.
Hi folks, I had one of those last minute moments where the moons had aligned and the boss was kind. I had been given a long weekend!!! So as you do, living on the East Coast, you plan a solo trip to fish a river on the West coast for the ever elusive sea-run trout (the grass is always greener they said). This was the time of year to go as the whitebait season is in full swing and willy weather had told me that the wind was going to be calm in the afternoon of Thursday and in the morning hours of Friday. It was on.
Today we were greeted with a medium 10 knot Sth Easterly breeze and another afternoon trip was on the the way. This time it was to be a stint on the Meander River above Deloraine. Once there I was happy to see the river level was down by around 125mms lower than my trip here a week or two ago and it was just about the right height.
After yesterdays beautiful conditions and an average spin session at Merseylea I thought I would give the area of Kimberley a go. The morning was another cracker a day but I couldn't go until the afternoon anyway not that it mattered too much. As the day went on there was a lot of cloud building up and it was becoming quite humid and these are the types of conditions that I love to fish in. I headed off to the Mersey River and was in the river at Kimberley by 4.45pm and there was not a breath of wind, conditions were perfect. There was the odd light sprinkle of rain but nothing to make one head for cover. I stuck with the little Mepps #00 copper Black Fury as it's been working okay for much of the season so far. There were quite a few fish jumping in most sections of the river and so I new it was going to be a tough session after seeing that. Even the fly fisher will often struggle when the trout are jumping.
Arrived at the South Esk with George Papp around 11am and fished till 3pm. I used soft plastics, while George tried the dry fly. We managed twelve between us and i got onto a couple of beauties around the 3lb mark, which were kept for a feed. The rest were released. Saw a few moving on top to caddis and spinners. Caught mine on Berkley Black & Gold T.Tails,and George got his on a hopper pattern. All fish were in top nick and fought hard, but this will be our last trip for the season.
After a day and a half of light rain and drizzle, it finally eased off this afternoon so I headed off to Merseylea for a short session before the rain returned as forecast. There wasn't any wind to worry about and it was still quite mild as well making ideal conditions for a spin. The Mersey was running nice and clear and I did notice a few small browns jumping in a couple of sections upstream, so I new there were a few fish about.
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