by Andrew Hart
On December 27 a young man lost his lucky hat. This incident took place somewhere on the Tamar River at around 3:00 pm. The Hot Tuna hat is grey and faded, and has a picture of a fish on the front.
It is believed that he hat went missing due to the young man's ecstatic reaction to a fish that he landed. The angler threw the hat in the air, but apparently an extra strong gust of wind blew it overboard. Ad 18 pound Snapper was boated seconds before the hat went missing. Police interviewed the Snapper, before it was sent to the taxidermist.The devastated young man says that he will offer a reward of $10 for any person who hands the hat into the editor of Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News.
"Police have now scaled down the search so it is up to the fishing public to return my lucky hat" said the distressed young man.Those Tamar River Snapper
"The reason that the young man lost his hat was because that is what Snapper can do to a person. After each unsuccessful trip, you always tell yourself that trout would be an easier target, and swear never to fish for "Big Red" again.
But something inside of you makes you put the boat in on an icy, cold morning, and power out in search of a Snapper. We have found that every trip we do not catch a Snapper, the more rewarding that big one becomes.
Much has been written regarding Tamar River Reds, and each article is different. That is because there are only a few people who have figured Tamar Snapper. I know that we certainly haven't. I have only landed a small fish and my cousin, the man who landed the 18 pounder on the cover, has caught only one other in al the hours spent fishing.
A secret. In fear of my life I am unable to print the location that the 18 pounder was caught in. I was not in the boat at the time, but what I can say is that the same spot has accounted for all of out "reds", and if you put in the time, the right spot will come to you. In the Tamar there seems to be a few good spots and a great number of "cod holes". To find the right spot begins with talking to whoever you can. Most people are pretty quiet about where they know but there are some who will tell. It seems that most are caught between Long Reach and Egg Island.
Any theories that we have with the tide only last a short time, as somebody else will prove them wrong. Half-tide, full tide, low tide and in-between tide, have all resulted in Snapper.
Keep your bait big. That is what has worked for us. Fillets of Flathead, Mullet and Salmon are idea baits. Having a big bait also allows a chance at a big shark, such as a seven gill, and often cuts down on the cod problem. Don't think that your bait is too big, you'll be surprised at the size of a big Snapper.
Heavy gear is not essential for Snapper, 15 kg line is more than enough, and your rod must be made to suit whatever line class that you are fishing. Tour reel should have a good drag and be capable of holding a lot of line, just in case a big ray or shark finds your bait.
Try to keep your sinker as light as possible but it still must touch the bottom and hold your bait in place. A running sinker is best, that way the fish can take the bait with out feeling a thing.
If you want to master Tamar River Snapper then you have got to keep the bait in the water for many hours. As I said before, my cousin has caught two fish, and myself only one, and I would say we have put in over one hundred hours in 3 fish - It's worth it.
Stan Abdilla is now mounting the 18 pounder so the memory will last forever.