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If there is one fish species that can help ease the winter blues, it would have to be the impressive Australian salmon. Locally known as either the cocky salmon or black back salmon, these great sport fish often remain in all the major estuary systems till the first big floods, and if the last few years are any indication, that means July or August. It doesn't matter how you plan to tackle salmon, with either bait, lure or fly, they are ready biters, sensational fighters, as well as being an acceptable, if not first class table fish.
Whilst at times here in Tasmania we feel as if we have been left out of some of the more romantic fisheries such as snapper, King George whiting, Spanish mackerel and barramundi we do have a fish that very few other states have in good numbers and that is Latris lineata or the striped trumpeter.
In the last few years we have seen a revolution in fishing techniques in the way soft plastic lures have opened up fisheries not normally associated with this style of fishing. Light tackle sport fishing has, seemingly taken over our inshore and estuary fishing areas. And some species not normally targeted as a "Sportfish" have turned full circle and become almost iconic with this form of fishing.
There are many types of baits available. There is frozen, fresh, live or artificial and they all work.
Bait fishing is the most popular fishing method. Generally because any angler, of any skill level or any age can fish successfully.
Nick Ruello is a fisheries biologist, not a detective. But his love of seafood has led him to unravel one of the most pervasive urban myths around - that closed mussels are unsafe to eat.
Australian salmon seem to have been tailor made for the recreational angler. They're readily caught using a wide variety of fishing styles and techniques. When hooked, they fight hard and will display gill rattling leaps clear of the water adding to the excitement of catching these great fish. When the word gets out of their arrival in a particular area, anglers will travel long distances to pursue these light tackle fish.
Tasmanians can again take up the much-loved pastime of whitebaiting with the annual opening of the whitebait fishing season at the start of October. The season runs for six weeks from 1 October to 11 November in selected rivers around the State. Reports from the South and North of the State are that the whitebait runs are just beginning, with only a small number of fish being sighted making their way up some rivers. Hopefully, the high flow rates will subside enabling a solid run of whitebait and good numbers of fish available to fishers.
As we all know, Tasmania has some great fishing, even during winter, but there's something very compelling and exciting about heading north to experience new waters. Squeezing in an extra 5 weeks of summer by heading north is definitely something to look forward to. Even more so when you are towing a 6 metre boat to one of Australia's best tropical fishing destinations. Mind you, wanting to go and actually taking that first step can be one of the hardest things to overcome.
It was late July, overcast and raining, as we drove onto the Spirit of Tasmania 3 in Devonport, bound for Sydney, the start of our road trip north to Cape York in far north Queensland.
As fisherman we are always dreaming of the perfect day on the water where everything comes together resulting in a meritorious catch, be it chasing brown trout in the highlands, bream in our estuaries or big game fish in our oceans its what drives us to keep trying even when we think it's a waste of time.
I had an early morning trip to late in March chasing kingfish with St Helens charter operator Michael Haley.
I had previously only caught one kingfish in Tasmania, but quite a few in NZ. There had been a lot of talk about kingfish, but not much catching.
Kingfish had been around Elephant Rock at St Helens for a while, and whilst quite a few people had been catching them plenty were struggling to get any.
One of the hot spots of Tasmanian fishing, some would say an icon, is Stanley Wharf in the north west when the blue warehou are running. More commonly known as snotty trevally excitement is brewing locally as April and May traditionally is the time when big schools start appearing.
Mark Heran is a key member of the Fishcare Volunteers on the northwest coast. We interviewed Mark on his fishing pedigree and why he enjoys hooking a snotty trevally when they are on the boil.
With the recent spell of easterly winds on the north west coast, sea fishing from the trusty tinnie has been a bit ordinary to say the least.
Needing to get out and have a fish, Duck Bay estuary came to mind. This is still one of the coasts best systems for quality flathead fishing with soft plastics, along with the chance to catch gummy sharks, Australian salmon, King George whiting, couta and tailor and maybe a snapper. Smithton on the far north west coast is situated on the edge of the Duck river and this is where you can find a three lane boat ramp with plenty of good parking close by. When launched it pays to stay in between the channel markers to ensure a safe passage north to the main fishing area on the bay. Be aware though that the channel moves so take great care.
Chasing Snapper is a rewarding past time. It is more than just a hobby it is a major part of my life and I love it.
This time of year is normally a good time to chase big snapper. When the water temperature starts dropping the Tamar gets a run of larger fish. Pinkies or smaller snapper are normally caught through the warmer months. Snapper are caught in many areas. They are a bit like bream. You can catch them over mud, sand, reef and rubble. They eat mainly crabs but will still eat other food such as shell fish, cunji, crayfish and small fish. The Tamar has got thousands of snapper spots. Snapper move from bay to bay. Half the fun of snapper fishing is locating the school.
In this article I will discuss tackle for snapper and I hope that it will help you during this quest.
Beach fishing is probably the most popular form of fishing in Australia; more people take part in beach fishing than any other form. Why? Because it is accessible to just about anyone, chances of success between beginners and experienced anglers is not too dissimilar. Having said that, experience will lead to better quality catches.
With several important BREAM Tournaments coming up on the Tasmanian calendar, we figured it was high time to hear from a regular competitor on how he prepares for these events. In addition to being one of the country's most prolific angling journalists and TV presenters, Steve Starling is a high-profile regular in the ABT's National BREAM Series, and a former top-three cash prize money earner on the circuit. He was also NSW Team Captain in 2001 and 2002, NSW BREAM Angler of the Year (AOY) in 2001, NSW AOY runner-up in 2002, Victorian AOY in 2002 and is a dual National BREAM Circuit tournament round winner. So, when Starlo talks about his list of "essential" gear for competing in these events, it pays to listen! Here's what he had to say when we asked him about this important subject:
Fishing time and effort is often curtailed by the constraints of work and family and is further impacted with the financial pressure of rising fuel costs and the approaching festive season which in itself can lead to your credit card statement looking like an overloaded hay truck on a back country road!
Summer is now officially upon us and as the holiday season begins and the weather warms up, Frederick Henry Bay comes alive with boats as anglers head out in search of a fresh fish or two for the dining table; but what of those who don't have the luxury of a boat? Fear not, for all is far from lost!
As spring sets in most creatures have already, or are set to begin a fornicating frenzy and all though my thoughts at times are dominated by similar images, the approaching game season is steadily turning the tide toward thoughts of chasing mako sharks from our local ramps. These mighty adversaries are available in numbers on occasions and in my experience the jumbo triple figure numbers are more prevalent in the early part of the season.
It's not everyday you get to fish what is arguably the best saltwater fly fishing in Southern Australia. Where the fishing pressure is decreasing rather than increasing, where you can have a bay full of Australian salmon, trevally, and big flathead rumoured to be up to 10lb all to yourself, unless you live on Flinders Island. I've just had a "working" visit to the Island for 2 weeks, during this time I regularly found myself with a fly rod in my hand firmly attached to Australian salmon, the majority in the 3 - 4lb range, with the occasional one up to 7lb.
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