Presented from Issue 109, April 2014
An excerpt from Origins of the Tasmanian Trout JEAN WALKER, Honorary Historian to the Southern Tasmanian Licensed Anglers’ Association produced an accurate and concise account of the fascinating story of the first introduction of trout to Tasmania in 1988.
Tasmania’s Inland Fisheries Service has just republished the booklet to celebrate the sesquicentenary (150 years) since the first tiny trout hatched in the Southern Hemisphere. Here are a few snippets from the booklet Origins of the Tasmanian Trout. Contact IFS on 6261 8050 to find a stockist.
TASMANIA’S early settlers were disappointed by the lack of freshwater angling. The only fish native to the inland waters were Australian grayling, small galaxias and in some rivers blackfish. None offered anglers a challenge in fighting qualities.
Bringing trout from England, 12,000 miles away, s seemed an impossible dream. That the dream, became a reality with perseverance, despite failures and setbacks, in 1864.Read more ...
As the summer months come to an end many fisherman see it as a time to pack the rods and fishing gear away and hibernate for a few months until the springtime brings some fresh action, but on the east coast this is far from the truth. The months of April, May and even in to June can bring some of the best Estuary fishing the East Coast has to offer and in particular Georges Bay St Helens. The warmer summer months can quite often mean periods of high winds and rough waters on the east coast making it difficult to have consistent days on the water however as we move into April we find the windy weather gives way to more mild conditions. Days can start off quite chilly with frosts quite common but as the day wears on this can mean beautiful clear blue skies, warm air temperatures, glass calm conditions and magic times on the water.
The East Coast of Tasmania, in particular Georges Bay St Helens, is fast growing in popularity as a saltwater sports fishing haven, not only in Tasmanian circles but also with anglers right across the country. It has always been on the map as the "Game Fishing Capital" of Tasmania boasting some of the best Salt Water Game Fishing Tasmania has to offer and now with the inshore bays and coastline fishing better than it ever has it offers sports anglers a diversity of species and environment unmatched by anywhere else in the state.
As an angler one of the joys of living on the East Coast of Tasmania, in particular Georges Bay St Helens, is having a plethora of salt-water fish species to target. The variety of fish being caught in this pristine estuary during the summer months now is nothing short of outstanding. Every year Georges Bay finds itself home to large schools of what I would class as one of the most popular sports fish this country has to offer--The Australian salmon.
Now the weather is starting fine up there is ample opportunity to get out on the water and find some fish. If you just want to get out and have some fun on light line and maybe take home a fish or two then this article is for you.
When the words "Sportsfishing" and "Giant Trevally" are spoken most think of far north Queensland and long boat journey's to offshore reefs, but here on the East Coast of Tasmania we have our very own version. Georges Bay is home to Pseudocaranx dentex, or the silver trevally as it's more commonly known, which is one of the most prolific species in our estuarine waters. They are caught as juveniles by children on just about every jetty around our coastline and are the very fish that most of us would have cut our teeth on as a keen youngster. They can be caught with a wide variety of methods from simple bait fishing to saltwater flyfishing but no matter what the technique or size of the fish they are one of the best sportfish Tasmanian waters have to offer.
As many of us fish on a tight budget these days, what with mortgages, living costs, family expenses, kids and cars etc, owning a boat is quite often low on the list of priorities. With this in mind being able to maximise your shore fishing opportunities and make the most of your feet is as important as the tackle you use to do it with.
What follows is a quick look at shore fishing options around Georges Bay, St Helens, and the tackle and techniques needed to take home a feed of fish.
Southern calamari and cuttlefish are one of my favourite species. They are both fantastic to eat and make great bait. Although calamari are related to the arrow squid I am sure that calamari are far smarter! They can be a real challenge. They go off and on the bite at the flick of a switch. In my opinion they are far superior on the table as well.
As we move through spring, and summer looms ever closer, the days grow longer and the temperatures get warmer. We dust off our fishing gear, service our reels, respool with fresh mono or braid, check lures for rusty hooks - all the while reminiscing on seasons past, and wonder what adventures the new season holds for us. What species will we target this year, what new frontiers will we explore, what records will we strive for and more importantly how many days off do we have to get it all done in.
Autumn is a great time to chase snapper anywhere in Australia. As the water temperature starts dropping the bigger fish come on the chew.
The Tamar estuary is my home ground and is the most challenging area to catch big red I know. To catch big snapper on reasonably regular basis is very hard work. Preparation, bait collection, timing and the time on the water are all key aspects to make a successful angler. The thing that makes the Tamar so hard to catch big snapper is the low numbers of fish and the size of the estuary. Sometimes it feels like you are trying to find a needle in a haystack. But the reason that I keep fishing it is there are some very sizable fish lurking in its discolored waters. Some of the fish that I catch are well over the old-fashioned 20lb mark. I do believe that snapper up to 30lbs plus exist in the system at time to time.
There is some excellent fishing to be had in the Tamar during autumn. Many species can be targeted which include Australian Salmon, Snotty Trevally and Elephant Fish. These three species can be targeted during the daytime and also can be caught off most of the land based pontoons and jetties situated along the Tamar Estuary.
Mike Stevens spends his summer holidays at St Helens. He has noticed a great improvement in the fishing over the last summer - especially for salmon, tailor and bream. Mike gives a few tips on how you can find some of the big Australian salmon and tailor he has been catching.
Unexpected catches can be some of the most satisfying of all. Planned trips and planned catches are the "norm" and whilst they can be fantastic the surprise catches are somehow special.
Early January is beach time for our family, and this usually means St Helens. The trout are forgotten for a while and we turn to bait, lure and fly. It is really an eclectic mixture of fishing - mostly in Georges Bay.
As I mentioned in my last article about snotty trevally in the Tamar Estuary, the river has lots of surprises - and this season, we have seen an awesome run of tailor and blue warehoe, or snotty trevally. However, these runs are not usually consistent and may not reoccur every season.
Everyone was a winner at the www.tasfish.com St Helens Grand Slam held on 24 January at Georges Bay on Tasmania's east coast.
The rollup for a low profile and inaugural event was spectacular with 29 teams and about 70 anglers competing for no prizes. The only thing on offer was three trophies for the top three and an equally spectacular trophy for a "Room for improvement" award.
The big winner on the day was Canteen with a cheque going to them for $1600. Canteen supports young people living with cancer.
The other winners were Michael Haley's team from St Helens in first place, Jamie Henderson from St Helens second and Les Simms team from Devonport third.
Its Jaymie and Jake from Melbourne that came down to St Helens for 7 days. You took a quick snap of me with the bream with Michael Haley.
Thought we might just say thanks from my brother Jake, Dad and I.
Might also give you a quick insight to how good we thought the fishing was down there in Georges bay.
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