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Trout tips - from tackle shops

Presented from Issue 105, August 2013

We did a bit of a runaround Tasmania’s tackle stores to see what their tips for the first month or so of the tackle season were. We asked what the top three places to fish were, plus lures, flies, baits and a few other things.
Here is a rundown on their answers Whenever, and wherever you fish - anywhere, or for any fish in the world - ask the locals and especially ask at the local tackle store. They know what was caught today, yesterday and on what.

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Four Springs

Four Springs is one of the very few, angler initiated, dedicated public fisheries.In fact I can't think of any other waters that were built by anglers, for anglers that are public. It is a great credit to those that put in the work and it is one of our best Tasmanian waters - especially in the early part of the season when the highlands can be so cold and uninviting.

I visited Four Springs last Sunday - more for a walk than a serious fish and spent an hour or so fishing a soft plastic along the south western shore. It was windy and a deep low pressure system was on us. No fish, but one good grab and two fish chased the lure to the end of the rod. It was funny as I had the soft plastic hanging from the end of the rod with both these fish swimming around wondering what to do. Both fish swam off slowly - apparently not spooked, but not really interested.

I generally fish for trout with a fly, but I have become increasingly interested in the soft plastic area, and that has mostly come from my experiences with the use of them in marine waters. They are fun to fish with, catch an enormous range of fish and one can still be a tackle rat with a huge range of gear available. Gear freaks are a plenty in fishing and there is no shortage of them in the soft plastic area.

The bream tournament scene is an area where too much gear is rarely enough. Whilst one fly rod will suit many situations, perhaps along with a few different floating/sinking lines, bream tournament anglers "need"a combination of rigs already setup. The collective noun for a collection of bream rods should perhaps be called a "complication'. Reels size varies between 1000 and 2500 size. Rods should be light and between 1.8 and 2.2 metres.These need to be loaded up with several different lines and different weight jig heads. Why? If it is sunny with clear and shallow water you might choose 1 kg fluorocarbon monofilament as the stealthiest setup, rigged with a resin head for plastics, or a light lure.

As you drift along you might get to a drop off where a fish might lurk. You need a heavier head/lure so pick up the rod with the same flurocarbon, but heavier jig head to get a little deeper. Further on is a snag and this might need a light head, but braid line so you can pull the fish off the snag. Braid also give instant and direct feel and action to the lure and this can help feel for the bite. So in a tournament four complete outfits is probably a minimum. Some go for six or eight. Range in price for rod, rell, line outfit starts at under $200 up to the premium end at about $1500 each. Plenty of people are at the top end too. So you see whilst some fly fishers think they are at the top end of the market, they are clearly not these days, and when you add in the $50K + tournament boat that bream anglers like it is a whole new ball game.

And all this to put fish back. Phew! What is fishing coming to?

Another area I have taken a keen interest in over the last year is kayak - specifically fishing from kayaks. Towards the end of last season I fished
Brumbys Creek often from my Feelfree Moken. The most exciting part of kayak fishing is how close you can get to the fish. It seemed no trouble getting to with six metres, often as close as three metres. It is a conventional paddle sit on kayak, superbly stable and weighs about 27kg and will float in less than 50mm of water. It is a sneaky unit that will get a lot of use this season. I can't wait to chase a few searunners in it. I will keep you posted.

P.S. I saw some good fish to over two kilos come from Four Springs Friday and both Woods Lake and Great Lake have been producing some good catches. There was also a 12.5 pound monster caught from Arthurs Lake last week. A monster from any lake.



Mike Stevens

 

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