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Mythbusters – Excuses or fishy trends

Too windy, not windy enough, wrong wind direction. Too bright, too dull, too wet, too dry: excuses—or are they? Farmers and fishing guides have two things in common: firstly, they’re both in the weather everyday, working with Mother Nature. Secondly, both groups will tell you that the animals in their lives all react differently according to subtleties and vagaries of wind direction, atmospheric pressure and lunar cycles. In the case of fishing guides and experienced anglers, you can add a list of hatch and water level factors to the nuances of Mother Nature, vagaries which become plausible excuses at the end of a tough day. After the question of weather patterns and their affects on fishing came up on the FlyLife internet forum, I thought it might be a good time to do a bit of myth-busting with the aid of my fishing diary.

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When you have finished for the day, why not have a brag about the ones that didn't get away! Send Mike an article on your fishing (Click here for contact details), and we'll get it published here. Have fun fishing - tasfish.com

Devonport to Ulverstone

Devonport
Moving west from Port Sorell you'll find Morelands Beach, which stretches from Port Sorell to Wrights Island - around five kilometres east of the Mersey River at Devonport. Access is from opposite the mill at Wesley Vale and surf fishers often drive along the beach. This is one of the most popular beaches in the area with good gutters. Best fishing for large flathead is October/November. Salmon are caught all year.

Wrights Island is directly off the airport. A boat is needed and good pike and calamari squid are found inside the island, while outside wrasse, leatherjacket and flathead. Good pike are trolled up off the eastern side of the heads, but these are also caught off the shore.

The breakwater on the eastern shore is popular for cocky salmon, snotty trevally, flathead, mullet and couta. Half to three quarter incoming tide is the most productive.

The western breakwater is blocked off to fishing and the next popular area is the Mersey Bluff. Access is good either from the beach or the car park at the top. The best fishing is on the eastern side where salmon, shark, couta, flathead, and pike are taken over sandy broken bottom. On the western side there is reefy bottom and wrasse, leatherjacket and other reef species are found here. Luderick are also found off the bluff, although only a few Tasmanians target these.

Back Beach and Coles Beach are easily accessed between the Bluff and Don heads. A lot of fishing is done from boats around the Don heads for pike, couta and salmon. The heads are also easily accessed from both sides.

Further along is the Forth River. This is a popular areas for large Australian salmon. Local boat fishers claim trolling is only successful when undertaken in an east - west direction. No one seems to know why. Skipping plastic lures or squid imitations across the surface is most successful and trolling fast is essential. Occasionally shore fishers can reach these fish, but the size is usually smaller.

Ulverstone

Ulverstone is a lovely town with friendly people and a small estuary that gives easy access to the sea. The area is not as productive as one would think though. The Leven River estuary contains mullet, Australian Salmon and a few trevally, and apart from some good sea-run trout in spring little else. A few couta are also caught around the mouth.

The breakwall on the eastern shore is one of the most popular fishing spots. Fish this on an incoming tide for wrasse, cod, couta and salmon. The western side is not as popular, but a silver wobbler cast into eddying water will often be worth the effort.

There is a good boat ramp and pontoon on the western shore of the Leven River. Beach fishing around Ulverstone is generally not as good as further east around Turners Beach.

All the coastal area from Ulverstone to Rocky Cape is similar in structure, accessibility and species. Most rivers are navigable only at high tide, which is often the best fishing time anyway.

Flathead are readily caught all through this area, gurnard perch are another good catch which are ugly, have poisonous spines, and some claim good eating. Couta are somewhat seasonal, while Australian salmon are caught all year round. Much of this area was, in the past, subject to some unsavoury and dirty industry, but this has all changed. Pollution is now virtually non-existent and the fishing has improved enormously. Regularly sighted off the coast are dolphins, whales, and seals.

If you have access to a boat, occasional snapper and school shark are available off shore. Inshore rock cod, leatherjacket, couta, yellowtail kingfish, squid and salmon are the reward. It is an abundant area that deserves some closer attention as the water quality improves.

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