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Atlantic salmon the hard way

Atlantic salmon the hard way

Scott McDonald
The first Atlantic salmon eggs used to begin Tasmania's Atlantic salmon aquaculture industry were introduced into Tasmania in 1984. From these humble beginnings a valuable Tasmanian industry has evolved with a worldwide reputation for having a premium disease free product. This industry provides a spin off to all anglers in the form of regular escapes of salmon from the farms.

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AUTUMN TAMAR ACTION

Tamar River

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.

 

AUSTRALIAN SALMON
Australian Salmon are prolific throughout the Tamar during the autumn months. They come to the Estuary chasing bait fish and can be taken on lures and flies which resemble the small bait fish they are feeding on. Good spots to target Australian Salmon are where the water runs hard especially if structure is nearby. For example Reefs, bombies, pillions and break waters are excellent spots to fish for these hard fighting acrobatic performers. The best locations are Whirlpool Reach, Moriarty Reach, Long Reach, Shag Rock,Garden Island, Kelso, the shore at Low Head near Marion Villa and the Farewell Beacons at Low Head. The best landbassed areas are Gravelly Beach pontoon, Sidmouth pontoon,Bonnie Beach pontoon, Inspection Head wharf at Beauty Point, Clarence Point pontoon, The Monument at George Town, Garden Island and Low Head break water.
The best baits and lures for these little fighters are blue bait, whitebait and squid. The best lures are Halco twisties, Raiders Lures and Pilchard style lures. Sabiki Rigs are also very productive.The best tide varies from location to location so some homework does need to be done.

SNOTTY TREVALLY
Snotty Trevally or blue Warehoe enter aor estuary in mid March. They enter for two reasons , the first reason is to spawn and the second being is to feed on the thousands of jellyfish which appears in the Tamar at this time of year. They can be caught throughout the winter months until around the end of September. The peek Months seem to be April/May. The best locations to target the Trevally in the estuary are Spring Bay, Whirlpool Reach, Devils Elbow, Redwood Bay, East Arm, West Arm, Garden Island Lagoon,Pipeclay Bay and Kelso Bay. Snottier tend too school up in the highest concentrations out of the main stream of the current. They also have a high tolerance to salinity and can be caught readily in flood conditions. So don't be put off by dirty water. The best land based locations are Gravelly Beach pontoon,Hillwood pontoon, Deviot pontoon, Bonnie Beach pontoon,Inspection Head wharf, Clarence Point pontoon, Garden Island, The Pier pontoon at GeorgeTown and at Kelso jetty.
The best baits and rigs are chicken breat, Snotty Trevally flesh,prawns and Squid. The best rigs are Sure Catch Sabiki Rigs and general padanoster rig.Ahook size of size1 or 2 should be sufficient.

ELEPHANT FISH
This is one of Australian great light tackle sport fish. They enter the estuary at the start of February and run until mid May. They are excellent fighters and sometimes perform exciting aerobatical leaps.They tend to hang around deep water of a day and come into feed on square back crabs in shallow water of a night.They are amazing looking fish and are a member of the shark Ray family. The best locations are Supply Bay, Spring Bay, Redwood Bay, East                                                                                                                                                           Arm, Long Reach, West Arm , The Lagoon at Garden I sand and Kelso Bay. The best Land Based locations are Bonnie Beach pontoon, East Arm pontoon, West Arm pontoon and of some of the beaches around the Low Head area occasionally. It is important to keep your outfit in scale to your quarry. A 3 to 4 kg spinning of bait casting outfit is adequate.
The best baits and rigs are fresh squid, pilchards and fish fillets. A beefed up Bream rig is adequate with a ssizze 3/O circle hook.

DAMON's PREFERRED OUTFITS
 Salmon- 6 foot spinning rod, rated at to 4kg cooped up with a Daiwa Samurai 2500 7i.
Snotties-7 foot spinning rod, rated at 3 to 5kg cooped up with a Daiwa Kaster 3500.
Elephant Fish- 7foot spinning rod rated at 3 to 5kg cooped up with a Daiwa Capricorn 4000.
Autumn i s a great time to fish in the Tamar and there are also many other species that can be successfully targeted. We will have to look at them next Autumn. Good Luck.

Damon Sherriff

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