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Atlantic Salmon At Large

Atlantic Salmon At Large

Recently Atlantic salmon seems to be a very hot topic amongst local anglers, especially those in the south of the state in the D'Entrecasteaux area. Northern anglers should take a close look at the Tamar as there are opportunities here as well.  
The recent "great escape" has provided a perfect opportunity for fresh and saltwater anglers alike to experience some truly memorable sport. Tasmania's pristine, clean and cool waters are the perfect nursery for the Atlantic Salmon and as our local fish farms produce more and more fresh quality seafood it is a fact that there are going to be tangible consequences.

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Please check all relevant authorities before fishing - www.ifs.tas.gov.au and dpipwe.tas.gov.au . Don't forget issuu.com/stevenspublishing for years of back issues !

115 broadbill weighinPresented from Issue 115, April 2015
We headed out of Coles Bay and zoomed through Schouten Passage between the spectacular Hazards peaks and Schouten Island on Tasmania’s East coast. The sun was shining, the breeze was dropping and the twin Yamaha 115s were quietly humming on my 7m trailer boat; ChoonaChasa. We’d entered the Coles Bay Classic run by the Southern Game club and we were heading to the edge of the continental shelf to chase what I believe is the mightiest fish in the ocean; broadbill swordfish, Xiphias gladius!

We arrived at our chosen mark around 0900. A quick scan of the ocean floor revealed undulating features holding fish that we predicted as blue eye trevalla, gem fish, blue grenadier, frost fish and more. A nice ‘Scatter Layer’ of fish and probably squid mid-water added to the food chain and we decided the area was prime for a deep drop or two.

We quickly finalised our first sword rig; today we had a Penn Power Curve 24kg rod and Penn 50 VSW reel filled with 24kg Platypus mono. Add to that a 300lb JEM wind-on leader to a large swivel clip. On the clip an LP Electralume tri-colour light and then a 400lb leader to a 14/0 offset J hook. On the hook a whole arrow squid fixed in place with waxed thread and covered with a 14 inch yozuri squid skirt with glow eyes. We attached a breakaway sinker with a short length of thin line and over she went down to the depths of over 500m. We then deployed an electric reel with baits for the bottom fish to determine what was lurking down there and soon pulled up a blue grenadier. There had been no bites on the swordfish line so we retrieved and moved in-shore somewhat.

2018 04 09 600th trout for the 2017 18 seasonMet up with good friend Clint for a spin session on the Meander River this morning and I'm hoping to catch the three trout required to reach the 600th trout, a target that I set myself at the start of the 2017/18 trout season. With nice warm weather conditions and the river running some five inches higher than my previous trip to the river we decided to fish from well below the Chestnut Road bridge and work our way back upstream to it. Once there I started off with the bloody tiger prawn coloured Greedy Guts lure and Clint also had a lure of a similar colour with his set up. I told Clint to have a few casts into a large flat water at the tail end of the stretch of river we were starting from, it's always given up a trout or two on my previous trips here. I think it was on his second or third cast when he was onto a nice solid brown that gave him a good start to the spin session.

2018 04 07 Pontoon 21 Greedy Guts bloody tiger prawnWill I or wont I go fishing, that was what was going on in my head this morning. In the end I did go and headed over to Merseylea for a spin session. It was only going to be a short one as I had several things to do at home that I haven't got around to lately. When I arrive at the river I was surprised not to see any cars parked near the bridge seeing as it was quite a nice morning to be on a river. After a twenty minute walk through a few paddocks and a dried up back water I was at my starting point only to find it wasn't the same here any more. There has been quite a lot of work done along the river and my fast water run I loved to fish was now a wide deep stretch of water. Any way I put on a F3 rainbow Rapala lure and started casting to the opposite river bank while slowly retrieving the lure at the same time letting it go with the flow. After the forth of fifth cast & retrieve I had a follow from an interested trout that followed the lure right up to where I lifted the lure from the water. That's where it ended, it turned and slowly moved away. Onto the next stretch of water, this one was more to my liking as it hadn't had a lot of work done to it. It had been made a little deeper but two thirds of it was still okay for wading my way up the river. Before I entered this stretch of water I had a change of lure, it was the Daiwa ghost brown lure I went for.

2018 04 06 Meander River bAfter having a doctors appointment this morning I had a pretty late start on the Meander River in what was beautiful fishing conditions and the river level had dropped which made it even better. I received a few new Austackle lures that I picked up for half price from MO-Tackle last week and they arrived this morning so I'm itching to give them a workout. I was in the river by 11:10 am and started off using the ''Wolf '' 50 mm hard body lure which has a narrow body and is practically the same patten as the Daiwa ghost brown one that I use. It took me around fifteen minutes before I had my first follow from a medium size brown and that's as far as it went, just a follow.

114 dawn to dusk great lake midge troutPresented from Issue 114, February 2015
There was a time when I thought Great Lake was a barren and unappealing body of water. My opinion soon changed as I discovered the existence of midge feeding trout out in the middle of this Lake back in the late 80’s after reading Robert Sloane’s classic book “The Truth About Trout”. Since then, there have been many new publications from very competent anglers who have spent a lot of time unlocking its secrets. Great Lake can produce some superb dry fly fishing during the summer months and the best way to experience this, in my opinion, is from a boat. Once you have a boat on the water it opens up so many opportunities to find feeding fish. It also gives you the freedom to cover a lot more water to find fish as the conditions change.

utas imasDR James Haddy from IMAS in Launceston is running a King George whiting frame donation research program. It appears that the adult whiting move out of the estuaries to spawn in deeper coastal areas up to 100m deep in April, and although he has sampled over 588 fish so far, he doesn’t have any mature/spawning fish captured in April. This is despite 7 years of sample collection. Information on adult whiting is important to assess the current minimum legal size of whiting in Tasmania. Currently, the smallest mature female recorded in Tasmania measured 37cm in total length with the next smallest individual measuring 40cm TL. What he needs is if anybody catches a whiting (particularly in coastal waters in APRIL) is to donate the fish frame for science. So instead of throwing the fish in the bin or back in the water after its been filleted.

114 march game qualityPresented from Issue 114, February 2015

March is a period of happiness and sadness for Tasmanian anglers. Happiness for the anglers that rely on warm currents or warm weather as there is still some of that. Sadness for those anglers that love their daylight savings as March has the days noticeably shorter working to the date in April we play with clocks. Do NOT despair as there is still lots and lots to enjoy angling wise.

 

114 tuna number onePresented from Issue 114, February 2015
The Southern Bluefin Tuna scene in Tasmania has always been popular across Australia, but it is really starting to attract some broader attention. This is in some part due to Tasmania’s fishing being far enough away that it does not feature in Australia’s main stream media. Facebook has changed this in a very short space of time. Anglers have linked up and made friend requests across the country and now if someone catches a good fish anywhere in our nation, the nation’s keen anglers know about it. Tasmania has many reasons to find favour with anglers across Australia, so let’s start running through a few.

114 drainsPresented from Issue 114, February 2015
It’s your day off work and you’ve been awaiting its arrival, pondering thoughts of blue-sky days, huge hatches and chubby trout. Reality closes in and as soon as you awake from your slumber, the cold front arrives before the coffee is even brewed. A quick trawl of Internet-weather forecasts worsens your enthusiasm – howling winds, occasional showers and plummeting temperatures. There are still options out there but would you be comfortable? Would you enjoy success? Should you stay at home constantly checking the social media feed to fill the void of your miserable woes? No, you should fish!

Tasmania boasts a diverse trout fishery, as you might know, renown for amazing sight-fishing on shallow lakes and historical mayfly rivers but in between all of this hides some little-known gems, smaller than a river and closer to being defined as a creek. A place where wading is optimistic only due to the lack of water, not its risky depth. These are creeks and rivers on a micro- scale and they are tight enough to tangle great numbers of your flies! These are positively enticing and there are hundreds of kilometres of them winding their way throughout Tasmania - enough for you to fish for the rest of your life, probably.

I like to call them drains, though that term lacks the romance they truly deserve. Decadent drains would be more apt. Technically, some are given the name ‘river’ or ‘creek’ but some of these allocations are open to interpretation! Whatever they are called, they allegedly hold water and if they have water, there’s a good chance they have trout.

2018 04 03 Wild brown trout 6050Today thought I would give the small tannin water stream another go today as I was interested to see how it would fish seeing it's been a week since we had some decent rain. I was fairly late heading off this morning due to severe lower back pain and couldn't do much until the pain killers kicked in. I didn't arrive at the stream until 11:15 am only to find the water level had dropped by around five inches (125 mms) to what it was on my last visit here. I knew then I was in for a tough couple of hours here today with low water and full sun on it as well. It's nothing like my last trip when the water was like black coffee, the water was now a light tannin colour and I could see the river bottom quite easy now.

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