From the Archives ...

Discovering new trout waters

Craig Rist
Tasmania has so much to offer the trout angler, from tiny mountain streams and lowland rivers, to lakes that are big enough to fish from a boat, along with hundreds of small lakes and tarns that will give you another reason to go bush walking.

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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

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

98 Egi cPresented from Issue 98

What is egi?
About 400 years ago a bloke in Japan was looking at squid in the harbour, while fishing, and thought there has to be a better way to catch these things. Until then the techniques were a dip net and teaser bait, cast or drag net. He studied the squid for some time and observed that the squid would prey on fish and shrimp as they slowed or stopped. After much trial and error he created an artificial bait that would suspend or sink very slowly in the water, and hopefully attract the squid to the artificial bait.

He called this artificial bait egi.

 At that stage it did not have barbs on the lower part of the egi and was used to excite the squid to attack and come close enough to pick up with a dip net. After much success attracting squid to the egi, but still having difficulty netting squid more thought came into the design.

Presented from Issue 97
Lake Mackintosh is your typical deep tannin stained West Coast Lake that was dammed in the 1980s to create the Mackintosh Power station. The lake has flooded up into native forest, limiting much of the shore access to the boat ramp area at the Mackintosh dam. To explore the full potential of this lake, you need a boat to access every corner. The lake is home to both brown and rainbow trout with it opening at the beginning of the brown trout season and finishing at the end of the rainbow trout season. The lake has a bag limit of 12 fish per person per day. To access the lake you need only drive to the town of Tullah via the Murchison highway and follow the signs.

Presented from Issue 97
When people refer to the Western Lakes they are talking about a vast area of the central plateau that contains hundreds if not thousands of lakes. This area is made up of the central plateau conservation area and the Walls of Jerusalem National Park. This area and its fishing is truly unique in the world. The crystal clear waters and the ability to sight fish predominantly brown trout, at close range, amongst a unique landscape, is something that inspires many people to go to great lengths to explore and fish this region. Interestingly, the Western Lakes is not a place where you would go to catch a lot of fish in Tasmania. This is a place where less is more, with the ability to catch a large number of fish per day being gladly replaced with the chance of only catching a few quality fish. This is a place where there is a lake over every hill and where you get that rare opportunity to count the spots on a wild brown trout as it slowly swims past your feet.

Presented from Issue 97
The opening of the 2011/ 2012 trout fishing season had many anglers excited, rainfall had consistently inundated the state for months prior, and our inland catchments realised levels not witnessed for many years. That being said, the overall condition of many fish landed in the central highlands disappointed anglers, Arthurs Lake and Great Lake being two of the biggest offenders when it came to not “reaching expectations”. One Central Plateau fishery that seems to have bucked the trend this season was Lake King William, where if anything, the average size and condition of its inhabitants has increased quite dramatically. Todd Lambert, John Cleary and Mike Stevens recently took a trip up there to see if the rumours were true.

97 Gunns and Little Lake aPresented from Issue 97
Most fisherman I know have a spot or two that when they go there they get that same sense of feeling that occurs when you arrive back home after a lengthy absence. One area that never fails to generate this nostalgic feeling for me is when I journey out to the two diminutive lakes located roughly north east of Arthurs Lake named Gunns Lake and Little Lake.

A chance meeting….

My Gunns and Little Lake odyssey started approximately 20 years ago on a calm and sunny September morning when long time fishing companion Todd Lamprey and I journeyed out to the two shallow natural lagoons on a purely exploratory mission. Todd and I had been in the highlands for a few days already on a multi day trip and we had decided on looking for a location for the days sport that didn’t require a lot of walking to get to. The preceding days had been spent hiking in the Western Lakes district and Todd and I both really needed to rest tired legs.

Presented from Issue 97

For the past eight or nine years, game fishing in Tasmania has predominantly relied upon good numbers of southern bluefin tuna turning up in the south of the state. St.Helens, which for many years was the Mecca of game fishing slumped to the stage most anglers were heading south to get their “fix” or targeting other species instead.

Presented from Issue 97
What a fantastic year it has been already! The eastern side of the state has been producing some extraordinary fishing, including the appearance of some very solid striped marlin and yellowfin tuna. It would seem that the fishing has improved greatly since last year, as more and more big, trophy sized fish have been landed, lost or sighted. One thing I am really impressed with this year, is the size of the yellowfin that have been caught off the one and only game fishing capital of Tasmania, St. Helens! Not too long ago, I was lucky enough to have seen a huge yellowfin swimming beside our boat, the Terminator. Unfortunately though, for us, after a long battle on considerably heavy tackle, the line gave way and the fish was lost. Jamie Harris was on the rod, and I can assure you all right now, it was a very quiet few moments aboard the boat after the fish snapped the line and powered back off into the depths.

Presented from Issue 97
Before you charge into this article expecting to read about the best trout in Tasmania I should warn you that it relates to the highest ones not the fattest.

It is also fraught with danger to write about something that may not be totally correct as there are still a few remote tarns that I haven’t got to yet and probably never will. There are also some higher places I have found to be devoid of trout that some sneaky specimens may now have swam up into.

Having said all this it is my belief that the highest water in Tasmania to contain brown trout is an unnamed water at around 1290m south west of Turrana Heights. We have named it Lake Australia. It is a headwater tarn on one of several streams that flow into the western side of Pillans Lake. So drag out the Pillans 1:25000 map and follow the stream that runs up through Pencil Pine Tarn to a water roughly shaped like Australia. Now read on about how to get there and what to expect on the way. Maybe it is not for this season, but why not put it on the list for later in the year.

Presented from Issue 97
Rebounding stocks of Eastern Australian Salmon along the eastern coast and a revealing study into the salmon’s life history have prompted Fisheries NSW to refine the balance between conservation, sport and industry.

Research findings from an FRDC-funded project have resulted in Fisheries NSW relaxing a 10- year restriction on the commercial take of Eastern Australian Salmon along the NSW coast, north of Barrenjoey Head.

The revised management code for northern NSW replaced a daily bycatch limit of 100 kilograms and permits allowing fishers to retain Eastern Australian Salmon as bait, with a 224-tonne-a-year commercial fishery as of 1 December 2011.

Presented from Issue 96
Traditionally the age old art of fish taxidermy has involved the preserving, mounting and painting of the fishes skin and head to craft a life like trophy. In more recent times fibreglass fish reproductions or ‘repro’s’ have become available, offering the trophy hunter a viable alternative. Indeed, a well crafted repro can look as good and natural as a well made skin mount.

I was inspired to touch on this subject after hearing secondhand comments that ‘skin mounts don’t last!’ That’s true if the mount wasn’t made correctly in the first place. We’ve all seen the withered and colourless mounts hanging on pub and tackle shop walls, of hardly recognisable specimens caught 20 or 30 yrs ago, and in some cases not that long ago. Well, fish taxidermy has come a long way since those days, with modern techniques and products developed specifically for the industry there is no reason why a properly crafted skin mount should not last a lifetime.

96 bream 01Presented from Issue 96
I don’t think fishing gets any better than watching something come up to the surface and eat a lure off the top. If you’re like me and you love chasing those big Tasmanian bream on lures, then you might have considered casting a surface lure at one time or another. Plenty of people might tell you that “it’s a waste of time”, “black bream don’t like surface lures” or “the water is too cold down here”. Any other number of reasons not to do it might come up. I’m writing this article in the hope that I can disperse that myth and instil confidence in anyone who remains a sceptic. For last three years I have sought out bream on topwater lures in almost every recognised bream estuary, through every month of the year and in every weather condition. You might be surprised to learn that throughout this time I have had very, very few days where I didn’t get at least one fish.

Some days are definitely harder than others but in the end, good things come to those who wait. Hopefully I can pass on some information through this article that will help you in your search for that big topwater bream.

96 rockyPresented from Issue 96
I fly fish for trout and Rocky chases offshore species like tuna.

That is why when I get a day free to spend fishing on the coast with the kids I go out with Rocky who owns and operates ‘Professional Charters.

It was a an early morning start from the lakes - 3:30 a.m. to be exact and as you can imagine it wasn’t difficult waking 12 YO fishing junkie Lachlan Hayes from his slumber. It was near impossible to get my 10 YO anti fishing activist Maddie out of her bed. Three hours and six kangaroos later we drove into St Helens without a speeding fine. I thought it was a great start to the day as I had been nabbed on a couple of occasions on the Fingal Valley road before.

Presented from Issue 96
I have spent most of my life growing up in close proximity to the Mersey River and its wonderful trout fishing. Over the years I have got to know the river and its denizens quite well and this particular season to date has certainly been one of the best I that I can personally remember. What follows is my take on the fishing action on this water for the first half of the 2011/2012 trout fishing season.

Presented from Issue 96
Lake Augusta has been an underrated fishery. It has as much to offer as any other water in the Western Lakes region and as Todd Lambert found out recently, given the right conditions, your bag limit can be caught in a matter of minutes should everything fall into place.

Presented from Issue 96
Late summer brings to the fore the best of fly fishing in Tasmania, the regularity of hatches and falls of terrestrial insects makes dry fly fishing at times spectacular. These days are highlights and can be predicted with some regularity, however along with the highs you also get the lows, those ‘dog days’ where the trout simply don’t want to play. It could be they are too well fed or more sensitive to changes in the weather, or in fact simply will not feed until the hatch they can predict better than us arrives.

How to predict where the fishing will be good is a key to success at this time of year particularly if you want the fish a particular style of fly fishing. When fish do start to feed make the most of the opportunities as in high summer with warm water these ‘hot bites’ may well only last a short time.

96 four springs 01Presented from Issue 96
For the avid fly fisherman, Four Springs Lake is a pretty good option in the warm weather. Close to Launceston and super convenient for that after work trip. But ask any lure fisherman what Four Springs fishes like in the summer and you will probably get a reply consisting of something like “…the weed is really bad – it’s not worth the trip.” I think the first part of this answer is totally correct. It is a well-known fact that underwater weed growth increases with warmer water temperatures. Casting lures becomes difficult and trolling is near impossible. Weed every cast – definitely not anyone’s cup of tea.

96 leatherjacket 01Presented from Issue 96
It is unlikely that if you mention you caught a ‘Leatherjacket’ to any Tasmanian salt water angler that they won’t know what you are talking about. The humble old leatherjacket, often called jackets, butterfish, triggerfish and my favourite “Larry” (Larry the Leatherjacket) is probably one of the most common fish available in Tasmanian waters, both estuarine and oceanic.

96 bream lagoons bream

Presented from Issue 96
Look and Learn

As I passed Wrinklers lagoon I noticed for the first time this summer the lagoon had been released. The spoil piles still remained where the excavator had dug an opening to the sea, slowly being eroded by the ever widening channel as my favourite lagoon disgorged its tannin rich waters. My mind started racing with questions. How had the high water levels of winter and spring affected the fishing? Would the large bream from the year before still be there? How would the abundance of water birds affect the fishing? As the water level dropped and the flats began to appear, it became evident that the black inky mud of the year before had been overlaid by clean yellow sand and the lagoon now contained far more weed. How would this affect things? There is really only one way to find out.

Presented from Issue 96

Why Do it?

Mako Sharks are a fantastic sports fish and as luck would have it, they live right here in Tasmania. They are visually spectacular during the extremely hard fight as they rip line from the reel on one of their blistering runs and then up the entertainment value one more notch by leaping metres into the air, crashing back down with a huge spray of water.

Honda marine 0Honda Marine, a division of American Honda Motor Co., Ltd breaks the mould for marine engines at the 2017 Miami International Boat Show with a bold new concept engine that could power the future of boating. With inspiration from across Honda’s line-up – including automotive, marine and aeronautical – the design concept engine is a blue sky vision for what future marine engines could look like.

“The Honda Marine Design Concept Engine is a clear indicator that Honda is committed to the Marine business, continuing its legacy of innovation and ground-breaking marine products with a vision of what future Honda Marine power could be,” said Will Walton, Assistant Vice President – Honda Marine America.

Designers at Honda’s Advanced Design Group in the U.S were given a ‘clean sheet of paper’ opportunity to design a concept motor that could be applied to a variety of engines.

scientific anglersWe have just received the below update from Scientific Anglers concerning further testing on the new AST Plus slickness additive. These figures are quite incredible and can truly be said that the AST Plus is a game changer in the manufacturing of fly lines.

When you read these figures the new Amplitude fly lines are the best value fly lines on the market.

Presented from Issue 95
Recent kayak popularity It was over 25 years, maybe 30 years ago, when I first saw someone fishing from water level in a boat. On a dark and windy night much to my amusement my mate John Rumph waddled into Lake Toolondo in the Grampians on a horrid night standing in what I think was the first ever float tube imported into Australia.

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