From the Archives ...

 
Demi Lambert showing
how it is done

Presented from Issue 102
The humble Flathead is without doubt the Tasmanian anglers most sought after recreational saltwater species.

They can be found virtually anywhere there is a sandy bottom, from our estuaries to our bays, they are easy to catch and as an added bonus, are fabulous on the dinner table as well.

Mike Stevens has asked me to pen a few words together aimed at those that want to start targeting this species and perhaps aren’t really familiar on how to go about it, so here goes.

Species

There are three distinct species of flathead found around Tasmania and perhaps the most common is the southern sand flathead.

They can grow to around 50cm in length and over 2 kg in weight, but due to them having to be around 16 years of age in order to reach this size; fish like these are the exception rather than the rule.

Their colours vary depending on surroundings but they are usually a light brown or mottled pattern on top with a white belly.

Read more ...

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 !

Too many to choose from!Presented from Issue 99
I have something to confess, I am a tackle junkie. When it comes to fly fishing gear I try and collect whatever I can, whenever I can. Doesn’t make me very popular at times I must admit but I’m afraid that is just the way it is. My current passion is for collecting different styles of chest/vest packs but I do have a soft spot for a nice reel. A fly reel is probably more important to our kit than a pack lets be honest, you can always throw a box of flies in your pocket if needed and go fishing. But if there is no fly reel locked on to the end of your favourite rod its going to be a tough day on the water!. Over the years I have collected and gotten rid of a fair few fly reels. Some brilliant, some pretty ordinary to tell you the truth.

bream scamanderPresented from Issue 99
The annual spawning run or should I say flood of bream to the Scamander River is well underway. Earlier in autumn small schools of adult fish accumulated around the snags in the lower channel of Georges Bay ready for the long run south. When their numbers built up they made the mad dash down the coast and at times could be seen skirting the rocks of St Helens Point as they went.

Along the way they were joined by fish from Dianas Basin and Wrinklers Lagoon when these lagoons were open to the sea. At the same time fish travelled north from Four Mile Creek and Henderson’s Lagoon massing in the surf at the mouth of the river. At the top of the incoming tide fish moved in through the mouth of the river and gathered around the best two snags the Scamander River has to offer- the bridges. Now in late winter, their destinations are the long stretches of brackish water that will provide the right environment for the food their progeny will need after they hatch.

99 peddar bPresented from Issue 99
Lake Pedder. It used to be a good fishery right? Wrong, it was an exceptional fishery. Through the late 70s and early 80s the trout from this iconic south west water averaged an astonishing 4kg. That was the average weight not the good fish but the average weight. There has never been a fishery like it and there never is likely to be ever again.

What does surprise many is it’s a great fishery now. The trout are nothing like those of years gone by but they are in great condition, fight hard and in numbers that would be astounding if it could ever be calculated. Large bags are common and the quality of fish is very good. So often when it comes up in conversation people are surprised to hear it offers some great fishing to all artificial methods. And most always add that they’ve never been but have always wanted to make the trip out.

It’s well worth it, the scenery alone is unparalleled, panoramas that extend 360 degrees when you’re out on the water. Some areas of the lake it’s breath taking at times. For someone new to the water the fishing possibilities are much the same. You can round a point and be mesmerized by the bay in front of you, flooded tea tree sloping banks into weed rich water, fish rising, sometimes clear of the water chasing damselfly on the wing, only to go around the next point and see it open up again into a better looking bay and another and so on.

99 night aPresented from Issue 99
The Western Lakes can be a tough place to catch a fish, especially if you’re limiting yourself to sight fishing only. There are many influencing factors that can contribute to seeing very few fish during the day. We see fish in the shallows because there is often some kind of food present that brings them in close to shore. So if there is no food, they really have no reason to leave the security and food rich environment of the deeper water. During low water levels and high water temperatures in late summer, trout will often shelter under rocks during the heat of the day and only venture out late in the evening and into the night to feed. These are the days when you can walk all day and only seen one or two fish.

The Australian Fly Fishing Museum is a unique single subject museum housed at the National Trust Estate at Clarendon just south of Evandale Tasmania about 30 minutes south of Launceston and is open from 10am to 4pm Thursday to Sunday.

The museum houses a collection showing the history of Fly Fishing in Australia and has a well curated display of items which not only deal with the evolution and history, but also the art of fly fishing.

Early SeasonPresented from Issue 99
The early trout season is always a special time. High water levels with brown trout foraging for a meal close to the edges giving anglers a keenly awaited opportunity for sight fishing, hunting a moving quarry in the shallows as it pushes a bow wave or sends the tip of its tail through the surface as it picks up a morsel off the bottom.

There have been many developments with fly tying materials in recent years, a fly fishing shop contains more glitter and colour than a mardi gras in the fly tying section, but sometimes basic old fashioned patterns which have stood the test of time are the requirement for successful fishing. Flies that are basic in concept and design, simple but representative of life in basic dull natural colours.

98 jans flysJan's Flies Issue 99

Presented from Issue 99
I suppose everybody is geared up for the new trout season. My start was during July by thoroughly cleaning up my fly tying studio. It is so nice to have everything so one can find things. It will be some time before the fish are seriously looking up so wets will be the go for me.

Exciter flies or lure flies will be my choice for action. May I suggest the use of two flies in a larger point fly with something smaller as a dropper. The point fly really needs to be at least four feet from the dropper.

Point patterns could include Yetis, Woolly Buggers, Matukas, Tom Jones, Wigram’s Robin and fur flies in various colours. For droppers, something quite small. This may be English wets, spider patterns are good tied with a really good moving hackle, nymph patterns dressed lightly as you must remember it is really early in the season and there is not much growth in any insects for the next couple of months.

Presented from Issue 98

Over early winter I spent some time on Tasmania’s beautiful east coast. With all that water beckoning me of course one would have to go fishing. Flathead would be the target but then I guess anything that may swim past get something thrown at them. Certainly there was a lot of salmon around, but the majority of schools I saw were too far away to cast to.

Presented from Issue 98
The 29th April 2012 saw the closure of most of our Tasmanian brown trout waters. It is a time that, in a strange sort of way, many freshwater anglers look forward to after a long and “hopefully” rewarding summer.
 
 
On a personal basis, come this time of year, it is enough for me to tie up a few flies or perhaps to read a good fishing book, allowing myself to get caught up in the romance of it all — whilst in comfort of a warm home

GarfishPresented from Issue 98

Wish list, bucket list, call it what you will, I think most of us have one. They seem to come about from conversations with other anglers about different places they have fished, things we have seen on TV or articles we have read in publications such as this one. Some of far-flung places and exotic species but others a little less expensive. This is certainly the case with me; some things just stick in my mind. An article I read many years ago by a well-known fishing journalist whose face adorns many soft plastic packets was fishing for garfish on fly. This undertaking was purely about familiarisation with his fly rod, before he went on a trip to New Zealand. It started out with some burley on the water to attract garfish in an estuary close his home and culminated in him standing up to his crown jewels, in his underwear, with two garfish stuffed down the back of his jocks and a fly hook firmly stuck in his finger. It was more than just the humour of the article that stuck with me and with my interest piqued, I told myself I’d have a crack at garfish on fly one day but I’d give the fish down the back of the jocks a miss! Fifteen years later Jamie Henderson asked me if I would like to spend the afternoon on George’s Bay chasing garfish. “Here is a chance to tick one off the bucket list” I thought and eagerly accepted.

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FRDC FishFiles

Your haul of all things seafood
Welcome to the tenth edition of FishFiles!
This article has been modified in format only for Tasfish,com

This week the regular haggle of restaurant critics plumb the depths to explore everything from squid to scallop, salmon to kingfish, yabbies, prawns, lobster, octopus and mussels too.
At home, automated processing is elevating local Eastern School Whiting to the domestic marketplace, crowd-funding is helping to increase Macquarie perch populations and FRDC funding has helped connect chefs and professional fishing crews for the viewing pleasure of consumers on TV program Seafood Escape.
Meanwhile, further afield the Netherlands mussel industry is experiencing a boom borne of innovation. Global fishing vessel location data collected by satellites and run through advanced algorithms is drawing back the curtain on transshipping and the Independent explores the 'what ifs' for the global fishing industry through the global warming and nationalism looking glass.
New Zealand fisheries are exploring whether cameras will put an end to fish dumping and ensure all play by the rules, while in Australia some of the world's most innovative crime researchers are helping crab fishers put an end to theft.
Anthony Huckstep visited Tasman Sea Salt, a young company breathing life into the forgotten art of sea salt making, SBS tackled the fish pills verse eating fish health debate, also a neat FRDC video takes a look at PEJO Salt Water Barramundi in far North Queensland.

We hope you enjoy,

Peter Horvat

Lake Lynch has been closed - as quoted from the IFS website -

A small artificial waterbody in the Central Highlands will be closed for a period of time to allow the Inland Fisheries Service (IFS) to manage an established population of the introduced pest.

http://www.ifs.tas.gov.au/news/media-release-notice-of-closure-of-lake-lynch-in-the-central-highlands and in the news:
http://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/4539246/lake-closed-to-remove-introduced-yabbies/?cs=5312

Presented from Issue 98

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 4 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4 entree)

  • 3 (about 600g) large cleaned squid hoods
  • 1L (4 cups) vegetable oil
  • 40g (1/4 cup) plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • Lemon wedges and soy sauce with sliced fresh red chilli, to serve

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.

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