by Jamie Henderson
No matter where you are in Australia, pretty much every
saltwater based estuary environment you come across will
contain a species of prawn…..yes even in Tasmania.
I am often quizzed by tourists travelling through the North
East region about the subject as they notice lights in the water
during the dark nights over the summer months. Many are
amazed that we have prawns in Tasmania at all, but let me
assure you there are plenty here at the right time of year.
Successful prawning is an art, and for some groups of
people, an annual pastime that has been going on for decades
with secret spots, times and techniques guarded as closely as
the gold in Fort Knox.
Presented from Issue 102, February 2013
One of the most appealing things about fishing is the endless opportunity to lean or discover something new. This is what keeps me keen. Trying something new in fishing and have it pay off is like adding another tool to your fishing arsenal. It could be a new technique or type of lure, fly or bait that sparks an idea to try something new in your own backyard. Knowledge and ideas are gained through your own experiences on the water and through your interaction with other anglers. Some may have had 40 years of experience on the water while others could be just discovering the sport for the first time.
Either way, you can learn something from anyone, as long as you’re willing to listen and share your own humble thoughts and experiences.
Presented from Issue 101
That time of year has finally arrived. The rivers start to settle after a winter full of cold weather and rains. The water of the highland lakes warms. Combine this with warmer weather patterns and you little beauty it all begins to happen. What am I talking about, well I reckon you have guessed it by now, the mayflies will be starting to hatch.
The famous hatches from the slow, flat lowland rivers of Tasmania’s Northern Midlands area should be well under way and the mayfly waters of the central plateau should follow, if they haven’t already started.
Presented from Issue 99
I have been smoking fish since I was a child. My European background meant that I learned these skills from an early age, from my father. Using a homemade wood-fired hot smoker, we would smoke eels predominantly, but sometimes trout too. My ‘backyard fish smoking’ apprenticeship lasted for years; however, when I was 12 years old, my father was finally happy to leave me in charge of the whole process.
To this day, I have maintained a keen interest in smoking fish. The only difference is that now, given my keen interest in fishing for them, I primarily smoke trout. Over the years, I have made several homemade fish smokers, and have smoked a variety of fish. In the early days, I stuck religiously to the traditional salt plus water brine; however, in more recent years, I have been experimenting with lots of different brine recipes.
Part of the secret to getting any smoked fish right is the brine. It is the first part of the ‘preserving’ or ‘curing’ process and is a crucial step that cannot be overlooked. Realistically, a simple mix of salt plus water is all that is required to make a basic brine solution. However, there are better recipes out there for those who want to go a step further and make something really special!
Presented 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.
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
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.
Presented from Issue 95
Over the last few years there has been many new frontiers that anglers have been faced with in the fishing world, there has been more changes to the way we fish, tackle we use and techniques we deploy than probably any other decade and as anglers we at times become enveloped in whatever new technique, lure or tackle happens to be the next big thing or “Revolution” in fishing. With information highways at our finger tips, social media everywhere we look, more fishing based television and media than ever before the amount of information available to the every day angler can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing.
Yamaha Motor Australia is excited to announce the release of the all new four-stroke 90 horsepower outboard engine, the new lightweight F90. This remarkable new engine bolsters Yamahas line up of class leading mid-range outboards from the award-winning F70 through to the top selling F130. The new F90 fills an important place within the Australian line up, delivering the perfect power option for the huge number of Aussie built boats rated to a maximum of 90 horsepower. Not only does this engine sit in a popular part of the market, it also delivers many new advantages that make F90 quite exceptional.
Presented from Issue 109, April 2014
An excerpt from Origins of the Tasmanian Trout JEAN WALKER, Honorary Historian to the Southern Tasmanian Licensed Anglers’ Association produced an accurate and concise account of the fascinating story of the first introduction of trout to Tasmania in 1988.
Tasmania’s Inland Fisheries Service has just republished the booklet to celebrate the sesquicentenary (150 years) since the first tiny trout hatched in the Southern Hemisphere. Here are a few snippets from the booklet Origins of the Tasmanian Trout. Contact IFS on 6261 8050 to find a stockist.
TASMANIA’S early settlers were disappointed by the lack of freshwater angling. The only fish native to the inland waters were Australian grayling, small galaxias and in some rivers blackfish. None offered anglers a challenge in fighting qualities.
Bringing trout from England, 12,000 miles away, s seemed an impossible dream. That the dream, became a reality with perseverance, despite failures and setbacks, in 1864.
Presented from Issue 108, February 2014
As I write this we are experiencing some very hot weather in the Central Highlands. Prior to this though over Christmas it was cold and extremely windy. On most lakes as it gets hot the fish retreat to cooler waters. I don’t like to go boating on the very rough days, but am happy to give the shore fishing a go.
Just recently Bill and I were fishing the Bronte system and we started with a team of English dries - no fish, then small English wets - no fish. It was hot, so the thinking cap went on and I put a #3 sinking line on and some weighted flies. Bingo, we were into the fish and took a number of nice specimens – mostly on the bead head ‘Streamline Bugger’ point fly.
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Presented from Issue 104, June 2013
Eaglehawk Neck, located on the rugged Tasman Peninsula, has really become a paradise for those seeking the elusive ‘jumbo’ sized southern bluefin tuna. The ‘barrel’ has become an Australian fishing icon, especially here in Tasmania. People have travelled the country and the world searching for these fish, from Portland in Victoria, right around the Tasmanian coastline and as far north as Bermagui in New South Wales, there are virtually no boundaries on how far an angler will go to catch one of these awesome creatures. Here in Tasmania though, we are blessed with our tuna fishery, especially down on the Tasman Peninsula. Where else in the country can you launch a boat and start fishing for monster tuna just a stone throw away from the ramp? Each year, Dad and I spend at least one week fishing around the Peninsula, targeting one thing and one thing only, the legendary jumbo bluefin.
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