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Tamar River

Best time to fish; All year

Getting there; 2 1/2 hours from Hobart, On the doorstep of Launceston.

Major angling species; Flathead, couta, silver trevally, whiting, mullet, Australian salmon, bream, kingfish and snapper.

Other attractions; Swimming, surfing, sight seeing, excellent wineries and tourist attractions.

The river from a boat
The best fishing is below Windermere and Rosevears where the river deepens somewhat. Once you get to the Batman Bridge, the fishing changes remarkably. This section of the river is narrow, deep and features very strong currents and tidal flow.

A common belief is that the deep holes in the river are where all the fish are, however, the secret to the Tamar is in the shallows.

Water less then 10 metres deep gives up the most fish. Use some berley and then drop down some baits, and you never know what you will pull up.

The most prized fish is snapper, and perhaps the least loved is the rock cod. In between these, it is possible to catch a myriad of fish species.

As you move down towards the heads, the river opens up and has some shallower flats - in some places sand bars pop their heads out of the water at low tide. Flathead fishing is almost too easy in these sandy parts of the river, but they are mostly small.

Lures are worth a try in shallow water for flathead, and they often turn up better specimens, while those willing to cast a fly will have a great time.

Yellowtail kingfish inhabit the lower parts of the river during summer and autumn months. Best method is to troll baits such as small garfish or salmon, livebait or lures.

From the shore
Fishing from the shore of the Tamar can be just as good as out of a boat - especially on the pontoons situated along the banks of the river. Fishing from these can be very good. Mullet, salmon, trevally, couta, cod and many other species can turn up - with the flathead as present as ever.

The best spots to fish from the shore are all the pontoons, particularly those below Rosevears and areas such as Deviot, Bonney Beach, Inspection Head wharf, Redbill Point Caravan park (only at low tide), Low Head and West Head.

The Inspection Head wharf is at Beauty Point - about thirty five minutes to the north of Launceston. The species you may encounter include the big four; flathead, mullet, salmon and barracouta. It is also home to Seahorse World - a seahorse aquaculture and interpretation center.

Flathead are probably the most common catch from the wharf. Mullet are also caught hard up against the pylons. Australian salmon are a common predatory fish that take advantage of the bait that lives around the wharf.

Kelso jetty is a top spot for squid, and tide turns are best if squid are the target - dawn and dusk are best. Many other species can also be caught here.

The flats around Kelso have become a popular area for saltwater fly fishers chasing salmon and flathead. Wading waist deep exploring with a Clouser Minnow or Lefty Deceiver does the job - especially at low tide when the dropoff can be reached.

Further down the river, West Head offers a great rock fishing ledge, and if variety is what you want this is the place to fish. Species include Australian salmon, flathead, jack mackerel, slimy mackerel, kingfish, sweep, luderick, wrasse, squid, cuttlefish, pike, rosy perch, gurnard, couta, leatherjacket, sharks, garfish, mullet and more. Tide turns are the best times. Southerly weather is best as there is less swell to cope with. West Head is in a National Park, therefore a National Park fee will need to be paid.

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