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Presented from Issue 102, February 2013

Summer is certainly the best time of the year to go fishing around Burnie. With a little well prepared burley, you can catch just about anything! From big silver trevally and salmon to elephant fish and seven gilled sharks, there is something for just about everyone. Red Rock, situated on the western side of Burnie in the suburb of Cooee, is my favourite spot to wet a line around town. Why? The variety. There isn’t that much you cant catch there!

I’ve been fishing at Red Rock and it’s surroundings ever since I was a young whipper- snapper and I don’t think I’ve had so much success anywhere else around Burnie, or along the entire north western coastline for that matter!

Back in the day, going to Red Rock for a weekend of fishing was something to look forward to during every single day of the school year. I reckon I would have spent nearly every weekend down on that steep chuck of rock trying to burley up a seven gilled shark or two! It was, and still is a great place to fish, especially for those quick, after work sessions.

Burley is the most important thing to consider while you’re fishing at Red Rock. Unfortunately, it can be very hard to find fish without it! An outgoing tide is best, with the wind at your back, preferably a slight southerly or south westerly. This will help you establish one hell of a burley trail and attract fish from just about everywhere in the general vicinity! Once

I’ve deployed the burley, I usually give it about five or ten minutes until the first few mullet turn up. When they show up, you know there will be more species to follow.

Sure, mullet will provide you with some great entertainment on a lightly weighed bait or soft plastic, but more importantly, they will provide you with some fresh bait! Fresh bait is usually the key to enticing the larger fish that will show up in your trail later on. After I’ve humanely dispatched a mullet or two, I usually set up a twin dropper paternoster rig, created with 30lb monofilament line, accompanied with two 2/0 or 3/0 circle or o’shaughnessy hooks, a good quality barrel swivel and a small pyramid sinker to anchor it all down with. This simple rig is then connected to a 30 or 50lb braid loaded outfit, normally consisting of a medium to large sized spinning reel and a 10 or 12ft long beach rod.

Bait presentation is another key to success, if you think the bait is looking pretty snazzy on the hook, chances are the fish will too! If you do choose to use mullet as your primary bait, fillet the fish carefully on a flat surface and run the knife down the middle of each fillet, so you end up with four finger like pieces. These will act as terrific strip baits for salmon, gummies, trevally and any other piscatorial that may make it’s way up your burley trail.

After you’ve finished applying your bait with a little love, cast the completed rig into the trail as far as you can and wait for a bite. I use soft plastics for the vast majority of my time at Red Rock, especially when the salmon and trevally show up, but it’s always wise to have a baited outfit ready to rumble for the species that would usually stray away from artificial lures such as elephant fish, gummies, and eagle rays. These fish will occasionally take a soft plastic, but I’m yet to see one take to the rubber while fishing from the rocks!

102 red rock lures 
 An assorment of "red rock lures"

Flicking a soft plastic around is my favourite method of fishing while I’m at Red Rock, you can deceive just about everything with them. You don’t have to go super heavy either, I usually use my bream outfit! If you do plan to use super light gear, make sure you take a landing net. Dragging a big salmon up the jagged edge of Red Rock with 6lb fluorocarbon leader is no good for the fish or your tackle! If you do find yourself connected to a sizable fish and you’ve forgotten a net, fight the fish until it’s ready to surrender, then slowly direct the fish into the small bay on the eastern side of the rock and land it there. There isn’t too much technique to using a soft plastic down at the rock, just cast it out into the trail, focus on the line, wait for it to hit the bottom then give it a few twitches or lifts and you’ll be set!

Make sure you hold on too, those trevally will hit hard and fast!

Any natural looking profile will work, especially sandworm, prawn and baitfish imitations. Before selecting a suitable jighead for the job, make sure you examine the current swell and wind conditions. If it’s reasonably still, try and use a 1/12 or 1/8oz jighead, just so you’ve got plenty of hang time while your plastic sinks to the bottom. If the conditions are sloppy, chuck on something heavier, like a 1/6 or 1/4oz jighead, this will make your plastic sink quicker, but you’ll have constant contact with your plastic and you’ll be able to detect any touches or bites between wind gusts and swells. If you can persist with casting a plastic around occasionally, you’ll be hooked for life, you’ll catch plenty of fish too!

On a serious note, remember to limit your kill and don’t go overboard while collecting bait and fish for the table, take only what you need for a feed! If you do plan on taking a few for a feed, remember to take an esky loaded with ice so you can look after your catch and keep it fresh for the kitchen. Also, make sure you don’t leave any rubbish around the place, or anywhere for that matter, because it’s just a low act and other people shouldn’t have to deal with it!

Anyway, that’ll be enough from me now, I’ll let you get out for a fish! There are just so many other great locations around Burnie and it’s surroundings to find good fish, you’ve just get out and have an explore!

Daniel Paull


An collection of fish from Red Rock 
 102 red rock fish a
 
 102 red rock fish b
 
102 red rock fish c