Presented 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.
Presented 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.
Presented 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.
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
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 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.
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 94
Sea run trout are somewhat of an enigma for many Tasmanian and travelling anglers. Our population are mostly comprised of brown trout which, by definition, choose to live most of their lives at sea. These fish then come into our estuary systems twice a year in order to feed (August – November) and to spawn (April – June). The best time to chase them is during the early months of the season when site fishing is a very real possibility.
Presented from Issue 94
With the cold and wet winter days now behind us, as we move into the peak of spring, we can look forward to some truly spectacular fishing ahead.
As Matt Byrne details here, mid-late spring is the prime time to hit our popular coastal estuaries and rivers in search of our iconic sport fishing species – the southern black bream.
Thousands of Tasmanians participate in recreational line fishing each year with the majority fishing in marine waters. The most popular target species is flathead with Australian salmon also keenly sought.
Tasmania has a dedicated group of over 23,000 anglers who trout fish each year, many of whom also fish in marine waters. However, a larger proportion of recreational anglers who fish in marine waters don’t go trout fishing. If you are one of these anglers, why not give trout fishing a go this season?
Over Winter I get asked more about garfish than anything else. I know we have monster southern bluefin tuna still hanging around, but the humble little garfish can be a mainstay for anglers.
They are one of Tasmania’s most sought estuarine fish during the cooler months. They are plentiful, great fun to catch and delicious to eat. You don’t need to go zooming around the bay looking for them as they will come to you. Kids love catching them — and so do I.
The cooler months are best, and finds the bigger fish inshore and in many Tasmanian estuaries.
Click above for current issue content. The current issue of TFBN is extensive and topical. In Tackle Stores, Newsagents and by subscription.
Delivered to your door for $60 for 2 years (10 issues). To subscribe, send Mike $60 via www.paypal.com.au . (Basic instructions are here) The email is at Contact Us. Your address will be included from PayPal. Please ensure your details are correct, for Mike to organise delivery.
Here is a list of all of the Article Categories. The number in Brackets, eg (13) is the number of articles. Click on Derwent River and all articles relating to the Derwent will be displayed in the central area.
Hello everyone, I thought it would be a good time to introduce myself.
My name is Stephen Smith and I have been managing the website tasfish.com since May 2009.
It has been an epic journey of learning and discovery and I am indebted to Mike Stevens for his help, support and patience.
I am developing a new venture Rubicon Web and Technology Training ( www.rwtt.com.au ). The focus is two part, to develop websites for individuals and small business and to train people to effectively use technology in their everyday lives.
Please contact me via www.rwtt.com.au/contact-me/ for further information - Stephen Smith.