104 swansea tunaPresented from Issue 104, June 2013
Swansea can quite rightly lay claim to be the Bream fishing capital of Tasmania. The nearby Swan River literally teems with Southern Black Bream, a renowned species that is valued highly, especially in recent years, for its sports fishing attributes.

But as the knowledgeable angler knows there is far more to attract the visiting fisherman to the seaside town than just Bream. The waters of Great Oyster Bay hold many, many species of fish. The more common species encountered in the bay are Sand and Tiger Flathead, Sand Whiting, Australian Salmon, Barracouta, Arrow and Calamari Squid, Gummy and School Shark, Jackass Morwong and plenty of Wrasse. Further out in the waters around Schouten Island and beyond pelagics, including Albacore, Striped, Southern Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna are possibilities. Mako Shark are also quite common offshore for those wishing to target them. Deep sea fishers will be able to locate stocks of Striped Trumpeter, Blue Eye Trevalla and Gemfish with a little research.

103 striped head2Presented from Issue 103, April 2013

The fish

Tasmania’s coastal waters are fast gaining a reputation of having some of the best variety and quality of fishing in the southern half of Australia. Every season for the last decade or so we seem to be experiencing new and unusual species migrating into our waters and revised management strategies are ensuring that fisheries are protected for future generations. There is one particular species though that has stood the test of time and has the potential to really put us on the map and that is Latris lineata or the striped trumpeter.

Quite often classed by Tasmanians as “one of the best eating fish in the sea”, the striped trumpeter, or sometimes known as the Tasmanian trumpeter, are mainly caught off the coast of Tasmania, but can be caught in South Australia and Victoria and are also found in New Zealand and South American waters. They are reported to grow up to 1.2m in length and about 25kg in weight and live for up to 30 years.

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!

 102 flathead feature
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.

102 flathead sandyThey 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.

101 squidPresented from Issue 101
Squid fishing has become hugely popular in Tasmania in recent times and the start of spring and early summer heralds a new migration of the fish and tasty squid rings on the dinner plate. Whilst we have arrow and calamari squid in Tasmania the target species I am talking about here is calamari.

101 surf fishing salmon fast actionPresented from Issue 101
For as long as people have been coming to the East Coast of Tasmania, surf fishing its beaches has been one of the most popular pastimes. Whilst not always the most productive form of fishing it certainly is one of the most relaxing. Its something that the whole family can be involved in and I have to say its quite something to see a group of families on the beach, dads with a couple of surf rods out, wives sunbaking on the white sand in the sun and the kids either playing happily, building sandcastles or trying their hand at a bit of light surf fishing.

The chance to have a holiday on the beach, put a smile on the children’s face and wet a line at the same just can’t be overrated. Add to that the chance of putting a fresh feed of fish on the dinner table and you have wonder whether heaven could be better than this

All that is need is a basic range of gear, some comfy camp chairs , an esky full of ice, drinks and food — and of course a separate esky for the bait, sunscreen, hat and sunnies and plenty of time to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Many of the East Coasts beaches offer very easy access and often some great free camping facilities right on the beach as well as some light rock fishing in some areas.

101 bream headPresented from Issue 101

What is it about Bream?

While growing up I had the fortune of spending summer holidays at arguably one of the best bream fishing waters in Australia in Ansons Bay. Being young and eager just to feel the weight of a fish on the rod, catching bream was often derailed by chasing the abundant cocky salmon and silver trevally. While these species were on the chew, getting the buzz out of hooking and landing a fish was too much of a temptation. Often schools of bait fish would be busted up in the bay given away by the tell tail signs of seagulls and terns diving in to pick up the scraps left by the salmon as they slammed the abundant anchovies, or what the locals called “sardines”.

100 sea run slamon head

Presented from Issue 100
Considering the world class quality of our sea trout fishery, these fish are not sought after by enough anglers. Sea runners live in the salt water and run up our estuaries and rivers from the start of August to the middle of November. At this time of the year, they are here to eat the many species of fish that are either running up the rivers to spawn or are living in and around the estuary systems. Trout, both sea run and resident (Slob Trout) feed heavily on these small fish which darken in colouration as they move further into fresh water reaches.

The majority of these predatory fish are brown trout with rainbows making up a very small percentage of the catch. They can be found all around the state but it would be fair to say that the east coast is the least prolific of all the areas. They still run up such rivers as the Georges (and many others) but their numbers along with the quality of the fishing elsewhere make it difficult to recommend the area above the larger northern, southern and western rivers.

100 aust salmon cPresented from Issue 100

In Tasmania, larger Australian Salmon over two pounds are often called Black Back Salmon while the smaller models are known as Cocky Salmon. These fish are a valuable and much loved light tackle sports fish that are enjoyed by both land based and boating anglers all around Tasmania. They are a common catch in our estuaries, along our beaches and rocky headlands, and around the many small islands. They are a schooling fish that are constantly on the move along our coastlines, feeding predominantly on krill and small baitfish. They can be found in an estuary or along a particular part of the coast one week and then gone the next, as they move with the changing tides that influence the food they eat. Their presence rarely goes unnoticed when they turn up, as reports of anglers success quickly filters through the local angling community who gather in large numbers to make the most of these fantastic fish.

99 north east streamPresented from Issue 99
For most East Coast anglers the thought of chasing a few trout usually conjures up images of an extended trip to the central highlands, hours of driving, cool temperatures and long hours on the water to make the most of the trip.

However there is some great trout fishing options a lot closer to home than many would think with more than enough variety to satisfy even the most discerning of trout anglers.

With a good mix of river, lake and dam fishing there is something for everyone.

If heading to the rivers my early season recommendations would be definitely some upstream worm fishing in the faster water and small Wattyl Grubs and worms in the slower pools for those wishing to bait fish. A big bunch of scrub worms thread onto a #6 bronze bait holder hook and lobbed unweighted upstream into the tail of runs and eddies is a dynamite technique. If there has been some seasonal rain and the river has broken its banks then its prime time for the worm fisherman, take advantage of the water rising into normally dry drains and into paddocks as the Trout follow and gorge themselves on drowned insects and worms.

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.

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