114 march game qualityPresented from Issue 114, February 2015

March is a period of happiness and sadness for Tasmanian anglers. Happiness for the anglers that rely on warm currents or warm weather as there is still some of that. Sadness for those anglers that love their daylight savings as March has the days noticeably shorter working to the date in April we play with clocks. Do NOT despair as there is still lots and lots to enjoy angling wise.

 

114 tuna number onePresented from Issue 114, February 2015
The Southern Bluefin Tuna scene in Tasmania has always been popular across Australia, but it is really starting to attract some broader attention. This is in some part due to Tasmania’s fishing being far enough away that it does not feature in Australia’s main stream media. Facebook has changed this in a very short space of time. Anglers have linked up and made friend requests across the country and now if someone catches a good fish anywhere in our nation, the nation’s keen anglers know about it. Tasmania has many reasons to find favour with anglers across Australia, so let’s start running through a few.

114 drainsPresented from Issue 114, February 2015
It’s your day off work and you’ve been awaiting its arrival, pondering thoughts of blue-sky days, huge hatches and chubby trout. Reality closes in and as soon as you awake from your slumber, the cold front arrives before the coffee is even brewed. A quick trawl of Internet-weather forecasts worsens your enthusiasm – howling winds, occasional showers and plummeting temperatures. There are still options out there but would you be comfortable? Would you enjoy success? Should you stay at home constantly checking the social media feed to fill the void of your miserable woes? No, you should fish!

Tasmania boasts a diverse trout fishery, as you might know, renown for amazing sight-fishing on shallow lakes and historical mayfly rivers but in between all of this hides some little-known gems, smaller than a river and closer to being defined as a creek. A place where wading is optimistic only due to the lack of water, not its risky depth. These are creeks and rivers on a micro- scale and they are tight enough to tangle great numbers of your flies! These are positively enticing and there are hundreds of kilometres of them winding their way throughout Tasmania - enough for you to fish for the rest of your life, probably.

I like to call them drains, though that term lacks the romance they truly deserve. Decadent drains would be more apt. Technically, some are given the name ‘river’ or ‘creek’ but some of these allocations are open to interpretation! Whatever they are called, they allegedly hold water and if they have water, there’s a good chance they have trout.

2018 04 03 Wild brown trout 6050Today thought I would give the small tannin water stream another go today as I was interested to see how it would fish seeing it's been a week since we had some decent rain. I was fairly late heading off this morning due to severe lower back pain and couldn't do much until the pain killers kicked in. I didn't arrive at the stream until 11:15 am only to find the water level had dropped by around five inches (125 mms) to what it was on my last visit here. I knew then I was in for a tough couple of hours here today with low water and full sun on it as well. It's nothing like my last trip when the water was like black coffee, the water was now a light tannin colour and I could see the river bottom quite easy now.

devonport fisheries forumAll welcome at North West forum - 16 April 2018

Everyone is invited to our public forum in Devonport to discuss local recreational fishing issues and hear presentations from IMAS researchers and DPIPWE fishery managers.

Topics:

Bluespot and rock flathead, King George whiting, short fin pike, garfish and estuary perch - a snapshot of key recreational fish biology.
New fish, new fishing opportunities? A case study of Tasmanian kingfish.
Calamari - what's the catch? What we know about growth and spawning closures.
Rock lobster - what's happening in the far north west plus East Coast rebuilding.
Forum discussion - your questions answered.
DATE: Monday, 16 April, 6.30 - 8.00pm

VENUE: Mersey Yacht Club, 6 Anchor Drive, East Devonport

More information

pirtek

(from left Greg Croak Pirtek Newcastle; Chris Rossetti winner; Michael Guest Challenge Director; and Mark Devitt Executive General Manager Marketing Pirtek)

The tenth annual PIRTEK Fishing Challenge, which attracted almost 9000 participants, has been recognised as the world’s biggest competition for anglers.

With entrants from every Australian state and territory, the event also raised funds and awareness for Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and the Peter Duncan Neurosciences Research Unit.

Australia’s unique landscape was subject to an equally varied range of weather conditions for this year’s Challenge, which produced an endless list of ‘tales’ and interesting images loaded to the event’s official website.

There were some mighty fish caught including a 112cm barramundi in Queensland; Murray Cod over the magic metre mark and some big “Top End” trevally. The southern States produced great results with flathead over 90cm, cracking snapper and a 77cm brown trout from Tasmania.There were 157 individual prize winners across Australia all sharing in the $210,000 prize pool - see below for links to winners.PIRTEK provides $90,000 cash which is divided between 25 mystery length target fish, providing all entrants with the opportunity to win big without necessarily catching the biggest fish.One of the highlights of the challenge is the On The Water prize draw and this year’s major winner was Chris Rossetti from Charlestown, NSW who won the $29,000 boat/motor/trailer package thanks to Stacer and Evinrude.

2018 03 28 Tannin waters brown 6012After having some decent rainfall over the past couple of days I thought I would try one on the small tannin waters above Weegena. I was hoping it had enough flow in it to be good enough to fish, once there I found it was flowing quite nice and it was good enough to have a spin session in it. I was using the gold Aglia today as it always works well in most of the tannin waters I fish. It was a little on the quite side over the first fifty meters or so before I had a small brown take the lure only to see it toss it once it leapt from the river.

114 yellow tail king cPresented from Issue 114, February 2015
Jamie Harris, like many anglers from the north west coast, is a fishing nut. And also like many Burnie and NW coasters he has spent many hours driving too and from the east coast chasing game fish. Whilst the nearby west coast has some great fishing it is often wild and unfishable. Bass Strait has some good mako and gummy fishing and Australian salmon and flathead as well. But recently another fish has arrived on the scene that is as good a game fish as there is, great to eat, tough to catch and now it seems readily available – yellowtail kingfish.

Jamie chased these as long ago as ten years, like many anglers, around Elephant Rock off St Helens. Elephant Rock was one of the first areas where kingfish were regularly caught. Clarke Island, below Cape Barren and Flinders Island was also a hot spot, but a lot of boat was needed to get there. So it was a bit elusive but that only hardens the resolve of keen anglers.

114 summer river troutPresented from Issue 114, February 2015
Well now with the Summer weather well and truly here it’s time to change a few tactics fishing the rivers during these warmer months. Lower water levels and warmer water temperatures is something that the trout don’t like all that much. I have found the best water temperature for trout is between 11 deg C and 18 deg C above and below these temperatures and the fishing can become quite tough and even more so in Summer if the water temp reaches above 20 deg then the trout tend to shut down.

Spin fishing with lures for trout during the warmer weather can be quite frustrating, you have to keep persisting to catch a few fish. There are so many insect hatches all over the rivers and lakes that makes it very tough fishing for the spin fisher. Great conditions for the fly fisher though. The fly fisher will always do better than the spin fisher during the Summer months. You’ll see trout rising, sipping insects from the surface in most sections of long slow flowing runs. Then you will come across trout leaping from the river trying to snap up a caddis moth, dun or black spinner that is hovering above the water. I have seen some massive hatches of insects during my trout fishing days on rivers during the Summer. It’s these days on the river when you know you’re going to do it tough.

That’s when the fast water runs come into play as these will still be holding both browns and rainbow trout. It will be your best chance of catching a trout with a lure. Fishing fast water is not easy, it is rocky, slippery and very hard going in most sections of the river. Tough it out and you will be rewarded with some fine trout.

114 Preparation tuna2Presented from Issue 115, April 2015
A previous trailer boat trip to the Maatsuyker Island group in late February resulted in the capture of two 45kg southern bluefin tuna (SBT). This was primarily a work trip with some fishing thrown in, but immediately opened my eyes to the potentially amazing fishing this place had to offer.

Once back at home in Launceston I immediately began preparations for a return trip. I contacted a couple of like-minded fishing mates that lived in Hobart and told them of my previous discovery, and as expected they didn’t hesitate to join me on my next adventure. For the next month I concentrated heavily on making sure my boat and fishing gear was ready to go at a moment’s notice, all the time watching the weather closely. Exactly one month later we had our opening.

Weather down south had been mild all week and Sunday looked perfect. A 5-10 knot northerly for the best part of the day, followed by a stronger sea breeze later that afternoon. I was well organised and only had to hook up the boat to begin the long tow to Hobart. I arrived in Hobart Saturday afternoon and immediately began final preparations for an early start Sunday. Unfortunately later that night our third crew member pulled out and we were left short an extra set of hands (as well as someone to split the fuel bill with!). This brought its own set of complications. We were about to undertake a long-range trailer boat mission to one of Tassie’s wildest and most isolated locations, with just a team of two. This was going to be interesting.

2018 03 18 Mersey River closeupAfter two days of gale force winds the weather turned around for the better today, it was around 11:30 am when the wind eased off to a SSE at 16 kph which was enough to have me heading off to the upper reaches of the Mersey for a spin session. I had lunch first before I left and arrived at the river at 1:10 PM, I had a fairly decent walk to where I was going to start the spin session. It was 1:55 PM when I was finally in the river and started flicking the little Mepps #00 gold Aglia around amongst the fast water that flowed between the rocks. It was 2:01 PM when I had my first brown in the net, that was followed with another two browns caught and released in quick time too.

The second brown was caught and in the net at 2:04 PM and the third one was in the net at 2:13 PM, how I know that is by the time that's set by the camera when a photo is taken. So with three trout caught and released in twelve minutes I couldn't have had a better start to the session.

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