Best time to fish; All year.
Getting there; Right on the doorstep of Hobart.
Major angling species; Flathead, whiting, flounder, Australian salmon, barracouta, bream, bastard trumpeter, trout, squid, leatherjacket, mullet, long-finned pike, garfish, silver trevally, jack mackerel and blue grenadier.
Other attractions; Swimming, yachting, boating, river cruises.
The Derwent is a magnificent fishery that dissects Tasmania's capital city of Hobart. Fishing for saltwater species is the most popular pursuit, but there is a strong core of anglers that pursue sea-run trout over the winter-spring period. Species that can be found include Australian salmon, flathead, cod, garfish, mullet, whiting, bream, morwong and mackerel, while couta (barracouta), gemfish, blue grenadier, trumpeter, warehou and others appear from time to time.
An Inland Fishing Licence is required above a certain point in the estuary.
The estuary is very popular being so close to the city, and the many jetties, enclosed bays and productive reefs are constantly in use. For two to three weeks most years there is a run of good sized trevally that enter the river, but they are unpredictable in their arrival.
Access is good to excellent in most areas and the locals are very helpful. Boating anglers have access to most of the estuary and it is dotted with many quality boat ramps. No matter what the weather conditions there is always a protected bay or corner.
Derwent Hot Spots
Piersons Point - Iron Pot
These points mark the lower limit of the Derwent Estuary and the transition to Storm Bay and the Tasman Sea. A good boat ramp at Tinderbox on South Arm services this area and you should be aware of a Marine Reserve here that runs between Tinderbox and Bruny Island. Outside this there is excellent fishing for sand and tiger flathead, Australian salmon, couta (barracouta), plus longfin pike and occasionally good runs of squid. Warehou usually appear in the summer - autumn period and are known locally as snotties, or snotty trevally. The western shore from Piersons Point back to Taroona is fished from the shore for most of the mentioned species plus whiting and trevally.
Ralphs Bay is a large enclosed bay on the eastern side of the estuary noted for large flathead. Whiting, flounder, mullet and Australian salmon are also caught. Atlantic salmon are sometimes caught near the mouth.
Tranmere - Tasman Bridge
Punchs Reef - just off Tranmere is a popular spot for cod, morwong, trevally, garfish and Australian Salmon. Large trevally are targeted from the shore and boat in this area. Try Kangaroo Bluff at Bellerive and also the Howrah area.
Easily fished from both shore and boat, Sandy Bay can be very productive. The target is generally flathead but catches of garfish, morwong, mullet and Australian salmon are common.
Tasman Bridge - Bowen Bridge
Not a lot of action here although some good bream come from the Lindisfarne Bay area. Just north of the Tasman Bridge cod, flathead, Australian salmon and trevally are also caught as are sea run trout from August through to October. Barracouta are often targeted beneath both sides of the bridge - as are Australian salmon and sea trout.
Bowen Bridge - Bridgewater
Otago Bay is upstream of the Bowen Bridge on the eastern shore. Many species are caught in this vicinity including a few 'stud"bream every year to 3 kg. Smaller specimens are quite common. Small bib lures are popular as is bait and fly. Anglers chase both sea-run and resident trout in this area all year round - often with great results and trout to 5 kg are sometimes caught. All methods can be used to take these trout from trolling to bait, lure or fly fishing - both from boat or shore. Many other species are also taken in this area including flathead, pike, cod, mackerel, Australian salmon and the occasional escaped Atlantic salmon.
Mostly a trout fishery. After Christmas the bream fishing heats up in this section. Anywhere that there is access to the water, bream can be caught. The shore based angler enjoys the best fishing and there are plenty of access points. Prawns, pretty fish and sand worms are the best bait.
Bruny Island is around 50 kilometres long and is separated from Tasmania's mainland by D'Entrecasteaux Channel. It is only accessible by boat, with a regular ferry service operating from Kettering - approximately 40 minutes south of Hobart. The ferry crosses 10 times per day to Roberts Point. Departure times can be checked by phoning 03 6273 6725. Pedestrians travel free.
Major angling species; Flathead, leatherjacket, flounder, morwong (perch), gurnard, wrasse, cod, squid, mackerel, pike, Australian salmon, barracouta, silver trevally, striped trumpeter, skate, school and gummy shark.
Other attractions; Bushwalking, boating, diving, surfing, swimming & penguin watching.
Bruny Island is rich in both marine and wildlife. Bruny is separated into a north and south island - joined by a thin neck. There are many beautiful, pristine beaches scattered around the island and each year these produce good numbers of large Australian salmon. There is always a sheltered shore - regardless of weather conditions. Around the island you will find numerous small, often unused jetties, which produce reliable numbers of wrasse and leatherjacket.
Another fishing highlight is the arrival of large schools of calamari and arrow squid from around October each year. These will be found all around the island. The bigger squid usually arrive first and the run lasts well into the new year.
Bruny Island Hot Spots
Adventure Bay and Neck Beach
This area is one of Bruny's highlights. Neck Beach offers some of the state's best surf fishing with reliable catches of good size sand flathead, large rays and strong fighting school and gummy shark. Large Australian salmon appear in schools and the action is fast and furious. The best access to the beach is in front of The Neck camping ground.
Allonah has it all with a hotel, beer garden, shop and wharf. Flathead, squid, wrasse and leatherjacket are all readily taken in this area. The best spots are the wharf or large breakwater in front of the pub.
Cloudy Bay Lagoon
This is well worth the effort to get to. Large leatherjacket and flathead are virtually always available. Spinning around the mouth is a prime spot for Australian salmon. Further up from the mouth is where a large population of bream call home. These are not easy to catch though.
This is where the old ferry used to dock. It is a very protected area that can be a saviour when weather conditions are unkind. Species such as morwong, flathead, mackerel, mullet, cod and an occasional Atlantic salmon are caught in this area. Fishing around the old wharf with mussels and anchovies will often bring good results. This area is rich in oysters and offers a safe mooring.
This is one of Bruny's busiest locations. The jetty is a great place to fish for squid, especially after dark. Flathead and couta are also targeted and it is one of the best places to catch a feed. Dennes Point is serviced by shops and it is a prime place to gather local fishing information.
Getting there; South of Hobart.
Major angling species; Flathead, cod, morwong (perch) Australian salmon, Atlantic salmon, trout, barracouta, bream, mullet, squid, pike.
Special restrictions; Recreational fishing only.
Other attractions; The D'Entrecasteaux Channel is a large area and has many attractions. It is a popular area for boats, yachting, bushwalking, vineyards and historic monuments plus there is the Woodbridge Marine Centre, Hastings Caves, thermal pools and some beautiful picnic areas.
The D'Entrecasteaux Channel consists of an area between Bruny Island and Tasmania's mainland. The main channel itself is a haven for a range of bottom dwelling fish, such as flathead, perch, cod, and the occasional gummy shark. As a "recreational only"fishery it receive little fishing pressure and reliable catches can almost be assured all year round.
A number of pelagics visit the Channel during the year. These include Australian salmon, barracouta, mackerel, warehou and squid.
Atlantic Salmon - Sea cage cultivation of Atlantic salmon occurs along the south-east coast and escapees are often taken by recreational anglers. Break-outs are common, being the result of damage by seals, storms and human error. The fish commonly weigh 3-4 kg. Atlantic Salmon are superb eating and fight well.
The hot spots are in the open water adjacent to the sea pens in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and in sheltered areas such as Port Esperance (where there is scope for fishing from the bank). The best results come in the first fortnight or so after a major escape. Often the fish can be seen breaking the water and sometimes they can be polaroided.
Some Professional guides run charters in this area chasing Atlantic salmon.
Access to the Channel is good with many areas accessible from the shore. Plenty of small boat ramps are scattered along its length.
D'Entrecasteaux Hot Spots
Port Esperance is probably the best location in the Channel - primarily due to its diversity. The angler can either go out in the bay or fish around the islands for fast action on flathead, salmon and barracouta. The real feature of the area is the Esperance River though which contains Atlantic salmon, sea-run trout and bream.
Atlantic Salmon congregate in schools when they escape from the farms. Further up-river bream and sea-run trout reign supreme. The whitebait run can get the sea-runners quite excited and they can be seen in the shallows charging at schools of whitebait.
The two best places are the Dover jetty and in front of the Esperance Camp on the river.
The large jetty at Southport provides a good structure to catch barracouta, squid, flathead, mackerel and leatherjacket. The surrounding rock platforms contain reliable numbers of food sized wrasse.
A popular area is the Lune River. The Lune is similar in many ways to the Esperance River although the Lune produces many more large trout - sometimes up to 7 kg. The Lune is also home to flathead, small Australian salmon and a good population of very hard to catch bream.
Gordon, Woodbridge and Kettering
All these areas are similar and offer huge scope - especially for the land based angler - due to their good structure. Gordon has good squid runs when they enter the Channel and it also supports a good population of the common species.
Woodbridge jetty is similar again and is worth a visit just to see the Woodbridge Marine Centre. Kettering is the location from where the Bruny Island ferry departs and although it is a busy bay it still fishes well.
Tasmania holds its head high in regard to quite a few saltwater fisheries. For many years Tasmania has had recreational bag limits for all game fish and in 2001 introduced bag limits for all saltwater species. Whilst some recreational netting is still allowed it is banned in almost all bays, rivers and estuaries - as is commercial netting.
Tasmania holds several world records for southern bluefin tuna including a fish of 108 kilograms on 15 kilogram line. Although good numbers of fish had not been caught for several years, 2001 saw the return of some great gamefishing return off Tasman Peninsula. Whilst St Helens is largely regarded as the game fishing capital of Tasmania, Tasman Peninsula rules the roost for bluefin.
Large yellowfin tuna, striped marlin, albacore, striped tuna and mako sharks are also available on the east coast from Flinders Island to Tasman Peninsula. In recent times professional charter operators have developed this fishery with most operating from St Helens. Striped marlin are perhaps the most sought after prize and in recent years the numbers caught every year are increasing.
The best way for visitors to go game fishing is to hire a charter operator. Their knowledge, boats and equipment are all first class. These are professionals who are on the water almost every day and can maximize your chances. Charter operators operate under a strict code of practice which was initiated by the Sea Charter Boat Owners and Operators of Tasmania.
Southern black bream are another fish eagerly sought in Tasmania. These are mostly an east and northern coast fish that grow to well over three kilograms. Nowhere else in Australia is the average size as big and a genuine four pound fish is well within the reach of keen anglers. Little Swanport and Ansons Bay are hot spots for big bream.
Of course there are many other species eagerly sought, these are just two examples of Tasmania's unique saltwater fishery.
Tackle outlets - whether bigger city shops or small general stores are all very helpful. Ask any angler on a beach or wharf and mostly they will be only too helpful.
It's early February, and with the water temperature starting to rise, and the appearance of the small pelagic tuna off the north east coast. Wade Pelham and myself decided it would be a good time to seek out a highly regarded game fish; the Blue Pointer or more commonly known as the Mako.
Fish can often be very frustrating. Many people find themselves going fishing for an afternoon of relaxation, and end up getting all uptight because of some little, annoying thing that could have been avoided.
There are many simple, innovative ideas that can make the wonderful world of fishing a whole lot easier. Some of these ideas are available at your local tackle shop, others can be put into practice around the house.
In this, the first article of a series, listed are some useful tips, techniques and accessories that make a huge difference.
The Redfin as it is known to most Tasmanians is not favoured by many anglers - although there is no reason why this should be so. The Redfin will take flies, lures and bait readily and is quite good to eat. A lot of anglers consider it a nuisance good ENGLISH PERCH (Redfin-Perca fluviatilis) According to a Royal Commission report on the fisheries of Tasmania issued in 1882-3, the English Perch was first introduced to Tasmania in 1862 by two brothers, Morton and Curzon Allport.
Steve Bax from Hobart's Fishing Connection previews fishing for sea run trout in the Derwent River.
Some of the best trout fishing in Tasmania is found on Hobart's doorstep in the Derwent River. At this time of the year most anglers catch their fish on bait - using the local pretty fish, but there is also dedicated band of fly fishers. The pretty fish are found all over the Derwent, as are the trout.
Two of the most prevalent species present in the Tamar are Flathead and Cod.
Flathead has a firm white flesh which is excellent fare whether it be fried, grilled,BBQ or soused. While most cooks have little trouble presenting flathead in an attractive and appetising manner, a great many have trouble with cod.
Recently I surveyed a number of well known, and some not so well known anglers to establish a guide to lures and flies for the start of the trout fishing season. Firstly lures, and then flies that the following anglers would like to have in their box for the opening two months. Each angler was asked "If you could only have three lures/three flies in your box for the start of the season, what would they be? "
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Handy information and links to fisheries,weather etc
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