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.

104 jumbo aPresented from Issue 104, June 2013
Eaglehawk Neck, located on the rugged Tasman Peninsula, has really become a paradise for those seeking the elusive ‘jumbo’ sized southern bluefin tuna. The ‘barrel’ has become an Australian fishing icon, especially here in Tasmania. People have travelled the country and the world searching for these fish, from Portland in Victoria, right around the Tasmanian coastline and as far north as Bermagui in New South Wales, there are virtually no boundaries on how far an angler will go to catch one of these awesome creatures. Here in Tasmania though, we are blessed with our tuna fishery, especially down on the Tasman Peninsula. Where else in the country can you launch a boat and start fishing for monster tuna just a stone throw away from the ramp? Each year, Dad and I spend at least one week fishing around the Peninsula, targeting one thing and one thing only, the legendary jumbo bluefin.

104 game surprises bPresented from Issue 104, June 2013

This could well be the new number plate slogan for Bluewater anglers. This season we saw good numbers of small albacore at St Helens swimming with the marlin. Yes! the marlin run was short, but good this year.

Southern bluefin turned up early and even the schoolies were big’uns. Mega sized albacore inhabited the Southern waters for a good while. A very fit looking 127kg Bluefin caught at the Light Line competition by a un-entered boat was an excellent surprise as it looked like they may have arrived early?

Presented from Issue 104, June 2013

Never before has there been so many fly tying products to choose from. A recent book I read had a number of very early flies and mentioned many different animal hairs and down from a variety of birds.

Today there are so many different artificial materials produced the fly tier has never had it so good, nor so confusing.

Those early materials were often simple and we still use a lot today. There weren’t many really bright natural colours, but one was peacock herl, and that is one of my most used materials even today.

Presented from Issue 104, June 2013

Macca and I were kicking back in my tying room in early January this year tying a few flies, having a beer and talking about the seasons exploits. He was filling my head with stories of his Western Lakes adventures and big golden brown trout. Eventually I couldn’t stand it any longer, the images that were being painted in my head became unbearable.

It had been mid-December since I had been to the Julian Lakes area on a three day mission and I just had to get fishing again. Doing my best to sound polite I said “Macca please shut up with all the stories old pal its killing me, lets just get a trip organised and get out West to polaroid some of those trophy browns”. He didn’t take a whole lot of convincing that it was a good idea, so first things first we got the calendar out to settle on some dates that would work for both of us. Sounds easy, but I can assure you when both parties work and you factor in family, sport etc. it’s not always so.

103 black and orange bugPresented from Issue 103, April 2013
Recently I fished with a friend on Arthurs Lake. It is always interesting fishing with other people — not only to have some different company, but to learn some new techniques. I fish a nine foot, six weight for dries and if there are no fish moving off come the dries and I change to semi-wets or full wets with a sinking line. A DI3 is my favourite on a ten foot, six weight rod. I like the longer rod when lifting the flies to the surface on the retrieve — especially if using 2-3 flies and a long leader. Back to fishing with my friend though - who happens to be a dry fly purist for some reason. It was pleasant looking for fish, but there was not much moving so we were prospecting as much as anything.

103 preserving tuna tunaPresented from Issue 103, April 2013

The day dawned overcast, grey and warm with just the hint of a northeaster wafting through. We delayed our arrival at the ramp to allow the post-competition flotilla to depart, launching the boat around 8:30. As we rounded St Helens Point we started to push into a moderate, south-east swell making our way out to the 100 metre line, the point we would start trawling. After dropping back a green and yellow skirt and a Mackbait on two old Penn 330s loaded with 15kg fireline, a third rod was a 6kg spinning outfit with a green and yellow feather jig set well back on the port side. With this spread we proceeded to trawl towards the shelf.

2017 04 30 Wading boots now retired 

 Wading boots
now retired

Well it was an earlier start on the river today than yesterday, this time I was back in the water by 10:00 am. Yesterday it was sunny and windy whereas today it's very dull with low cloud and a cool South Westerly breeze. I prefer it like this too with no sun on the water, it gets the trout out and about more often than not. Stuck with the same set up that I finished with yesterday and the session started off very quiet. Not a sign of a fish over the first three hundred meters at all. Where the hell have they gone I said to myself, they were every where yesterday.

Still can't worry about it, just continue to work my way upstream as I'm sure I'll pick up one sooner or later. I came to a large fallen tree across the river that had a nice pocket of water under it and with a back hand cast into it I was soon onto my first trout of the morning. This was a solid fish too and one that was in a fighting mood as it fought hard all the way into the net. This female trout went 540 grams and was in excellent condition.

2017 05 29 Another brown in the netWith just the two days of the 2016/17 trout season left I'm giving the small streams a go as they'll be full of well conditioned aggressive trout by now. Well that's how I see it any way. It was another afternoon session on a stream in the Gunns Plains area, another stretch of water that I have never fished before. I hit the river at 2:00pm today and the first thing I noticed was the water was a very dark tannin colour with good flow. I started off flicking the spinner into a deepish pool without having a touch or a follow from a trout.

103 late season troutPresented from Issue 103, April 2013
The months of April and May can offer very good trout fishing opportunities. Brown trout are well aware of the need to put on weight leading up to their annual spawning cycle. Now that many of the hatches are coming to an end, they are becoming more opportunistic feeders, once again.

As the brown trout season nears its end on the Sunday nearest to the 30th of April, male brown trout become very aggressive as they begin to pair up with potential females. Big wet flies, plastics and lures are often hit, just to get them out of their territory. Rainbows on the other hand, usually spawn later in the year with their closing season reflecting this by finishing one month later on the Sunday closest to the 31 st of May. So rainbows are mostly unaffected by the urge to spawn and continue to feed as normal right through to May.

103 barbless Ian DonnachyPresented from Issue 103, April 2013

There’s lots of different anglers out there, lure bait and fly. There’s those who like to put a fish on the table, those who only catch and release. We all catch fish and we all need to be able to release a few or a lot of fish with as little harm as possible, so we can hopefully return and meet again one day.

As a group we are more aware of the need to conserve fish stocks and responsively harvest according to bag limits. Being a competition fly fishing angler, over the past decade I have seen catch rates amongst my peers soar, where once 3 fish would win a 3 hour session and a single fish in each of the 4 sessions would see you finish in the top 5. Now 6 fish a session is the norm and you need between 20 and 30 trout to win a competition.

Catching the bag limit is often reached and releasing fish is an every outing occurrence.

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