Presented from Issue 93
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?
When you get down to basics, there is not much difference between light tackle marine fishing and trout fishing, other than a few different rigs, lures or baits. Trout are found in most lakes and rivers in Tasmania and can be readily caught from the river bank, lake shore or by boat.
Trolling with light gear (2-4 kg class) is a good way to begin trout fishing particularly if you have a boat under 6m and can troll dead slow. Most of the larger, more popular waters in the Central Highlands have boat ramps including Great Lake, Arthurs Lake, Woods Lake, Bronte Lagoon and Lake Echo. The key is getting some timely advice on what to use, where and when. The best place to start is your local tackle store.
If you don’t have access to a boat, then rivers and lakes are your best options with the Derwent, Leven, South Esk and Mersey rivers - all excellent places to try. Worm fishing can be very effective early in the season with grasshoppers popular late. Again your local tackle store will know what works best.
If you do decide to give trout fishing a go, then you will need to buy an angling licence. A full season adult licence will cost you $68.50 and is valid from 1 August 2011 until 31 July 2012. This works out at less than 20 cents per day and there are significant discounts for pensioners, senior and juniors aged 14 – 17, while children under 14 fish for free. They are available to purchase on line via the Inland Fisheries website (www.ifs.tas.gov.au) where you can also check news and information, including stocking, seasons and regulations. Tackle stores and Service Tasmania shops also sell licences.
All licence fees are retained by the IFS and used in the management of the trout fishery. That means that your licence money goes into stocking programs, infrastructure, roads, signage and protection of the fishery.
With the breaking of the drought in 2009 and the good rains experienced since then, there has never been a better time to try trout fishing. Many fisheries are into their third year of recovery and are expected to reach peak condition early in the 2011-12 season.
The season opens in most waters on 6 August 2011 and runs through until 29/4/2012, however there are many waters that remain open all year. If you are a keen recreational fisher and want to give trout fishing a go, then 2011-12 is the season for you.