Ten top holiday sites for summer fishing
It could be any suburban home, on any given day of any summer holiday. Your peaceful serenity is disturbed when you are woken up at six a.m. by your daughter screaming at you that her brother has just pulled the head of her Barbie doll, again. You roll over and put your own head under your pillow but your wife shakes you violently and tells you to get outside and mow the lawns. The dog howls, the cat screeches and you cry "ENOUGH! I'm going fishing'
But you can't just load up the car and leave, if you do that your wife will probably have the locks changed by the time you get home! Instead it's time to dust off the old tent that has been gathering cobwebs in the garden shed and hit the road for any location where you can go fishing, your kids will be happy and your wife will too.
You think this place doesn't exist?
Here are just a few suggestions for a camping holiday experience in reach of good fishing within our magical state.
caravan parks, cabins and hotel rooms.
These can be heavily populated over the summer months so it is best to ring in advance and book. Okay, you don't have to "tent it" if you don't want to, as you have several options available to you. These range from un-powered tent sites through to self contained cabins or even hotel rooms, depending on your budget and the type of experience you desire.
Some great locations include the following.
Coles bay is situated on the Freycinet peninsular on Tasmania's sunny east coast. There are many hotel rooms to be had and the caravan park offers self-contained units as well as powered and un-powered tent sites, all within walking distance to easily accessed fishing locations. Fishing from the local jetty is productive with leatherjacket and wrasse in plentiful supply (great for keeping the kids amused!) while fishing from any of the rocks or beaches will produce cod, flathead and Australian salmon in numbers.
The township of Arthur River is located on the west coast of our island about twenty kilometers from Marrawah. Here you will again find a variety of places to stay with holiday cabins and tent sites available for your selection. Fishing at the mouth of the river is productive, especially in summer as many large salmon and sea-run trout frequent the area feeding on whitebait. Fishing with a silver slice lure is recommended. Beach fishing is productive with flathead in plentiful supply. Boat hire is available at Arthur River and trout can be caught after a short trip upstream.
In southeastern Tasmania, and located at the mouth of the Prosser river, you will find the holiday town of Orford. You can choose to stay either at the caravan park or book into a hotel room. The Prosser River runs through the middle of the town and provides good fishing for leatherjacket, yellow-eyed mullet and mackerel, as well as the occasional sea-run trout. There are beaches either side of the river mouth and these are definitely worth a try, with flathead and Australian salmon the most prolific species caught.
Located on Anderson bay on the northeast coast, Bridport has all the facilities you could imagine to make for a great holiday. The caravan park is situated right on a beach, which is ideal for those with a family. The novice and experienced angler alike will find yellow-eyed mullet, flathead and Australian salmon within reach of all the beaches, while whiting are also present within the bay. It is also an idea to try spinning from the rocks as "couta and pike are known to be present in the warmer months.
About ten minutes drive past Port Arthur on the Tasman peninsular you will come across White Beach, near Nubeena. The caravan park offers both camping and cabin facilities and is situated a short walk to the beach. Flathead are commonly caught from this beach and other species are not uncommon. Further back toward Hobart, but still on the peninsular, Fortescue Bay offers many great fishing locations with "couta, mackerel and even the occasional striped trumpeter available to be caught. The peninsular is a fantastic tourist location steeped in history, and well worth a visit.
The tourism capital of the west coast, Strahan is a thriving holiday village over the summer months. There are many hotel rooms to be had as well as a caravan park or two. Strahan sits on the edge of Macquarie harbor, which boasts some really fantastic fishing. The water is "tea-stained', and rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon are farmed in cages within the harbor. These fish often escape into the harbor proper and can be caught from the jetties in the town, or from the beaches towards Macquarie heads. Both spinning with a lure and bait fishing is productive for these and other species.
Want something more informal?
Okay caravan parks and hotel rooms can be great places for a holiday, but if you are seeking an experience a little closer to nature then try these places. These are just two of hundreds of places within the state where you are allowed to camp but may not have facilities such as toilet or shower blocks. Sites along the coast will often not have fresh running water either, so an essential investment is a large container in which to carry your own. Again be prepared to share these camp site over the summer months, but you can usually get a little further away from your neighbors than in a caravan park.
Swimcart beach at St. Helens.
Swimcart beach is renowned as one of Tasmania's most exceptional beaches for surf fishing. You will find Swimcart beach a short drive from St. Helens on the east coast, in an area known as the "Bay of fires'. There are plenty of places to pitch a tent or park a camper within a short walk to the beach. The water is crystal clear and the beach drops off steeply. This allows for short casts into deep water where flathead and Australian salmon can be caught. Alongside the rocks at the beach species such as luderick and mackerel have also been known to be present.
A magnificently pretty beach within the Narawntapu national park, Bakers beach has a formal camping ground though no power is available. You must pay a national park entry fee upon arrival and this is paid at a clearly marked collection point. The beach itself is many kilometers long and has a shallow drop off, so at low tide the water can be quite a way from the camping ground (Great for beach cricket with the kids!). Fishing is productive with all the regulars being present, but flathead being possibly the most common catch. After dark, Bakers beach is also a good location for the spearing of flounder. As these fish can often be plentiful, do refer to your recreational sea fishers guide for bag limit and size restrictions.
Salt water not your thing?
Now beaches are great for kids and adults alike as they allow a variety of activities to take place and many are located close to or within towns, which can be convenient. However if it is fresh water fishing you are seeking then the following locations cannot be overlooked. (Be sure all anglers purchase an appropriate license before fishing in inland waters, and check your angling code for specific regulations pertaining to the location you choose to fish).
Great Lake area
In and around Miena at the southern end of the Great Lake you will find both hotels and informal campsites. If you choose to base yourself here then you will have access to many great fishing locations both at the lake itself and within a short drive of it. The serious fisherman should not pass up a trip to the area known as "The nineteen lagoons', which includes Lake Augusta, Double Lagoon and Lake Ada among many others. Fly-fishing and shore based spinning are very productive at these waterways and there is ample opportunity to catch some good-sized trout.
Another great location within a short drive of the Great Lake is Arthur's lake. This lake has possibly the best-equipped camping area in the central highlands located at "Pump house bay'. Here you will find a shower and toilet block, as well as running water and a picnic area. It is an extremely popular location in summer months so be prepared to camp close to like-minded people. The lake itself is regarded as Tasmania's prime brown trout fishery and as such all methods of fishing are productive. "Cowpaddock bay', a short drive north of "Pump house bay', is the most popular location at Arthur's lake for shore-based angling and well worth a try.
Derwent Bridge And Bronte Park.
These two locations are both good bases for a trout-fishing holiday.
Derwent bridge is situated at the southern end of the Cradle Mountain / Lake St. Claire national park and from here you have the opportunity to fish waterways such as Lake St.Clair itself, St.Clair lagoon and Lake King William. Four-wheel drive owners, I recommend you engage your hubs and locate the track to Clarence Lagoon, just east of Derwent Bridge. The track to the lake is rough and is overgrown in sections but on arrival you will be fishing exclusively for brook trout in a fantastic setting.
Bronte park has a cabin park for your stay, or you can choose to camp at one of the nearby lakes. These lakes include Bronte lagoon, Lake Binney, Brady's Lake and Tungatina lagoon. All are good fishing locations for both brown and rainbow trout, and the stocking of brook trout into the chain in recent years has seen its popularity increase markedly.
So having chosen one of the above locations, or one of your own, you can now return home with everybody's mind and body refreshed, happy to tackle everyday life once more. The cat and the dog will be smiling because you're home and the kids will have great holiday stories to tell their classmates when they get back to school. What's more you've got out of the house into the fresh air and most likely contributed a few dollars to the economy of one of our tourist locations, which can only be of benefit to us all!
With a bit of luck you caught a few fish along the way!