Mike Fry doesn’t only live on the Wild Side of Tasmania, but also goes fishing in probably the wildest boat ever to troll for trout—certainly in Tasmania.
When your mate says ‘What are you doing tomorrow, want to come up the Gordon for the night?’ it would be pretty hard to say anything else except “you bet” and start checking out your tackle box and packing your overnight bag. But if your mate was Troy Grining and he wanted to give his new 52ft, high speed cruiser a run across Macquarie Harbour, test the new onboard dory with a chance of landing a nice Gordon River Brown you would have to feel privileged. I didn’t say anything about getting on my hands and knees and kissing his feet…just having a lend of ya’ but I did feel very appreciative.
Presented from Issue 100
In Tasmania, larger Australian Salmon over two pounds are often called Black Back Salmon while the smaller models are known as Cocky Salmon. These fish are a valuable and much loved light tackle sports fish that are enjoyed by both land based and boating anglers all around Tasmania. They are a common catch in our estuaries, along our beaches and rocky headlands, and around the many small islands. They are a schooling fish that are constantly on the move along our coastlines, feeding predominantly on krill and small baitfish. They can be found in an estuary or along a particular part of the coast one week and then gone the next, as they move with the changing tides that influence the food they eat. Their presence rarely goes unnoticed when they turn up, as reports of anglers success quickly filters through the local angling community who gather in large numbers to make the most of these fantastic fish.
Presented from Issue 99
For most East Coast anglers the thought of chasing a few trout usually conjures up images of an extended trip to the central highlands, hours of driving, cool temperatures and long hours on the water to make the most of the trip.
However there is some great trout fishing options a lot closer to home than many would think with more than enough variety to satisfy even the most discerning of trout anglers.
With a good mix of river, lake and dam fishing there is something for everyone.
If heading to the rivers my early season recommendations would be definitely some upstream worm fishing in the faster water and small Wattyl Grubs and worms in the slower pools for those wishing to bait fish. A big bunch of scrub worms thread onto a #6 bronze bait holder hook and lobbed unweighted upstream into the tail of runs and eddies is a dynamite technique. If there has been some seasonal rain and the river has broken its banks then its prime time for the worm fisherman, take advantage of the water rising into normally dry drains and into paddocks as the Trout follow and gorge themselves on drowned insects and worms.
Presented from Issue 99
The annual spawning run or should I say flood of bream to the Scamander River is well underway. Earlier in autumn small schools of adult fish accumulated around the snags in the lower channel of Georges Bay ready for the long run south. When their numbers built up they made the mad dash down the coast and at times could be seen skirting the rocks of St Helens Point as they went.
Along the way they were joined by fish from Dianas Basin and Wrinklers Lagoon when these lagoons were open to the sea. At the same time fish travelled north from Four Mile Creek and Henderson’s Lagoon massing in the surf at the mouth of the river. At the top of the incoming tide fish moved in through the mouth of the river and gathered around the best two snags the Scamander River has to offer- the bridges. Now in late winter, their destinations are the long stretches of brackish water that will provide the right environment for the food their progeny will need after they hatch.
Presented from Issue 98
Wish list, bucket list, call it what you will, I think most of us have one. They seem to come about from conversations with other anglers about different places they have fished, things we have seen on TV or articles we have read in publications such as this one. Some of far-flung places and exotic species but others a little less expensive. This is certainly the case with me; some things just stick in my mind. An article I read many years ago by a well-known fishing journalist whose face adorns many soft plastic packets was fishing for garfish on fly. This undertaking was purely about familiarisation with his fly rod, before he went on a trip to New Zealand. It started out with some burley on the water to attract garfish in an estuary close his home and culminated in him standing up to his crown jewels, in his underwear, with two garfish stuffed down the back of his jocks and a fly hook firmly stuck in his finger. It was more than just the humour of the article that stuck with me and with my interest piqued, I told myself I’d have a crack at garfish on fly one day but I’d give the fish down the back of the jocks a miss! Fifteen years later Jamie Henderson asked me if I would like to spend the afternoon on George’s Bay chasing garfish. “Here is a chance to tick one off the bucket list” I thought and eagerly accepted.
Presented from Issue 98
What is egi?
About 400 years ago a bloke in Japan was looking at squid in the harbour, while fishing, and thought there has to be a better way to catch these things. Until then the techniques were a dip net and teaser bait, cast or drag net. He studied the squid for some time and observed that the squid would prey on fish and shrimp as they slowed or stopped. After much trial and error he created an artificial bait that would suspend or sink very slowly in the water, and hopefully attract the squid to the artificial bait.
At that stage it did not have barbs on the lower part of the egi and was used to excite the squid to attack and come close enough to pick up with a dip net. After much success attracting squid to the egi, but still having difficulty netting squid more thought came into the design.
Presented from Issue 97
Rebounding stocks of Eastern Australian Salmon along the eastern coast and a revealing study into the salmon’s life history have prompted Fisheries NSW to refine the balance between conservation, sport and industry.
Research findings from an FRDC-funded project have resulted in Fisheries NSW relaxing a 10- year restriction on the commercial take of Eastern Australian Salmon along the NSW coast, north of Barrenjoey Head.
The revised management code for northern NSW replaced a daily bycatch limit of 100 kilograms and permits allowing fishers to retain Eastern Australian Salmon as bait, with a 224-tonne-a-year commercial fishery as of 1 December 2011.
Presented from Issue 96
I don’t think fishing gets any better than watching something come up to the surface and eat a lure off the top. If you’re like me and you love chasing those big Tasmanian bream on lures, then you might have considered casting a surface lure at one time or another. Plenty of people might tell you that “it’s a waste of time”, “black bream don’t like surface lures” or “the water is too cold down here”. Any other number of reasons not to do it might come up. I’m writing this article in the hope that I can disperse that myth and instil confidence in anyone who remains a sceptic. For last three years I have sought out bream on topwater lures in almost every recognised bream estuary, through every month of the year and in every weather condition. You might be surprised to learn that throughout this time I have had very, very few days where I didn’t get at least one fish.
Some days are definitely harder than others but in the end, good things come to those who wait. Hopefully I can pass on some information through this article that will help you in your search for that big topwater bream.
Presented from Issue 96
It is unlikely that if you mention you caught a ‘Leatherjacket’ to any Tasmanian salt water angler that they won’t know what you are talking about. The humble old leatherjacket, often called jackets, butterfish, triggerfish and my favourite “Larry” (Larry the Leatherjacket) is probably one of the most common fish available in Tasmanian waters, both estuarine and oceanic.
Presented from Issue 96
Look and Learn
As I passed Wrinklers lagoon I noticed for the first time this summer the lagoon had been released. The spoil piles still remained where the excavator had dug an opening to the sea, slowly being eroded by the ever widening channel as my favourite lagoon disgorged its tannin rich waters. My mind started racing with questions. How had the high water levels of winter and spring affected the fishing? Would the large bream from the year before still be there? How would the abundance of water birds affect the fishing? As the water level dropped and the flats began to appear, it became evident that the black inky mud of the year before had been overlaid by clean yellow sand and the lagoon now contained far more weed. How would this affect things? There is really only one way to find out.
Presented from Issue 94
Sea run trout are somewhat of an enigma for many Tasmanian and travelling anglers. Our population are mostly comprised of brown trout which, by definition, choose to live most of their lives at sea. These fish then come into our estuary systems twice a year in order to feed (August – November) and to spawn (April – June). The best time to chase them is during the early months of the season when site fishing is a very real possibility.
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Hello everyone, I thought it would be a good time to introduce myself.
My name is Stephen Smith and I have been managing the website tasfish.com since May 2009.
It has been an epic journey of learning and discovery and I am indebted to Mike Stevens for his help, support and patience.
I am developing a new venture Rubicon Web and Technology Training ( www.rwtt.com.au ). The focus is two part, to develop websites for individuals and small business and to train people to effectively use technology in their everyday lives.
Please contact me via www.rwtt.com.au/contact-me/ for further information - Stephen Smith.
Presented from Issue 105, August 2013
Christopher Bassano fishes over 250 days a year. This interview was recorded just before he headed off to fish for Australia in the World Fly Fishing Championships in Norway 14-17 August 2013.
I live on a small stream and at the start of the season I like to go off on a bit of a discovery mission and fish the headwaters of the creeks and rivers I feel an affinity with.
These small rivers include the St Pats, Meander, Forester, Little Forester and others. The further up you go on these rivers the clearer and lower the levels. They are often less affected by the rain and runoff and you get some good opportunities. Get as close to the source as you can and you will find some good dry fly fishing. Don’t limit yourself to those I have mentioned. Most headwaters will hold trout.Read more ...