by Sarah Graham
Many anglers are preparing for the opening of the new angling season on Saturday 7 August and it's shaping up to be another good one with the fishery in excellent health as a result of last year’s drought breaking rains. There are many great fishing locations around the State from which to choose for the opening weekend and early season fishing but here are a few suggestions.
The bream on lures thing certainly seems to have captured the imagination of anglers on a national scale. I know I am completely sucked in and I know why. For a start bream are still around in reasonable numbers, you can very often actually watch as they strike or refuse a lure, and they provide a lively fight. The final clincher is that they are tricky to catch - they react to different lures in different habitats and they require a bit of angler finesse to catch consistently. Catching bream on lures is a whole different ball game to catching them on bait and I think it is going to eventually be huge in this country. I have only spent a couple of hours in Tassie chasing bream with borrowed gear and lures but I suspect that with a bit of mainstream interest this is going to explode into a big aspect of the sport of Tassie fishing. Okay, if you are going to try it you need to set yourself up with some effective gear and a few basic techniques to get you off to a successful start.
By the time this edition of Tas. Fishing & Boating News goes to press winter will be upon us, however, this is not the end of the world for "fish-o-holics" as some excellent angling can still be found locally to keep enthusiastic anglers occupied.
Snapper are definitely Tasmania's premier estuary inshore sports fish. They are caught from as far west as Smithton, all along the Northern Tasmanian coast to the far south-east where the occasional fish is reported. To me, Snapper have the lot - good looks, hard fighting and delicious eating qualities. (My father does not eat seafood of any type, but loves a meal of Snapper.)
Look after the Easter Stocks
So Easter is upon us again - another great chance to do some fishing and a great time for rabbits (unless they are chocolate)
But it's not such a great time of the year if you happen to be a fish.
This year for Easter, let's take particular care to do the right thing and let's all do our bit to make sure we have fish for the future.
If I may, I'd like to offer just a few pointers...... nothing new, but every bit helps.
Georges Bay Bream.
It was Friday 9th March, the day before the start of the St Helens Classic game fishing competition, and those of us with fish fever were in the town early preparing for the big day.
I went around to Rocky and Angela Carosi's place to see who had been catching what -and hopefully where, only to find Kaj Busch (or Bushy as he is better known) hanging over Rocky's gate contemplating the view over the bay, "come back to Tassie to chase a few smutting mako's eh Bushy?', I politely enquired referring to last year when we presented him with a 2 kilo fly we fondly called "the emerging muttonbird'.
During the Duck Bay recovery story in the last issue, we questioned the fact of the possibility of catching Snapper. It seems we are seeing an ever-increasing number of species being landed in the area, but snapper were few and far between. Sure, there had been the occasional one caught, but it was uncommon.
If there is one fish species that can help ease the winter blues, it would have to be the impressive Australian salmon. Locally known as either the cocky salmon or black back salmon, these great sport fish often remain in all the major estuary systems till the first big floods, and if the last few years are any indication, that means July or August. It doesn't matter how you plan to tackle salmon, with either bait, lure or fly, they are ready biters, sensational fighters, as well as being an acceptable, if not first class table fish.
The New Estuary Gamefish!
Sea Mullet. Most people would think of the yellow eye mullet that is prolific in Tasmanian estuaries. The sea mullet is a different type of mullet that grows much bigger that the common yellow eye mullet, and is extremely powerful when hooked. In fact, their fighting capabilities are astounding, as I found. They are very "dirty" fighters, going for any snags they can find. Sea mullet are very hard to catch because they are reluctant to take a bait.
There has been some terrific fishing on the far north west of Tasmania - especially around Smithton and Stanley.
The whole of the northern coast has been fishing well for larger than usual flathead as they move in to shore with warmer water.
This seems to be the question that many anglers in the Circular Head
district are asking themselves lately. The varieties of fish being
caught have suprised the locals, with no doubt the 13 kilo snapper in
October being the highlight. Other species that have been caught in the
sporting fashion that are not usually common are King George Whiting,
pike and the snotty trevally. Throw in a few Australian Salmon, silver
trevally, gummy shark, mullet, tailor and the odd double figure flathead
and you have one of the most productive and improving estuary fishery
this state has seen in modern times.
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