Best time to fish; All year.
Getting there; 1 hour from Hobart.
Major species; Flathead, striped trumpeter, southern bluefin tuna, morwong, albacore and striped tuna.
Other attractions; Sight seeing; Port Arthur and many other attractions.
Best known as the site of Australia's most famous convict settlement, Port Arthur, or Tasman Peninsula as it is commonly known is really two peninsulas joined together - the Forestier and Tasman Peninsulas.
The continental shelf is quite close to shore here, and with a vast topographic underwater terrain the game fishing can be nothing short of sensational. Very deep water is common close to shore and a lot of game fishers troll virtually along the bottom of the many spectacular cliffs in search of game fish. Water depths of over 100 metres are common close inshore.
Southern Bluefin Tuna
For gamefishers, southern bluefin tuna are the most prized species, and it is no surprise when you consider there are around 8 world records from this area. Southern bluefin are usually caught between the months of April to late June.
You will need a decent sized boat to tackle southern bluefin tuna. Big seas with short swells and sharp chop can pound this area. When a calm day does come along, it might be pleasant, but it is not always productive as the rougher it is, the more the tuna seem to bite. The two most fished, and productive areas are the Hippolyte Rocks to the east of Fortescue Bay and Tasman Island to the south.
Bottle fish (over 100 lb) although not common are still taken, while fish to 25 kg are more common. A world record southern bluefin of 108 kg was taken on 15 kg line. The best way to target these fish is with one of the professional charter boat operators. They operate larger safe vessels and if the fish are around they offer the best chance of stretching your arms.
There is a good launching ramp at Pirates Bay, which gives access to the ocean side of the peninsula. It is the northern most ramp and is around 15 kilometres by sea from Hippolyte Rocks and 30 kilometres to Tasman Island. Closer to Hippolyte Rocks via an 11 kilometre gravel road is the Fortescue Bay ramp and although more difficult to access by bigger trailer boats it allows a shorter run of around 5 kilometres to Hippolyte Rocks which suits smaller boats.
For those that only want to fish the Tasman Island area a boat ramp south of Port Arthur at Garden Point is the best option with a run of 14 kilometres to the island. In these deeper waters to the east and south of the peninsula striped trumpeter are also targeted. Many people describe Tasmanian striped trumpeter as the finest table fish available. Good fish weigh up to 10 kg - often much bigger. Striped trumpeter is highly prized by both commercial and recreational anglers.
In the more sheltered bays and waters, especially Norfolk Bay, flathead are the major target. From the shore there is also great fishing to be had. On the seaward side of the Peninsula, the coast line is very rough, so it is simply a case of get to the water where you can.
Fishing around Fortescue Bay and Pirates Bay is fantastic. Species that can be taken include flathead, salmon, couta, mackerel and even striped trumpeter when they move into shore to breed in the cooler months of the year.
Much of the fishing from the shore around this area is untouched, but waiting to be discovered. Locals are friendly and will offer a lot of advice.