Targeting Striped Trumpeter
Professional Charter operator, Rocky Carosi looks at one of Tasmaniaâ€™s most sought after fish â€“ Striped Trumpeter (Latris lineata)
Fact file: Striped Trumpeter are distributed from Sydney to Kangaroo Island and of course all around Tasmania. They are found also in New Zealand and South American waters. In Tasmania they spawn from late Winter to early Spring. Stripey trumpeter grow at least 1.2 m in length and 25 kg in weight. The Tasmanian Striped Trumpeter has five-star qualities as well as five-star fighting abilities.
Tasmaniaâ€™s East Coast provides many shallow coastal reefs as well as deep offshore waters where the â€˜Stripeyâ€™ lives The shallow coastal reefs appear to mainly be inhabited by juvenile fish (average 5kg) in smaller numbers. The deeper offshore waters seem to hold the larger fish (10-25kg) in larger numbers. The Tasmanian Striped Trumpeter is a mighty fish and its impressive qualities make it the ultimate challenge for those fishermen chasing bottom-fishing species around Tasmania. As mentioned, the inshore coastal reefs mainly produce juvenile fish and they can be elusive, which is part of the challenge of hooking them.Â Â Â
A lot of mystery still seems to surround the Striped Trumpeter, probably because in the past it has not commonly been caught by the greater percentage of recreational fishermen. Several factors need to go together to give the best chance of having a successful Stripey fishing trip.
Tackle and Bait
Our reels are spooled with 10kg Dacron which is slightly thicker than 10 kg monofilament. The 6-15 kg breaking strain is ideal. The choice us to fill the spool with the braided line or to top shot say 150 m onto your monofilament which fills the remainder of the spool. It is worth nothing that the use of these non-stretch braided lines determines that the eyes on the rod and the quality of the reelâ€™s drag system must be good. An uneven drag will cause the line to break, plus the fine diameter line can cut into poor quality eyes on the rod.
My favourite bait is octopus, which I put in boiling water for a minute to make peeling the skin off easier. Small portions are put in bags and then into the freezer. Other good baits include squid, tuna and gurnard â€“ the fresher often the better. Bait jigs or flies will also catch stripeys, the only downfall is that some off the shelf bait jigs do not always have a strong enough hook or trace. Making your own bait jigs is a good option using some of the different coloured fish hairs and trout fly tying gear available. A 4/0-5/0 stainless steel hook with 50-100lb monofilament trace is suitable. One other essential piece of equipment is either a very sharp but small gaff hook or landing net, as many fish are lost at the surface once all the hard work has been done. (Just released are the new Black Magic jigs. These should be excellent. Ed.)
Location and time
Productive Stripey fishing areas out of St Helens include Pulfers Reef, Merricks Reef, St Helens Island, Eddystone and the Continental Shelf drop-off.
The Tasmanian Striped Trumpeter is impressive-looking, hard-fighting and sensational eating! What a fish! Are you good enough to outsmart the mighty Stripey?
Rocky Carosi operates Professional Charters at St Helens specialising in Striped Trumpeter and Reef Fishing trips, plus Game fishing from January to May. Ph (03) 63763083 or 0149 383 362.