117 weymouth flatheadPresented from Issue 117, August 2015
The editor Mike Stevens has asked me to write a short article about an underutilised fishery that we has recently become more accessible.

Opening out onto the waters of Bass Strait, the Weymouth area has long been acknowledged by those in the know (the locals) as one that produces quality recreational angling opportunities.

Up until recently and given the unpredictability of the predominate NW winds many avoided launching from here. The main obstacle was the substandard boat ramp and this troublesome facility often resulted in damage to expensive boats when launching or retrieving. Weymouth ramp upgrade

Thanks to a recent MAST upgrade the Trevor Street launching facilities are a huge improvement. Finished in early April 2015, these issues have to a large degree been addressed and this area now offers much safer accessibility for those who wish enjoy a day with family or mates.

116 winter troutPresented from Issue 116, June 2015

Put some warm clothes on and embrace the world. Winter fishing can be great.

Winter Great Lake

Great Lake is one of a handful of year round trout fishery in Tasmania that offers the die hard trout fisher a place to wet a line in fresh water.

During the months of June and July, the brown trout that have finished spawning are looking to regain condition quickly. The Great Lake Galaxia will be high on their opportunistic diet at this time, making lure and streamer fly fishing a viable option. Shore based fishing is a good bet at this time of year with Browns hunting Galaxia along the rocky shorelines. They also take advantage of the abundance of Stick Caddis over the weed beds and muddy bays. Fur fl ies, Woolly Buggers and streamers are great fl ies to use at this time of year.

116 southport garfishPresented from Issue 116, June 2015
Cold weather can strike anytime in Tasmania and a lot of people complain about the cold constantly. Anglers are no different, but, like bush walkers it just means more appropriate clothes. And if there is a huge winter frost you know the day will be calm and bright and a joy to experience. So while it can be wild, cold, bitter and wet look out for approaching high pressure systems, plan a trip, and rejoice in the short calm winter days. The fishing can be grand.

Two inshore fish that are fun to catch over Winter are garfish and flounder. Both are pretty reliable fisheries, but preparation is the key. In fact it is the key to catching most fish.

115 flathead headPresented from Issue 115, April 2015
Heading home I take a hand off the wheel every now and then, rub my index finger over my thumb and smile.

Torn skin rough from lip gripping seven or more giant flathead. Picked up, photographed, and slipped back into Duck Bay.

A mission ‘long dreamed’, since the first time I pulled up at the jetty in Smithton a few years back. “Jeez. This looks fishy.”

And so, on a late-March weekend it happened. I’d found time away from the family, pieced together a little bit of local knowledge, cruised the web. Mike printed out satellite pics of low tide – the mysterious waterway undressed, exposing oyster leases, channels and drains.

115 jettyBPresented from Issue 115, April 2015
The boys had been pestering me for quite some time, ‘dad can we go out to Port Sorell and have a fish off the jetty soon’. Admittedly I had been trying to put it off, I didn’t like to tell them but I was a bit out of my comfort zone with the whole jetty/saltwater fishing thing. I could happily take them anywhere in the state and confidently fish for a trout or two, but this was different. But and it was a big but, the time had come to give them what they wanted. Please keep in mind as you read on that I am merely just a fly fisherman who loves his trout with virtually no conventional gear saltwater experience. But, I am a father who wants his two boys to grow up experiencing as many different fishing opportunities as possible. Then they can decide which fishing path they want to wander thru life exploring.

114 yellow tail king cPresented from Issue 114, February 2015
Jamie Harris, like many anglers from the north west coast, is a fishing nut. And also like many Burnie and NW coasters he has spent many hours driving too and from the east coast chasing game fish. Whilst the nearby west coast has some great fishing it is often wild and unfishable. Bass Strait has some good mako and gummy fishing and Australian salmon and flathead as well. But recently another fish has arrived on the scene that is as good a game fish as there is, great to eat, tough to catch and now it seems readily available – yellowtail kingfish.

Jamie chased these as long ago as ten years, like many anglers, around Elephant Rock off St Helens. Elephant Rock was one of the first areas where kingfish were regularly caught. Clarke Island, below Cape Barren and Flinders Island was also a hot spot, but a lot of boat was needed to get there. So it was a bit elusive but that only hardens the resolve of keen anglers.

113 kgwPresented from Issue 113, December 2014
It all started a few years ago when a small number of King George Whiting were caught in Georges Bay on a few different occasions. We didn’t think too much of it at the time as lots of different species turn up in the bay quite often, some continue to be caught and some come and go. But we kept our eye on it, monitored catch rates and anecdotal evidence over the next few years and found that all of a sudden there were more and more fish being seen. Before you know it we have now had a regular King George Whiting season for about 4 solid years and hopefully will now be another permanent species to add to the ever growing list that is caught out of St Helens . Some would say that King George Whiting are the perfect fish, they fight hard and are great sport, are a fantastic table fish, require minimal equipment, can be caught by all ages and with a little bit of knowledge and know how are not difficult to catch.

112 burnie beachPresented from Issue 112, October 2014

Burnie, the unofficial capital of the north-west coast, through the depths of Winter, can be dark and dreary. However it is still exceptionally productive on the angling front. While snow capped St. Valentines Peak and its surroundings, rain and wind pounded the coast for the majority of the cooler months. Surprisingly however, the fishing, particularly in the coastal rivers, has been encouraging. Now, as spring launches into effect and the conditions around us begin to warm, the fishing will only improve even more, preparing us recreational anglers for a very productive summer.

At the beginning of the cold snap that buried the highest reaches of the state in snow, after climbing a mountain or two, I decided to start hitting the local rivers mouths, creeks and other coastal haunts such as my childhood favourite Red Rock in Cooee and the Emu River, Fern Glade in particular. Targeting trout mostly, due to the opening of the season, I really found it difficult to get my first fish on the board!

112 salt in spring flatheadPresented from Issue 112, October 2014
The warmer part of spring is now upon us and for the saltwater angler, this signals the start of some fine fishing days ahead. Here, Matt Byrne outlines some of his very best spring saltwater options.

I’m not too sure about you, but as a keen saltwater angler, winter in Tasmania can be a long and drawn out affair as the saltwater cools down and species disappear to the depths or in some cases, leave the state entirely and follow the currents in search of warmer water! Whilst this past winter we have had an unusually long southern bluefin tuna season, more often than not we spend our time doing jobs around the house and await October as it often signals the first real commencement of our saltwater fishing season.

110 salmom softPresented from Issue 110, June 2014
Winter is a time when we tend to slow down, the days are shorter and the weather is predictably cold, wet and windy. Some of us stop fishing all together and are happy to wait out the winter while others eagerly await the winter run of juvenile Australian Salmon. These fish often sneak into the quiet estuaries that are now free of summer anglers, skiers and jet skiers. They come into these estuaries to feed on the scattered bait schools, worms and prawns that live over the sea grass and shallow rocky shorelines.


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