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.
I was interested to read that the IFS are going to be doing some electro fishing surveys in some of our rivers. There has been quite a bit of talk recently with regard to the number of cormorants that are around and their possible effect on fish numbers. Anecdotally, rivers that have been prolific producers of trout in the past have in recent months produced low catch rates. The IFS will electro fish the River Leven, Tyenna, Russell, Mersey, St Patricks and Meander rivers to ascertain the density of trout and the spread of size classes. The methods used will allow comparison of previous results from surveys conducted in the 1990's, 1980's and 1970's. The report will be released about March this year and should make interesting reading.
I had a trip down to St. Helens on the long weekend and the wind that has been blowing from the west followed me down there and blew from the east. We did get a good days fishing out on the shelf on Monday and managed to find a few Gemfish.
Recently, the Advocate reported that a Butterfly Mackerel had been caught out off the mouth of the Mersey river. This fish is an uncommon catch in Tasmanian waters and continues the trend of uncommon fish turning up in our waters. If you catch an unusual fish and you are not sure what it is there is a great online resource called Redmap. Redmap, a new and interactive website, invites the Australian community to spot, log and map marine species that are uncommon in Australia, or along particular parts of our coast. It has pictures and information on Australian fish species and if you do catch something unusual then you can report where you caught it and this in turn will assist scientists by providing them with information on changing fish distribution. Have a look at www.redmap.org.au .
Life is very busy at the moment and unfortunately there is not much time for us to go fishing due to the demands of the retail world. There are plenty of customers coming in with tales of fishing trips and offers to go fishing with them. I am sure it’s just their way of rubbing it in.
We have had some positive reports regarding the western lakes in that there has already been some reasonable mayfly activity and some of the fish that have been caught have been in very good condition. Things are looking good as we move further into summer.
I had another trip out off Burnie (Behind the green tree) on Sunday with a mate and we found some good Flathead in about 40m of water. There were plenty of them and were some very big ones in the mix. We are so lucky to have quality fish to catch on our doorstep. I am sure the same could be done all along the coast. It’s just a matter of figuring out where the fish are.
Lake Kara has been a popular destination over the last week as the Inland Fisheries service released 540 Atlantic salmon. Lake Rosebery also received 540. The Salmon were donated by Springfield fisheries and I am sure that the many anglers who take the opportunity to catch these fish would like to thank them. The bag limit on both lakes has not been reduced however the IFS is urging anglers to limit their catch so that everyone can have a share of these fish.
The long weekend in November is always a popular time to go fishing. Many families will go camping or head to their shack for a spot of R & R and take the opportunity to wet a line.
Calamari Squid continue to be caught in good numbers and good size all along the North West coast. They can be caught from the shore however a boat certainly gives an advantage. If you want to kick back and take it easy try a pilchard with a squid skewer fished under a float. This is a very effective way of catching squid.
There are plenty of calamari squid being caught at the moment. Sisters beach is a popular and productive spot for them. One of the secrets to squid fishing is to anchor up and get a burley trail going and then fish your jigs into it. Use reasonably light flurocarbo leader and you will get more hook-ups. Better quality squid jigs will also catch more squid. If you don’t believe me then have a look at what the professionals use. Other places to try are Doctors Rocks at Wynyard, the Boat ramp at Emu Bay, Port Sorell and the bluff at Devonport. All are fishable from the shore.
Last weekend was fairly typical of spring in Tassie. Wind, Rain, Sunshine and I hear there was some snow in elevated areas. You can use it as an excuse not to go fishing or you can just accept it’s just the way it is and go anyway. I know of a few who ventured out for a fish and most were rewarded with a trout for tea. It was certainly not a good weekend to head out into the sea.
I had to go to Hobart last weekend and as I drove along the coast I was envious of the many people out in their boats. There were some good Flathead caught on the near perfect day. Sisters beach and Rocky cape were popular spots and a local told me that you don’t have to be very far out to catch good sized flathead.
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