Fishing around Devonport

Leroy Tirant
Devonport offers a very diverse range of fishing opportunities for many species all year round, and winter can be a prime time for some excellent Sportsfishing.

1. The Bluff
One of the most popular land based locations that offers deepwater at your feet is a rocky headland, The Bluff, which is located behind the aptly named Bluff Caravan Park. Salmon, couta, garfish, mullet, flathead, squid and a variety of shark species can be caught here.
Most anglers like to target fish on a rising tide and a simple paternoster rig will get you on to most species. Pre packed rigs will often suffice but I prefer to tie a rig with twisted dropper loops as shown in Geoff Wilson's book of knots. Hook size will be dependant on the type of fish your trying to catch however a size 1 or 2 hook will suffice on most varieties. If you intend to target salmon in particular I prefer to fish half a pilchard on a 1/0 hook, half a rod length under an attractor float.
Whilst casting a rig with a 4oz sinker towards the horizon is something we all do, don't forget that many fish can be caught right at your feet. If fishing for Gummy sharks I prefer to use an Ezy-Rig sliding down to a swivel with sinker attatched and about 1-1.5mts of trace to the hook with a fresh cocky salmon fillet or a whole sand crab which is a favourite food of the gummy. A 12ft or greater surf rod rated to 10kg works well here.
Remember this is a popular location and on some days there can be quite a few anglers. Have patience with others as there is usually enough room for everyone. It's worth noting that regardless of how good weather conditions may be, always watch for waves as many Australian anglers are washed in every year whilst fishing from rock platforms.

2. Don Heads
The Don Heads would have to be the most under fished area of Devonport and most of the time you can have the place to yourself. Whilst the water here isn't as deep as the bluff it does produce some good fishing. This would have to be one of my favourite spots for squid when they are running inshore. I prefer a 10ft rod with a light tip and 12lb line. The light tip aides in providing a shock cord effect to stop tentacles being pulled out and squid being lost. Any of the cloth covered jigs work well and color dosent seem really important. A rising tide late in the afternoon towards evening is perfect.
This also a great spot to chase sea runners when the white bait start to run. If spinning, any lure that that represents a small baitfish can work however last season I had a lot of success with a Strike Pro Small Fry in colors 904 and 905. Flyfishing is another great option and a size 8-10 BMS in silver or olive is pretty hard to beat. You can also catch mullet, salmon and bream on this fly.

3. Mersey River mouth.
The mouth of the Mersey produces Salmon, Mullet and flat head all year round, with seasonal fish such as couta and trevally turning up at the right time of year and even Sea run trout and the odd snapper have been caught. There is a large rock breakwall on both sides however I prefer the wall on the Eastern shore. Spinning here with small metal lures is productive as is bait fishing on both sides of the wall. I prefer an 8-9 ft fast tapered rod rated 6-8kg with a 3500-4000 size reel and 10 kilo braid for spinning.
Soft plastics are absolutely dynamite on all species and its not hard to catch 4-5 species in a session. A 7ft rod, designed  for soft plastics is ideal and I prefer using braided line as the non-stretch characteristics imparts better action on the lures.
On the Western shore the Devenport City Council has erected a purpose built fishing platform for anglers. This is a great spot for parents to take kids and although it is a decent height from the water it is safe and sturdy.

4. Mersey.
The upper tidal limits of the Mersey produces resident trout, sea runners, bream, mullet and cocky salmon. The area around Bells Parade is a favourite haunt of anglers targeting sea runners when the white bait run. Make sure you check the fishing regulations regarding inland/seward limits. The best method to catch these fish is to use live poddy mullet although lures and flies also work. There are some good bream and blackfish to be caught in this area but they are in small numbers, and because they are a great sport fish and I would encourage anglers to release them when possible.

5. Pardoe/Moorlands Beach
Located behind Devonport airport this beach provides ideal fishing for whiting, flathead, gummies and salmon. Areas of broken reef, weed and sand provide ideal habitat for fish to reside in this area year round. Whilst there aren't any really defined gutters check the beach out at low tide as any small holes and depressions can hold fish on the high tide. Spinning dosent fair as well here as bait fishing, and pippies are by far my favourite bait. A surf rod that's 12-14ft can help in casting to deeper water here as the beach is fairly flat for a fair way out. If you find a current running along the beach put on a ball sinker and let the water wash your bait around and along the beach. Keep a hold of your rod and just pick up any slack line to stay connected to your rig to feel the bites. The idea is to work the bait to find fish instead of anchoring your bait with a star or grapnel sinker and hoping a fish finds you!

Leroy Tirant
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