by Carl Hyland
Tassie is renowned for its world class trout fishery and quite rightly so too. A trip here recently saw us amongst some of the most picturesque scenery Tasmania has to offer alongside the bonus of a few fish.
Scenery is very picturesque.
The starting point from within Tasmania is not important as most locations are within a one or two hour drive of the Central Highland lakes, an opportunity that is not overlooked by visitors and locals alike. Being the ‘Mecca’ of trout fishing, the central lakes are easily accessible plus you can fish just about any shoreline or if you wish, drop a line in from a boat. I managed to visit the Great Lakes recently and whilst it was more of a fact finding mission, others who I know, had immense success, a trend that has continued for them over the summer months. Polaroiding for trout has been very productive and is something I have never gotten into, mainly because I do wear prescription glasses. My ‘forte’ is lure spinning or bait fishing, both of which my wife and I enjoy immensely.
With that in mind we set forth recently and took a leisurely drive up through the Exton area and through the aptly named Golden Valley. The scenery is fantastic and I never tire of travelling to the lakes this way. The amount of wildlife is nigh on unbelievable which comprises of Parrots, kangaroos, rabbits, eagles and anything else you would probably see on any journey in Tasmania.
Upon arriving at the top of the mountain, we were greeted by factual information signs telling us what a great location the Great Lake was for trout fishing and I reckon everything you need to know as a visiting angler would be found via these interpretative signs.
Interpretive signs are very helpful.
The scenery from this point is spectacular with the whole of the Great Lake panorama unfolding before you and it does make for great photography. On a foggy day or when the snow is falling, this is the spot to take the happy snaps.
The panorama of the Great Lake.
We arrived at a location that has turned out to be a favourite of mine over the years and area known as Brandum Bay. This particular area is close to the Northern end of the lake and is easily accessible, why you can even park on the side of the highway and walk down to the water’s edge.
The 'hot spot' in the Great Lake.
Fishing methods that are productive can vary. Whilst I was there, we were unlucky in not to score any fish, yet a friend who was only 10 km’s away, fishing using polaroids and dry fly’s managed to bag out on 15 fish in water that was only one metre deep. Obviously, fish can be found at different areas of the Great Lake at different times, on this occasion, they were up in the shallow marshes feeding on bugs and insects.
Another method that works well in the shallow water is the use of soft plastics and there are really only a couple that stand out as far as success rate goes and that is the Berkley black and gold t-tail plus the Berkley Pumpkinseed 3' curltail grub. These two lures are responsible for the taking of vast amounts of fish in the pristine waters of the Great Lake.
The black and gold soft plastic.
The weather can be a deciding factor on where and what you catch, always bear in mind that seasons can change very quickly at the Great Lake so in summer you also need warm clothes. Whilst we were there and started out in shorts and t-shirts, as the day progressed and a chill wind started to blow, we ended up in jeans and hooded jackets.
Crystal clear waters and great scenery await.
Our trip to the Great Lakes was a great success with the groundwork laid out for further adventures. We will be back with bait, flies and lures in the future and no doubt, telling every one of our fishing adventures. Further information on fishing Tasmania’s Great Lakes can be found at www.ifs.tas.gov.au.
You can view some great fishing shots and photos of some huge fish captures at www.fishtas.com
Another of Tim's soft plastic captures.