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Tassie tales

by Carl Hyland on 10 Nov 2013
Author with his blue spot flathead Carl Hyland
Successful is a word I would use to judge mine and others recent fishing exploits, hard given the inclement weather we have been having in the state for the last few weeks.

One day last week, with a burst of sunshine appearing, I decided to have a fish at a local spot in the Tamar River. Now the Tamar has been ‘running dirty’ for several weeks and had recently cleaned up with the fresh water dissipating over the last few days. Armed with some fresh chicken bait and heaps of berley, my wife and I launched our 5.3 metre Monark glass and headed off the Kelso, a popular fishing location. With water like glass, I noted on the sounder that the temperature at the surface was only 14C, certainly not up in the 17-18 that we had hoped for. Stating that, we were going to target yellow eyed mullet and possibly flathead, namely Blue spot flathead which are quite common in the Tamar estuary. The use of berley is always of an advantage, this particular brew comprised of chicken pellets, ground up mackerel plus a good quantity of fish oil. Tide was incoming and about 2metres off full (we have a 3metre rise and fall of tides in Tassie).Arrived at Kelso, some 10 minutes from home and anchored up and started the berley flow. The rods were rigged with 6lb braid and small hooks and tiny sinkers. As it turned out, we ended up removing the sinkers and allowed the baits to free float in the berley trail. It wasn’t long before the first mullet turned up, quite excited by the berley and we made them more excited by throwing in some old bread which also had been ground fine(mullet love bread).

The action came thick and fast, we boated 20 mullet and lost quite a few as well. For those who say they don’t go off, I say, they are a great fish with lots of action. Several actually behaved like salmon, leaping from the water, silvery scales glinting in the bright sunlight. All was going swimmingly until a big blue spot flathead roared in and grabbed the chicken bait. It gave my little 1kg rod a fair workout and when Jen slipped the net under him, I was very pleased. This fellow went 45 cm, not a huge fish but big for the estuary.

We called it quits after that, as the wind started to pick up and the temperature started to drop.

When the water warms more, we shall be targeting the King George Whiting, big fellows that we have had success on in the past. Stay tuned for that report.


Elsewhere around the state, big bream are being caught at most locations, places such as the Derwent River is firing and also The Swan at Swansea in the east. Big salmon are also on the move in Georges Bay at St Helens.


Tassie’s Cray season has just opened, here is a link to what you can do and where you can set pots or rings.

In the fresh, I have had luck also, a nice 4lb brown trout taken on bait at Pipers River.


Until next time, take care.

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