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Tasmanian Autumn Fishing

by Carl Hyland on 18 Sep 2013
Fishing is at it’s best when it’s cold! Carl Hyland
With days becoming shorter and nights longer plus water temperatures dropping, one would expect the rate of fish catches to drop also, this is not the case with many and varied captures still occurring around the state.

One such capture or captures have been flying fish, a very irregular visitor to the Island state. Mainly found offshore in temperate waters, this specimen was captured within the South’s Derwent River.


Yellowtail Kingfish are thought to be a warm water species but this is not proving the case also in the Derwent. Whilst there is snow on the peaks of Mount Wellington, anglers fishing from shorelines around Bellerive Bluff and in boats, tell of some great captures of Kingfish on all manner of lures and soft plastics. One chap told of using a black and gold Rapala magnum lure to obtain his 4kg specimen whilst another managed his on a 3' Pumpkinseed grub soft plastic lure.


Mako shark are still around especially of the North Coast and down around Tasman Island with many turning up around the backs of boats whilst anglers are boating Bluefin tuna. Also creating problems are seals which are like packs of attacking dogs, mauling live fish once alongside. Unfortunately, nothing can be done to deter these wolves of the sea as they are fully protected in Tasmanian waters.


Regular catches of Elephant fish are occurring in estuarine waters about the state with the Tamar proving to be a real hot spot at this time. Places like East Arm, Bonnies Beach are the favoured spots for anglers, mainly bait fishermen, getting amongst the action. Simple paternoster rigs will suffice for this species and runs once hooked are long and hard. Be aware of the venomous dorsal spine along the back of this fish.

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In the freshwater around the state trout fishing is coming to an end with the season closing at the end of April. The good news is that a lot of large freshwater impoundments remain open and a few of these are Lake Barrington in the North West, The Great Lake, Central Highlands, Craigbourne Dam in the South and Lake Meadowbank also in the South. Another popular Northern water to remain open is Brushy Lagoon, recently stocked with big Atlantic salmon as was Craigbourne in anticipation of satisfying those winter anglers, hardy enough to venture forth.


This gives many anglers the opportunity to bag a trophy fish, with a fine example by leading taxidermist John Wilesmith of Sheffield in Tasmania. I will be doing a feature on John in the coming weeks but in the meantime, here’s a link to his website.

A lot of smaller rivers and tributaries do hold good head of trout, but with low water levels, attacks by predators such as cormorants and so forth, means that fish are spooky and proving hard to catch. Once we receive a good flush of rain, trout angling at least to months end, should improve.

All the best.

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