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Tasmania, a great holiday destination

by Carl Hyland 21 May 04:57 UTC 24 March - 31 July 2018
Brown Trout with a Hueys Sunset Lure © Carl Hyland

Tasmania has a reputation as being a great holiday destination and whilst many dabble at a spot of fishing whilst holidaying most are missing out on a magnificent experience that just may be the standout of the travelling experience. Sure Tassie has some great spots for fishing, but it also has some dangerous areas and local knowledge is essential in some cases. For instance, fishing around the South East does require a degree of caution but memorable captures may be made right on your local beaches. Rod and line is not always needed either. Try a spot of floundering in the shallow waters of your local beach as a spear and a light is all that is required in some instances.

A saltwater license is not required in Tassie but there are strict regulations pertaining to size and bag limits. Rulers and guide books are available at most visitor centres plus Service Tasmania outlets which are located in most towns. In the South, good areas to try for a spot of fishing would be Port Arthur or Dennes Point or Dru Point with many species being taken from here. Bit in the form of squid or bluebait will suffice with a two hook and sinker rig being all you need. Soft plastic lure fishing can be sensational if used in the shallow waters around the Cadbury factory and the chances of snagging a beaut Derwent River sea runner are high. In the more sheltered bays and waters, particularly Norfolk Bay, flathead are the major target. From the shore, there is also great fishing to be had.

On the seaward side of the Tasman peninsula, the coast line is very rough, so it's simply a case of get to the water where you can. Much of the fishing from the shore around this area is untouched but waiting to be discovered. Maps show most tracks that lead to a beach or the shore and it is usually easy to find some sheltered water. Australian salmon are easily caught from the shore at Pirates Bay, Dunally Canal, Wedge Bay and Norfolk Bay. Frederick Henry and Storm Bays offer good variety of fish from Australian Salmon to Calamari and Arrow squid.

In the East, for there are lots of beaches, pontoons and jetty, the fishing can be remarkable at this time of the year and through the summer months. Large garfish, flathead leatherjackets and bream can be caught at most locations, but hot spots would be Kirwan's Beach, Beauty Bay and Akaroa beach. Rivers and lagoons to the south of St Helens provide great sport on the fly particularly for Southern black bream. Taylors and Swimcart beaches are worth a visit with some huge Australian salmon being caught nearly all year round plus the occasional gummy shark and flathead are taken from these fine surf beaches.

Game fishing is available in the deeper Continental waters and visitors would be well advised to look up local charter operators for some great tuna or shark action. There are many operators who do provide smaller charters for inshore fishing such as bream and other species such as garfish, luderick and flathead. Hot spots in the North of the state include Beauty Point, Garden island with fishing both in the channel and inshore to the lagoon. King George whiting are a standout species with 50 cm fish often being taken over the sea grass areas of Lagoon Beach and Pilots Bay. She –Oak Point is a good place to drift bait under a float as pelagic Kingfish and large salmon are available from here during the warmer months. Surf Beaches along the North coast are easily accessible and places like Policeman's Point and Waterhouse are great locations for dropping a line or camping.

Boat Harbour in the North west and Port Sorrell, particularly the Rubicon River estuary are easily accessed and are great spots for bait fishing or flicking a soft plastic about. This river along with most estuaries in Tasmania has a 3 metre rise and fall and water flows can be extreme in some cases. The best fishing I have found, can be had just an hour either side of the high tide.

Whatever your methods of fishing, please enjoy the experience and remember to only take what you need for a feed. Good luck

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