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Fishing around Tasmania - Summer 2021

by Carl Hyland 7 Jan 07:05 UTC
Nick Hill and Jonah Yick with Blue Eyed Trevalla from South East Tasmania © Carl Hyland

Many have said Tassie is a mecca for all things sea change and those same people are now putting that into practise, for not only is the fishing sensational at this time, but real estate and fuel, plus accommodation are at an all-time price that is affordable for all. Coupled with the fact, the state hasn't had a Covid 19 case for over 120 days; it's not hard to see why Tasmania is the flavour of the New Year.

According the ABC, many are coming here to buy homes and the lifestyle that goes with it, especially in coastal areas and is something many dream of. You can own a ¼ acre block, with home for a third of the mainland price, but as I mentioned, it's the lifestyle. When you see the type and size of fish that are being caught at the moment and most within a two hour drive from metropolitan centres, no wonder people are flocking here. I've been a long time advocate of coming down for a visit or even staying and as a 6th generation Taswegian, I like to think I know what I'm talking about. -

Typically, places like St Helens are proving very popular amongst locals and tourists and those in the know have been taking some cracking fish of late. The Tuna Club of Tasmania has a great website plus an awesome Facebook page and is well worth staying up to date with as there are some beaut tuna captures and Mako shark competition's coming up and judging by some great photos, many are getting amongst them right now. -

Locki Nichols Fishing is also a great guy to go fishing with if you don't have a boat and even if you do, it's still a great way of getting amongst some jaw dropping action without all the stress of trailering your boat. Check out some of the great captures on his page. -

Here's some of Lockie's info for those interested: Locki Nichols Fishing and Sea Wolf ll Charters will again be fishing together again in 2018!!

We can cater for up to 6 people on our modern, fast and comfortable 9m Razorline. Our rates will remain the same and are as follows:

-Swordfish: 10hrs (6:30am-4:30pm) $1,300 up to four people. $250 for each additional person up to 6.
-Tuna: 8hrs (7am-3pm) $250 pp minimum $1000.
-Bottomfish: 8hrs (7am-3pm) $200 pp minimum $800.

Once again we will only be using quality gear from Wilson Fishing and Shimano Australia Fishing Everything is provided except for food and drinks. We clean, fillet and bag all fish kept but leave the choice to the angler whether to keep or release their fish. 0455026279 is the number to call!!

For those with an inclination to capture Atlantic salmon, there was a mass escape recently and the Dept of Sea Fisheries had the following to say: Southern recreational fishers are excitedly chasing large Atlantic salmon in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel area after 50,000 escaped from a damaged fish pen recently. In all the frenzy it's important to remember: The bag limit is 12, possession limit is 24 and there is no boat limit. If you are fishing in inland waters, the bag limit is 5 and you need an inland fisheries licence. You cannot sell, buy, barter or raffle recreationally caught fish but you are allowed to give your catch away. If using a net, check the rules and be a responsible netter. Keep boat ramps and fishing areas clean. Take fish waste with you and dispose of it in your household rubbish or compost it in your garden.

Seal interactions. The salmon escape is in an area where resident seals may be present. If you are using a gillnet, this provides an opportunity for seals to take fish from your net. Seals may behave unpredictably and defend net-caught salmon so be cautious when pulling nets. Avoid interactions with seals where possible and don't throw fish waste to them.

Keep notes on your catch. We're working with IMAS researchers to better understand the latest escape event, building on their survey from 2018. You can be a citizen scientist and help by keeping notes on: Date and location fished, number of salmon caught (helps to understand dispersal and catch trends). The salmon's stomach contents: how many have food in their stomachs (what type of food) and how many are empty (helps to understand ecological impacts).

Best lures appear to be the locally made Moores Soft Plastics and Sardine type lures from Hueys Lures. -,

With recent rainfall, Inland Fishing is going very well with mayfly fishing at places like Arthurs Lake being very productive. Good hatches of midges have been occurring at Penstock Lagoon with plenty of Caddis moth hatches taking place, meaning that it is a mecca for fly fishers at the moment. Not forgetting lure anglers though, as some awesome captures have been taking place all around the freshwater lakes, especially after dark. For those using fishcakes, it's a new way of fishing for some and proves to be very exciting, especially when done on a dark night. The Inland Fisheries Service had this to say about Arthurs Lake recently: Arthurs Lake is continuing to improve this season. Over the Christmas/New Year period lots of trout were caught. Spinning with lures and fly fishing were most successful. Trolling cobra lures deep in bright conditions and shallow in dull conditions has been productive. One angler using soft plastics had caught five well-conditioned fish from the Lilypads at the top end of Jonah Bay. There have been duns aplenty in Cowpaddock Bay also, with anglers using emerger style flies doing particularly well. The $10,000 tagged fish that was released into Arthurs Lake is still there to be caught. If you are wondering where to go for a fish next, seriously consider having a look at Arthurs Lake! Plus this about a roundup of fishing since Christmas: The Christmas/New Year holiday period was popular for trout fishing. Our officers conducted 336 recreational fishing and 101 boating safety inspections at key waters around the state. Fishing conditions were good during the period, with a mixture of sunny and overcast days accompanied with light winds and minimal rain:

Great Lake - Anglers trolling anglers caught good fish around the northern end of the lake, with cobra lures and flat fish. In bright conditions, trolling deep was more effective, whilst surface lures worked well in the evening. For the fly anglers plenty of fish were up feeding on the surface in the windlanes.

Arthurs Lake - Anglers did very well trolling around Jonah Bay, with fish taking cobra lures. Good hatches of mayfly occurred in Cowpaddock Bay and plenty of rising fish in overcast low wind conditions.

Woods Lake - Plenty of fish caught by trolling and fly anglers, with the average size slightly down on previous seasons. Trolling is starting to become hampered in certain areas of the lake by weed growth, so if fishing here it's best to regularly check lures for weed fouling.

Bradys/Binney/Tungatinah - Lots of rainbow trout caught by lure and bait anglers, particularly around Tungatinah Lagoon. Some nice browns were also caught from the northern shore of Brady's Lake.

Little Pine and Penstock Lagoons - Good hatches of mayfly in still overcast conditions.

Western Lakes - Fly anglers reported polaroiding good numbers of fish around the shores in sunny conditions. Lure fishing was productive on wonder wobblers in overcast conditions on the windward shores.

Lake Rowallan - With the lake level up, conditions are ideal for trolling with plenty of fish caught on rapala and cobra style lures. Good falls of gum beetles also occurred with plenty of fish on the surface feeding.

Wayatinah Lagoon - Anglers caught plenty of fish trolling cobra lures, with overcast conditions being the most productive.

Lake Mackintosh - The lake is full and near spilling. Fish were being caught casting bright coloured lures around the flooded timber.

On the compliance front, adherence to the Inland Fisheries rules was pleasing. Out of the 336 anglers inspected, two anglers were found to be fishing without a licence and one was found to be using more rods than endorsed on his licence. Six infringement notices were issued to people that had failed to wear their PFD while boating. Several conditional cautions were also issued for a range of offences under Marine and Safety legislation. Of note is the requirement to comply with the new lifejacket standard that was made mandatory on 1st January 2021. All lifejackets must now comply with the Australian Standard 4758.1. This means the old style type 1, 2 and 3 PFDs are now obsolete. -

There are plenty of reasons to head out trout fishing at the moment! Four of the five $10,000 tagged fish are still from our promotion this year are still at large. The weather is ideal for camping and most waters are fishing extremely well. No matter what your preferred method of fishing is, come on down and leave your troubles behind, you never know, you might want to stay!

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