Fishing down under,down under!

A nice Lake Roseberry fish.
Carl Hyland
Going back through my records (as I often do) I note that at this time last year, I was writing about how cold the weather in Tasmania was, plus the fact that anglers were lamenting poor seasonal catches.

Well that’s not the case this year with the fishing currently being sensational. The weather too, seems to be exceptionally good, sure we are getting cool to cold mornings, but the weather during the day is great with some temperatures peaking at 20C or more. What this means of course is that more and more anglers are getting out and about and therefore are catching more fish. Whilst most Inland brown trout waters are now closed, some do remain open and the rainbow waters close at the end of May.

Inland Fisheries Service website

Again, unseasonal conditions are allowing diehard anglers to hit those waters that do remain open and one such water is Lake Barrington which two weeks ago, received a great injection of 500 adult Atlantic salmon.

Closeup and personal with a Barrington Atlantic salmon
Carl Hyland

These ex brood fish have spread far and wide and those people going to this remote, pristine location are often going home without fish and that’s because these recently stocked fish are behaving uncharacteristically, that is they have spread far and wide. Where you could expect to catch one or perhaps two fish, now is seems to be that little bit harder. What this means of course is that these fish will now have a chance to grown into behemoths as they can do in some waterways. I am told that if given the right food and conditions, these fish can potentially reach 40kg.

Other waters that have received fish are Brushy lagoon in the North with some 300 mid-sized Atlantics stocked and apparently, there are quite a few of these being caught by shore based anglers using baits and lures.

Another water to receive fish was Craigbourne Dam in the South and this water is heavily stocked with Atlantics and all manner of fish. This is water that remains open all year around and does receive a lot of attention from resident and visiting anglers. There are many secrets to Craigbourne and one great method that works is to float either a wattle grub under a float of let one rest on the bottom. The humble garden worms are just as effective. Not forgetting lure anglers, the Brown trout Rapala is deadly in here as is the Hueys Spotty Dog.

Beach angling around the state is now at its best with captures of Gummy shark and many other species such as Australian salmon being landed on the sand. Places like Bruny Island are good and Weymouth on the state’s North Coast and I am told that Waterhouse Beach is also producing some nice fish. The trick seems to be to get the bait just out past the surf zone and sit on it for a while. Massive screaming runs usually indicate a nice one metre long gummy or perhaps even a school shark or even something bigger such as a Seven Gilled shark.

A great beach caught Bruny Island gummy shark
Carl Hyland

In estuaries that are not classed as Inland waters, good Southern Black bream are falling for soft plastics and baits. Ones standout bait for bream seems to be mussels and local ‘live’ shrimp.

Bream are suckers for soft plastics, Prosser River
Carl Hyland

A few sea run trout are on the move, but traditionally, they really don’t start to come into the estuaries until September/October in turn following the seasonal whitebait runs. This is usually when the fishing really takes off in the Island state.