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Your Hot fishing spots

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Hey All

This is just one of the many spots i fish in the tamar river in northern Tasmania.

The Tamar River is a hot fishery, particularly in warmer months, when this ‘river’ can often turn up many surprises.

Tamar Sea Trout

The upper reaches of the Tamar, near where the North and South Esk rivers meet, attracts very little angling pressure. What a lot of locals are not aware of is that this silty, muddy upper part of the river contains big sea-run trout.

There is a lot of water between fish, but the persistent angler can have success on trout of mammoth sizes. Hot spots are the lower reaches of the South and North Esks, the Trevallyn Tailrace, and then all the way down the river, with big fish often seen chasing whitebait and even little mullet.

Catching them is another thing altogether! Fly fishing is difficult. The fish come into the shallows, grab a bait fish and then are gone in a matter of seconds - rarely will you get an opportunity to put a fly out in front of a big trout’s nose. Spinning has limited success, but is more productive than fly.

Baitfishing is the method that brings more big trout undone than any other. A live or dead bait, fished at night is often deadly, even if it is not as exciting as casting a fly to a 10 pounder, it is productive. The Trevallyn tailrace attracts a lot of bait fishers looking for trout and it is just a few minutes down the West Tamar Highway from the centre of Launceston.

The river from a boat

Once you get down around the Batman Bridge, the fishing in the Tamar River changes remarkably. This section of the river is narrow, deep and features very strong currents and tidal flow. It is not possible to fish from a boat in the near vicinity and it should be avoided by inexperienced boaters.

A lot of people believe that the deep holes in the river are where all the fish are, however, the secret to the Tamar is in the shallows.

Simply anchor in water less then 10 metres deep, use some berley and then drop down some baits, and you never know what you will pull up.

The most prized fish is snapper, and perhaps the least loved is the rock cod. In between these, it is possible to catch a myriad of fish species.

As you move down towards the heads, the river opens up and it becomes shallower - in some places sand bars pop their heads out of the water at low tide. Flathead fishing is almost too easy in these sandy parts of the river, while salmon, trevally and mullet will all take any bait the flathead miss.

The western side of Middle Island, opposite Inspection Head, is a top flathead spot, but many are often under the legal size of 300 mm.

Lures are worth a try in shallow water for flathead, and they often turn up better specimens, while those willing to cast a fly will have a great time. Fly fishers will fare better with a berley trail.

Often large schools of salmon or couta can be located by searching for a mass of diving birds. The most effective way to tackle these is to motor up to them slowly, then cut the power and cast small lures into the unsuspecting school. Be warned as these schools can easily be put down. Once again berley will be most effective at keeping the fish active.

Yellowtail kingfish inhabit the lower parts of the river during summer and autumn months. Best method is to troll baits such as small garfish or salmon, livebait or lures. Shallow water is the key.

From the shore

Fishing from the shore of the Tamar can be just as good as out of a boat - especially now that the government has funded pontoons all along the banks of the river. Fishing from these can be very good, especially if you use lighter gear. Mullet, salmon, trevally, couta, cod and many other species can turn up from these jetties - with the old flathead as present as ever.

The best spots to fish from the shore are all the pontoons, particularly those below Rosevears and areas such as Bonney Beach, Inspection Head wharf, Redbill Point Caravan park (only at low tide), Low Head and West Head.

The Inspection Head wharf is at Beauty Point - about thirty five minutes to the north of Launceston. Its fish rich waters have been producing great catches for the young, and old alike, for many years.

The species you may encounter include the big four; flathead, mullet, salmon and barracouta.

Flathead are probably the most common catch from the wharf. They are quite easy to catch, particularly when using a paternoster rig. Your sinker should just be heavy enough to hold the bottom. Usual sinker types are snapper sinkers pyramid sinkers, but anything will do the job. Use around 1/0 hooks with bluebait, pilchard or squid, or anything else that looks tasty to a fish.

You don’t need to be particularly skilful when fishing for flathead here, they can be found a mere stones throw from the wharf, and can also be caught with a simple handcaster dropped straight over the side.

Mullet can be an annoying species of fish to catch because of their finicky bite - they are hard to hook, but good at stealing your bait. Usually mullet are caught hard up against the pylons. A paternoster rig is also fine for mullet, but if you start getting tiny bites, downsize your terminal tackle, especially hooks. Hooks as small as size 12 are ideal.

Australian Salmon are a common predatory fish that take advantage of the bait that lives around the wharf. Lures can produce good results when fished at different depths so as you can find the fish. Lures like Shark Tackle or Halco slices can work like dynamite when they are not too big. Forty grams should be maximum.

Salmon will also grab a bait fished on the bottom or being drifted down with no sinker. If someone next to you starts catching a few salmon, try a lure or a bait.

Kelso jetty is a top spot for squid, and tide turns are best if squid are the target - dawn and dusk are best. Many other species can also be caught here.

The flats around Kelso have become a popular area for saltwater fly fishers chasing salmon and flathead. Wading waist deep exploring with a Clouser Minnow or Lefty Deceiver does the job - especially at low tide when the drop-off can be reached.

Further down the river, West Head offers a great rock fishing ledge, and if variety is what you want this is the place to fish. Species include Australian Salmon, flathead, jack mackerel, slimy mackerel, kingfish, sweep, luderick, wrasse, squid, cuttlefish, pike, rosy perch, gurnard, couta, leatherjacket, sharks, garfish, mullet and more. Tide turns are the best times. Any wind from south will mean less swell to cope with.

As it is in the Narawntapu National Park a National Park fee will need to be paid to fish here - but it is well worth it.

Wheres your hot spot. :eartoear:

Cheers Jason :pipethinker:

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Awesome fishing you have down there Jase. Tasmanian Salmon sells for a fortune over here.

I personally don't have any fishing spots. I used to many years ago though. How long have you been fishing for?


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Hey Ray

Been fishing on and off for 25yrs. Mainly do alot of salt water fishing,In the river or off the rocks, Sometimes go out in a friends boat or hire one.

Depending on the season, I may go fresh water fishing too, Spin alot, I don"t do any fly fishing.

Cheers Jason :pipethinker:

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Top read Jase :thumbsupmate: ....I'm not much of a fisherman as far as skill and technique goes but I do enjoy getting out and relaxing with a line in the water and beer on hand :eartoear: Swan river is good for that, beaches along Perth's northern coast where you can get 4wdrive access plus Mandurah/Peel inlet. Been down on the WA south coast during the salmon migratory run {Albany to Yallingup}

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Hey Beren

It dosent matter about Skill and technique , As long as you go out and enjoy the day and have fun thats all that matters.

And getting a few bites helps lol

Cheers Jason :pipethinker:

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