Tough, but fair
  |  First Published: June 2010

Winter is well and truly upon us now with short days, cool water temperatures and rain all meaning tough times for the saltwater angler.

The east coast estuaries and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel are still productive winter fisheries with the odd resident and sea run trout available plus the usual bream, juvenile Australian salmon, mullet and mackerel.

Atlantic salmon are on offer for the patient angler fishing southern estuaries such as the Lune, Huon and Esperance Rivers.

The boat owner will do best to concentrate on bottom fishing for whiting, sand flathead, cod, perch and the occasional gummy shark.

Esperance River

The Esperance is a mainstay as far as winter fisheries go with the sheltered water sport fishing being spectacular.

Additionally those who are after a feed of fresh fish find the bay fishing towards the river mouth is also consistently productive, with flathead the main target species.

The upper reaches towards the road bridge are home to bream and Atlantic salmon. Fly anglers using whitebait patterns will take fish as will lure anglers using small bibbed minnows and lightweight spoons.

Lower down the estuary towards the oyster racks and beyond the river opens up into a playground for all.

When there has been limited rainfall, the clear water offers polaroiding for the soft plastic and fly angler where Atlantic salmon, sea trout and bream can be seen feeding actively on mussels, oysters, hardy heads (pretty fish) and early season whitebait.

As mentioned above, out around Dover itself the flathead fishing is productive with traditional bottom fishing techniques being very popular.

The occasional calamari squid is also on offer. Red and white Yo Zuri jigs are preferred.

Southport and the Tasman Peninsula

Besides the often-productive sheltered waters of the Lune River the Southport area is becoming renowned for its nearby game fishing.

This hot spot plus the Tasman Peninsula are well known to southern Tasmanian anglers, especially game anglers who find the southern bluefin tuna fishing and striped trumpeter fishing extremely productive.

Pedra Branca, wide off Southport is fast becoming the place to go for trophy southern bluefin tuna.

A recent group of anglers I spoke to landed 30 blues for the day plus took home a striped trumpeter each! Now that’s fishing!

Trolled skirts are the standard lure of choice for the bluefin with natural colours preferred. Due to the local seal population 24kg and 37kg line is recommended.

For those with larger craft the deep water fishing out wide can also be productive with still days providing the perfect opportunity to fish for the above mentioned striped trumpeter, plus morwong perch, gurnard, the occasional flathead and latchet.

For those lucky enough an odd gummy shark also turns up.

For the tasty striped trumpeter 80lb braid is the go with an oversized bottom rig and squid or fish strips as bait.

The inside reefs potentially provide larger than average black back salmon, massive barracouta and the occasional blue warehou (snotty trevally) or of recent times, kingfish.

For the land-based angler there are plenty of hard fighting blue throat wrasse, tasty leatherjacket and calamari squid.

Reads: 1972

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