April and May produce some of the calmest weather for offshore fishing and with an excellent tuna season already on the go, the weather also allows good opportunities for some deep water fishing over the Continental Slope.
A line dropped to the bottom in 400-500m can catch blue eye trevalla, hapuka, pink ling and other residents of the deep, while perhaps not as dramatic as tuna fishing, the result is superb eating.
For the very keen angler heavy jigs worked close to the bottom also can produce unusual catches.
Inshore the snapper season is peaking with the best results expected around the April full moon, with plenty of gummies and flatties in the same areas.
Yellowtail kingfish have been interesting this year, while in some numbers in their usual haunts around the outer islands, we have been finding schools of kings on small deep isolated rocks in 35-60m out off the east coast of Flinders Island, both well east of Lady Barron and to the east of Babel island.
This is in areas where snapper or trumpeter are the usual target. Again using jigs dropped close to the bottom can produce fish that will not always take bait. All in all, very interesting fishing.
Throughout the summer we have had a range of visitors coming to the island to enjoy both the beach and offshore fishing with particularly good support from Melbourne, Shepparton, Sydney and Hobart.
Of these, one of the most long term and consistent groups is the Mitcham Angling Club from Melbourne, with their regular annual trip in late February, to fish aboard Strait Lady and Vanora out of Lady Barron, the deepwater port at the southern end of Flinders Island.
James Luddington operates the Strait Lady on Flinders Island and is the islands most experienced skipper for a wide variety of fishing experiences. James can be contacted through www.flindersisland.com.au/fishingtours
The Mitcham Angling Club’s 2011 fishing team.Reads: 1350