Bluefin tuna the highlight
  |  First Published: July 2011

I am not going to sugar coat it. July does not offer the angler a great deal.

With July we can expect cool, short days and cold water temperatures.

The estuary fishing is slow compared to the warmer months but there are still some very large bream on offer plus the odd well-conditioned sea run trout.

The Tasman Peninsula and Pedra Branca have been giving up some huge southern bluefin tuna and although the fishing can be patchy I am sure anglers will appreciate the effort and time required when it comes to landing 100kg plus fish.

Striped trumpeter are also on the hit list this time of year although angler are reminded to watch the weather.

Port Huon

Port Huon offers a suitable haven for the angler keen to wet a line during winter.

The land-based angler has a superb platform to utilise in the Port Huon Wharf.

Anglers who use berley will attract species such as flathead, garfish, bream, snotty trevalla, mackerel and the occasional Atlantic salmon.

Bait fishing with unweighted baits such as prawns, mussels and fish pieces is recommended.

For those who prefer to chase the resident flathead and cod a paternoster rig is preferred with squid, bluebait and fish pieces the preferred baits. Soft plastics are also effective.

The boat angler will also have success 'putting' around the Port Huon area with a plethora of species available.

Trolling around gutters and drop-offs with a silver slice lure will often result in mixed bags of Australian salmon, small barracouta and the odd Atlantic salmon.

Small deep divers are recommended in natural colours such as silver, blue and gold. Soft plastic anglers will also do well concentrating on deep drop offs.

Minnow style patterns are effective in dark colours such as black and green.

Tasman Peninsula

With the odd southern bluefin tuna kicking around, this area will no doubt still be popular well into July. At the time of writing the fishing has been spasmodic, some days anglers will manage to catch their limit by midday while other days not a reel is turned.

The majority of fish are school fish in the 15-25kg range with the odd larger specimen being caught.

The best I have heard of to date was a whopping 143kg fish, which was taken towards the end of May.

As in previous years, Hippolyte Rocks, Tasman Island and the Lanterns are all locations that deserve attention.

Hippolyte Rocks is usually the centre of attention and rightly so with the rock and it’s little brother attracting all types of marine life including seals, striped trumpeter, morwong perch and the afore mentioned southern bluefin tuna.

Anglers need to be warned although that the local seal population have been taking a fancy to hooked southern bluefin tuna, striped trumpeter and perch.

Anglers targeting bluefin will do best to fish on rough days with a stiff south westerly or straight southerly often proving to be the difference between a fishless day and a day to remember.

The bottom fishing during July can also be very productive.

Armed with a large threadline reels, anglers will get amongst a variety of species including gurnard, king flathead, morwong perch, sand flathead, latchet and the prized striped trumpeter.

Fresh squid and strips of striped trumpeter are recommended baits.

I find the black magic snapper rigs effective for the smaller fish; these should be baited with squid tentacles or strips of squid hood.

Blair Browning with a solid southern bluefin tuna taken recently at Eaglehawk Neck.

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