Marlin and tuna
  |  First Published: March 2012

The offshore game fishing action off the east coast has ramped up dramatically over the last month.

Offshore water temperatures are up over 20C on the shelf line and 18C just offshore.

This has produced large numbers of albacore around 5-8kg and fish up to 12kg. Large schools of small striped tuna have also moved in but are providing great sport on the lighter tackle as well as attracting some larger species. Already there have been reports of some larger bluefin and yellowfin with one angler reporting a 30kg yellowfin boated and a larger yellowfin lost on their first ever trip out tuna fishing.

These fish were all taken around the 100-120m mark.

The mass of baitfish, squid, jellyfish and small striped tuna have also attracted good numbers of mako shark with almost daily catches of fish between 80-200kg, most of which are released, and one monster of over 300kg caught for a potential Tasmanian Game Fish record.

Mako shark are not the only larger predator attracted by all the bait either, just this morning as I write this report a 79kg striped marlin was caught by local angler Jason McGiveron out of a 15ft dinghy barely 2 miles offshore using 24kg Shimano tackle and a Pakula lure.

The fish reportedly stuck at one rod only to pull the hooks after a short run but came back a short while later to hit another lure. The next few months should see some great offshore game fishing action if this is any indication.

The coastline around Elephant Rock and Binalong Bay has also continued to fish well. Huge numbers of arrow squid are all up and down the coast and massive schools of large Australian salmon consistently feeding on the small baitfish and krill. Salmon of up to 3-4kg have been caught all around Elephant Rock and surrounding bays.

Mixed in with the salmon have been numerous yellowtail kingfish up to about 3kg and have surprised numerous anglers with their fighting ability. There have also been a few reports of the odd kingfish inside Georges Bay; this activity will increase over the next month or so.

Georges Bay has also continued to produce a wide variety of fish and is just getting better and better all the time. Large silver trevally are still stretching the arms of light tackle anglers all up and down the channel and schools of big salmon continue to come in and out of the bay feeding on the baitfish. Although spasmodic with their locations and appearance, at any given time there will be a school of salmon feeding hard somewhere in the bay.

Bream in Georges Bay have also continued to produce with many anglers catching good fish on both bait and lures, with one tournament already run with many good bags and a couple more to go, we can expect some great bream action for a few more months yet.

The King George whiting have still been active although we are starting to see a slowing of the activity and a reduction in numbers caught.

This can be attributed to the fact that Fisheries class all whiting species in Tasmania in together with no size limit and a possession limit of 30 fish per person. Unfortunately some anglers have used this to attempt to catch large numbers of fish on a regular basis and has clearly effected the fishery.

We are currently working with some representative bodies to try and have a size and bag limit implemented for King George whiting in Georges Bay before its too late.

Let’s hope that common sense prevails. Remember limit your catch don’t catch your limit and fish for the future.

For any more advice on where to go and what to catch just drop in and see me, Jamie, at St Helens Bait & Tackle, the East Coast Specialists.

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