Peak of the season
  |  First Published: April 2012

April is perhaps the peak of the Flinders Island fishing season, with water temperatures at their high for the year.

The range of species is at their maximum with all the resident fish competing with the summer visitors for the schools of bait on both sides of the island.

Interestingly the bait type varies in different areas making the fish selective to their location.

To the south around Clarke Island the yellowtail kingfish and Australian salmon schools seem to feed on small squid moving through Banks Strait.

A few kilometres north and to the west around Goose Island the main source of feed for the kingfish is redbait and closer to shore large schools of salmon and snook are feeding on small whitebait and small mackerel.

To the east of Flinders and all the way down the Tassie coast, the main bait source of feed is large schools of redbait.

These are attracting albacore and yellowfin, with striped marlin following along. All up, this is producing a fantastic fishing season.

Autumn produces some fine calm spells and when things offshore are quiet, fishing the bottom on the continental slope can be very productive, with blue eye trevalla, hapuku and pink ling among the best eating fish available anywhere; the only problem being that they choose to live in 400-500m of water.

Electric reels and other aids are becoming popular, but here on Flinders the best set up seems to be a two handed Alvey winch, 600m of 180lb braid and a 500lb mono leader with 13/0 circle hooks and striped tuna or squid for bait.

Strong arms also help.

Autumn and early winter provide some of the best fishing around Flinders Island and with the very warm water this year the season should run well into May and even later well offshore.

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

Bill Spurrier, a regular angler from Melbourne with an 18kg and 16kg trevalla.

Reads: 1927

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