July doesn’t offer the southern Tasmanian angler a great deal of choices with cool weather, limited species and cold water temperatures predominating discussions.
Anglers who have the appropriate clothing and are prepared to take on the elements still have good options available.
The occasionally still, winter conditions provide comfortable fishing for an array of reef species, with striped trumpeter and morwong perch the two most sought after target species.
Big bream are still a realistic chance for the soft plastic angler as are resident trout in the lower estuaries.
At the time of writing the sought after southern bluefin tuna are still hanging around with recent reports indicating Storm Bay is still as good a spot as any.
Game anglers are continuing to fish the tail end of the annual southern bluefin tuna run, with the odd small school bluefin being caught in the 15-20kg size class.
Although a number of large boats head off shore to Pedra Branca this time of year the peninsula still gives up the odd larger than average specimen with popular locations such as Hypolyte Rock, Cape Pillar, Fortescue Bay and Tasman Island good places to start.
Lures are a very personal choice but I would be recommending large pushers in dark colours such as black, midnight oil, brown and purple. Smaller pushers can also be effective especially if fish are visibly feeding on top, green and yellow or silver are recommended colours. Deep diving Rapalas are effective as are the time proven Mack baits.
On calm still days anglers are best to target bottom species with the many reefs holding striped trumpeter, morwong perch, gurnard, wrasse and the occasional flathead.
The best rig for the above mentioned species is a paternoster rig, rigged on 80lb mono fished on 50lb braid. Squid, pilchards and fish pieces are recommended baits.
Tasman Island and areas south east of the Hypolyte Rock are proven stomping grounds.
For those that simply can’t hang up the rod in what is possibly the worst month to fish in Tassie the inside of Bruny in the D’Entrecasteaux Chanel offers plenty of sheltered water fishing for the keen angler.
The area holds a number of species including hard fighting Atlantic salmon, the humble flathead, garfish, mullet, mackerel and flounder.
Besides fishing structures, in the likes of the numerous jetties scattered throughout the area, anglers should use berley to attract their target species. A combination of bread, tuna oil, fish species, mussels and cat food is usually a winner.
For those that wish to lure and saltwater fly fish anglers will have the most enjoyment targeting sporting species such as the above mentioned escapee Atlantic salmon.
Lure anglers should concentrate on fishing across the shoreline with the Atlantic salmon, mullet and mackerel all generally holding close to shore. Fishing the oyster-clad reefs is recommended.
Anglers should carry an array of spoon-style lures, bibbed minnows and of course soft plastics.
Small non-descript whitebait flies are effective with patterns such as the BMS and cutthroat whitebait being good starting points. For those that are proficient in tying their own flies small white and pink marabou patterns are also effective.
Storm Bay has of late been producing some small school sized southern bluefin tuna for those wishing to take on the elements outside the channel.
As this is an irregular occurrence I am not sure if these fish will continue to stay in the area or not.
If we are fortunate, large red and white Rapala’s fished on 15kg mono have been effective as have small brown Yo Zuri squid skirts.Reads: 936