January comes alive along the coast
  |  First Published: December 2012

January is here! It’s time to put all those Christmas presents to use and work away the festive cheer.

It’s also the time to get your rod bent on the quality fish this warm water has to offer! This is when Tasmania’s waters truly become alive. With plenty of big sharks showing up things are looking up for another cracker month of fishing!


Calamari and arrow squid can be found quite abundantly in our waters with the warmer water. I found calamari usually thicker off rocky points with plenty of weed and also on hard rocky reef in around 4m of water. Often they are observed attacking Australian salmon while I was winding them in. The two most frequently asked questions when it comes to ‘squidding’ are about the jig and the colour.

Now any experienced squid angler will say that expensive $20+ jigs will work better than cheaper jigs, and that’s true! I find I have a much better sink and presentation with them. However, squid may not be the smartest invertebrate and they will still happily attack cheaper jigs. Colour is a touchy subject with many different opinions. For me, I swear by orange, for commercial guys, they like red and white. I have guys coming into the shop saying blue, green, pink – it really doesn’t seem to matter!


One of the more appealing targets in our scale fish range that warmer weather provides is snapper. Now although Tasmania may not be renowned for big reds, they are certainly here!

Three Hummock Island and Robins Island produce the most big snapper in the northwest coast. Generally if you set out targeting flathead and gummy shark you are in the chance of coming across one of these big reds as by-catch in around 20m of water. I caught plenty of small pinkies in Burnie Bay around the breakwall so there must be bigger ones around.

It’s all about putting the time and effort in!

Night fishing is something that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough around the North West Coast. It can be extremely productive! Places like Wivenhoe Beach which has deep gutters or sandy bottom around rocky outcrops like Red Rock (Cooee) are renowned hotspots.

Just pick a high tide in the evening or just after sunset, set up a berley trail and cast oily baits on paternoster rigs out and you could be rewarded with some fantastic gummy sharks or elephant fish (you just have to put up with the draught board sharks, stingrays and skates).

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