Offshore scene hits its peak with high tuna numbers
  |  First Published: March 2013

It has been a hive of activity on the water around St Helens in the bay and offshore.

Increasing offshore water temperatures, up to 20C just inside the shelf line and between 17-18.5C just offshore have seen small albacore around 3-5kg being caught by numerous anglers. Most of the larger fish, up to 12kg, have been caught on the shelf line however recently a few larger specimens up to 16-18kg have been caught around the 100m mark. Most are falling to small 4-6” sized trolling lures such as small Christmas Trees and feathers however a couple of standout styles are small Hexhead Lures.

Mako sharks have also increased in numbers with many anglers tussling with the hard fighting shark right along the coast. Some of the smaller fish even being caught only a few km offshore. Fish from 90kg right through to 180kg have been caught and released during recent months.

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 are 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, with one angler boating a fish around 8kg.

Georges Bay

Georges Bay has continued to produce a wide variety of fish. 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.

Other fish such as King George whiting, elephant fish and small pinkie snapper are continuing to be caught on a consistent basis as well as a host of other fish such as leatherjacket, mullet, tailor, flathead and squid.

Anglers have been peppering the flats for the last couple of months and with the annual ABT-style bream tournaments on the calendar for February and March it’s been no surprise. Many anglers are reporting that there are larger numbers of bream then they have seen during the last few seasons with many larger fish over 40cm present as well.

Stand out lures have been the 100mm Squidgy Wriggler in Wasabi, Shimano Lure Project Medium Minnow in Baitfish Blue and Glass Shrimp and the Cranka Cranks in quite a few colours.

The beach fishing up and down the coast has also been reasonably consistent with good catches of Australian salmon right the way from south of Four Mile Creek right up to Tailors Beach north of Binalong Bay.

The mouth of Scamander River has also been producing some decent Bream catches, mostly around the sand flats below the road bridge but also under the bridge pylons themselves, and a surprise catch has been plenty of decent sized luderick, not a common fish to be caught in Tasmanian waters but a welcome addition to the species list.

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