March promises plenty for north west anglers
  |  First Published: March 2013

March is sure to be a very hectic month for fishers along the North West coast.

Now is the time when people are beginning to panic because the water temperatures are almost beginning to taper and drop. Most anglers are dashing out on every opportunity they have to make the most of the good weather and give certain species one last crack before it’s too late.

One of the species that comes to mind is the mako shark. So far there has been a slow start to the sharking season and it’s been very on and off compared to previous years. In the recent Devonport shark competition there were very few sharks spotted for the amount of boats fishing. That being said, so far in the season there have been some larger fish caught as opposed to last season where smaller sharks seemed to be more abundant!

I seem to recall that we had our most successful trips in March last year. We even got six different makos up in one day including a big girl of around 130kg! Who knows what March will hold on the sharking side of things, but if it’s anything like last year I’m sure shark anglers are in for a treat!

Just as a refresher: anywhere off the coast in around 40-50m of water in places that are abundant with arrow squid and barracouta is the go. Remember you are there to cover ground so a slight breeze is a big advantage. Use lots of oily berley to make an unbroken trail that will be irrespirable to a passing curious shark and most importantly, be patient! It can take six hours to get a shark up or it can take 5 minutes. It really is a lucky dip so go out and get lucky!

There are other species like snapper and kingfish (both of which have been caught lately around the Burnie/Wivenhoe area) that come to mind as targets before the depressing climb down to winter, but the freshwater scene must not be overlooked either!

For many anglers (including myself) warm days during March will be spent on rivers and streams enjoying what I believe is some of the most fantastic dry fly fishing to be had here in Tasmania! I don’t know why, but my best dry fly river sessions were in March.

I would ignore the salt and spend my days wading the Emu River while pulling fish on black spinners and Royal Wulffs. It was always as if presentation wasn’t as important to the fish in March. Sloppy casts with bizarre flies produced plenty of interest with some unusual captures like the Australian grayling and galaxia. So if you’re a freshwater fanatic, make the most of this month because from here on dry fly opportunities will lessen. And there’s nothing worse than sitting at home with cabin fever in winter dwindling about missed opportunities in the past, so tuck in!

The native grayling can often pop up and take a fly in March – please remember that these fish are totally protected.

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