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Exciting prospects for December with warm water
  |  First Published: December 2012



With water temperatures on the rise anglers should be excited about the prospects that December has to offer.

Bream are beginning to become increasingly aggressive in the estuaries with late November and December flagged as a great time of year to be fishing the east coast estuaries and the far south fisheries such as the Esperance, Lune and Huon rivers.

For those looking at chasing a feed of flathead over the Christmas/New Year’s break, Bruny Island in particular the area around Adventure Bay is bound to be popular.

Anglers wanting to tussle something larger, then the Tasman Peninsula is the place to be and as long as the water temperature cooperates anglers will be in with the chance of landing a mako shark or an early game season albacore.

Tasman Peninsula

Over the Christmas period both Pirates Bay and Fortescue Bay are bound to be popular with both boat ramps a hype of activity as anglers make the most of the close proximity to the continental shelf.

Pirates Bay, although not providing camping facilities does provide some very up to date boat launching facilities.

Boat anglers can fish north towards the sister or south towards Hypolyte rocks and Tasman Island where striped trumpeter, king flathead and perch are all target species.

Bait fishing with squid, blue bait and fish pieces is recommended.

Although it is hard to predict, the occasional mako and blue shark should also be available, with the 100m line the recognised go to mark.

The occasional albacore is also an option.

The shore based angler will do well fishing off the main jetty where mackerel and mullet are prolific.

For those that are after a feed, a longer cast with a paternoster rig will usually mean sand flathead or small cocky salmon. Blue bait or fish strips are the best baits.

Calamari also hunt over the inshore weed beds with late afternoon and evening the best time to fish.

Surf fishing from the beach can also be productive with salmon, mullet and flathead all target species.

D’Entrecasteaux Channel

At the time of writing the southern rivers are popular with anglers chasing sea run trout. It has already been predicted that due to high river flows early in the whitebait season that the bait may well hang around until late November or early December. Besides sea run trout rivers such as the Huon also give up impressive numbers of Atlantic salmon and resident trout.

Although fish can be caught throughout it is the upper reaches (above the road bridge) that produce the most fish on a regular basis.

The middle reaches will gives up some well-respected bream and estuary species such as yellow eye mullet, mackerel and even the odd inquisitive juvenile barracouta and flathead.

Soft plastic anglers will do best to drift and spin from a boat. Trolling with winged lures and large bibbed minnows such as a Rapalas is effective.

Further south, anglers will find the Esperance River and the Lune productive December fisheries.

As access is often difficult the boat angler is at a greater advantage with both rivers being made up of various sand bars, holes and subsequent drop offs.

Besides bait fishing drifting over the many dips and flats with soft plastics and fly will give up an array of species – bream and trout being the champagne species.

Further south rivers such as the D’Entrecasteaux and Catamaran both offer an array of species. It is also recommended these be fished from a small boat or kayak.

As mentioned above the flathead fishing around Adventure Bay off Bruny Island is also productive at this time of year.

For those after more sport or a good place to take the kids the bay right in front of the Kettering pub is as productive stretch of water. Anglers will encounter various species including juvenile barracouta, Atlantic salmon, Australian salmon, mackerel, mullet and squid.

I have also heard the occasional rumour of bream being caught around the many boat moorings and small jetties.

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