Games species surge in the south east
  |  First Published: December 2012

January is one of the most popular months on the Tasmanian Fishing calendar as anglers converge on the water in their thousands, not only because the weather is often favourable but because the warm water attracts an array of species.

Our central highland lakes and lowland rivers such as the Huon are all fishing well with slow flows providing easy access and consistent fishing.

The estuaries are full of the usual target species such as bream, flathead, salmon and mullet, and the warm water attracts the unusual visitors such as tailor, silvery trevally and the highly sought after kingfish and snapper.

Out wide, the blue water angler should be getting amongst the game fishing action with albacore, yellowfin tuna, mako and blue sharks and the odd striped marlin all on the menu.

D’Entrecasteaux Channel

With numerous land-based platforms and small jetties scattered throughout the channel, the area is very popular with families and tourists through this the peak of the summer season.

Popular locations are the old Safcol Wharf at Margate and the ‘Gun Powder’ jetty in North West Bay.

Both of these locations will produce good numbers of tasty flathead, cod, squid (both calamari and arrows), mullet, mackerel and the occasional Australian salmon.

Bait fishing is the most popular.

Heading further south, the bay at Kettering is as productive water as any. Anglers are likely to encounter various species including juvenile barracouta, Atlantic salmon, Australian salmon, mackerel, mullet and flathead. I recall a rumour too that the odd large bream inhabits the bay.

Bait fishing and soft plastics are the two recommended methods.

For those wishing to try their hand at saltwater flyfishing, this area also offers suitable sheltered water conditions and aided with a productive berley trail the options are endless.

Further south again is Southport an area that provides opportunities for both the fresh and saltwater angler.

Outside the mouth of the Lune River boat anglers can target calamari squid, flathead, cod, wrasse, striped trumpeter, gurnard and morwong perch.

The reef fishing, although a little more patchy than the Tasman Peninsula can be quite productive.

The most popular technique is traditional bait fishing with a paternoster rig and squid or pilchards as bait.

For those feeling a little more active, drift spinning the shoreline from a boat is also highly recommended where anglers will encounter a large array of sportfish including Australian salmon, wrasse, pike and barracouta. I also confident the occasional kingfish visits these waters.

For those prepared to get amongst the action there is also crayfish and abalone on offer.

If preferring the more sheltered waters the Lune River located on the inside of the headland offers typical estuary fishing with good numbers of bream, sea run and resident trout, flathead and large numbers of small Australian salmon on offer.

Back towards Hobart the freshwater angler wanting to catch a trout or three should concentrate on the Huon River or the often more productive small streams around Judbury.

Anglers who love a hike, Lake Skinner is a well-respected rainbow trout fishery.

Pirates Bay

As mentioned above, game fishers state wide should be well and truly amongst the thick of it come January.

Over the next three months this area will be a hype of game fishing activity.

Anglers will do best to launch at Pirates bay or Fortescue bay and head straight out to the famous Hypolyte Rocks.

Trolling traditional Yo-Zuri style squid skirts and Mack baits is effective. It is recommended to also run a large pusher in amongst the spread.

Albacore and yellowfin tuna will be the target species at this time of the year with some larger than average specimens of the later the real prize.

Besides the tuna, January is also a productive month to be chasing mako and blue sharks.

Anglers not wanting to tackle the big stuff there is plenty to keep the more sheltered water angler happy with the bay itself holding wrasse, barracouta, mullet, mackerel, calamari squid and the odd flathead.

The area also offers charters to suit most budgets, for more information enquire at your local tackle store.

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