Big competitions sign of good time to be fishing
  |  First Published: April 2013

April is big competition time in our corner of the state with the Club Marine Tom Jenkins Memorial Bluefin Tuna Contest run out of Pirates Bay at Eagle Hawk Neck by the Tuna Club of Tasmania (TCT).

This event is the biggest on the calendar for the saltwater anglers. Bluefin started to appear regularly in late February on the southern hot spots with a few random catches around the peninsula indicating they weren’t far away in good numbers. It had been a bumper season early for the SA guys so the months ahead look very promising.

The TCT will hold a briefing on Wednesday 24th April from 7:30pm preceding the three day event starting on Thursday 25th April through Saturday 27th April. Full information for the event can be found on the club website at www.tunacluboftasmania.org.au

It was also great to receive some photos of the junior members at a recent Albacore Challenge Junior/Small Fry event. The kids love catching a fish and the albies are great fun and as we all know are exceptional on the table.

Excellent catches of striped trumpeter have been reported at the time of writing. These prized table fish are always on the radar for the saltwater guys and have been coming at good numbers and sizes for some time. Many guarded hot spots are kept secret but find some light structure on the bottom and you should be on the way to success.

Plenty of mako action on the cards also with captures right around the north to south east coasts. One specimen recorded at close to 4m swimming beside a 4.5m runabout. Needless to say this wasn’t tackled with, as it would have pulled the scales down to several hundred kilos. At that size it may have even been mistakenly identified and a possible great white. Plenty of mako taken in the 30-60kg bracket which is a good eating size and these fish have been in strong numbers.

Closer to home for me the Derwent has been fishing very well for bream right through 2013. We should see an influx of boats over April with teams pre-fishing this water leading up to the third and final round of the TAS Bream Classics and the Tasmanian leg of the travelling ABT Qualifier event.

The ABT event is held the first weekend of May giving the entrants a couple of weeks to fish in April before the two week pre fish ban kicks in. I would encourage interested anglers to come along and check out the weigh-in at the national event. Some of the country’s best anglers will be attending with our states locals taking up the challenge to them.

Last year Mark Mangold from NSW took the win. Teams depart by order of entry at 7am on Saturday from the Lindisfarne Yacht Club and weigh-in is 2pm and streamed live on the ABT website to a nationwide audience. A big crowd tunes in as the biggest bags in the country are caught right here.

It’s been a top summer on the big black bream of the Derwent and while this year both the Classic and ABT rounds are a little later than usual it’s still expected to produce some big bags. If things hold up the ABT could be looking at once again rewriting the competition record books in Tasmania.

Last year’s Derwent round of the Classics saw Team Cranka with a 13.77kg bag take out the win. This is the biggest tournament 10 fish bag I’m aware of and would certainly set a new ABT record. That comp had a 10kg plus bag miss the top ten in 11th place. That might astound most mainland bream anglers but here on the Derwent it’s just another day.

The Derwent Classic is run out of the Austins Ferry Yacht Club on the weekend of 25th/26th May. It too has a two week exclusion with teams here getting a week window following on from the ABT to come up with a plan of attack.

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