Big tuna rock in as bream turn up the volume
  |  First Published: May 2013

Much of the action in May for the Hobart region centres around competition time for bream and tuna anglers.

Not only with the states’ tournament bream anglers but also the national ABT show rolls into town as some of the big guns head south to take on Tassie’s best bream anglers and the biggest bags in the country.

May 4th-5th will see the bream leg of the ABT tour hit the Derwent chasing our infamous big black bream. Everyone wants to fish the Derwent round as without question nothing can compare to the bags weighed here, but the cost of boat transport across Bass Straight is prohibitive to say the least. Behind the scenes it’s something I’m still working on and we are getting somewhere but a lot to do for a result still.

The Derwent round holds all bar one of the national records, which I believe is for the individual big bream weight.

While the local Classic scene is growing the ABT qualifiers are a different set up. Instead of fishing with a partner you enter as either a boater or non-boater. Boaters then get paired at random with a different non-boater each day. You then need to land five legal fish each and weigh them separately before release.

Last year Mark Mangold from NSW took out the boater section with a solid 10kg bag.

The Derwent at the time of writing is absolutely firing with some phenomenal fishing at present. The fish are spread out right through the system and are in cracking condition. Current bags would be pushing new records for sure. Lure fishing is the way to go right now with fish in pretty tight on most rocky shores. Hopefully the fishing continues through to the ABT.

Later in the month the 3rd and final round of the TAS Bream Classic also hits the Derwent. Last year Andrew Cox and Steve Steer of Team Cranka weighed a record 13.775kg 10 fish bag for the two days of fishing. Astonishing as that may seem to most mainland bream anglers what’s even more eye opening is the unlucky team that still missed the top 10 weighing in over 10kg! Eleven teams notched up the magic 10kg mark last year. But that’s just the Derwent for you.

Game Fishing

The game fishing is still firing out of Pirates Bay at Eagle Hawk Neck on the Tasman Peninsula. Big albacore have been a feature this season with most boats landing 20kg plus fish every time out. It’s been a cracking year for big fish with the average size well up on many previous seasons. Skippers are targeting the bigger fish watching water temperatures closely. Stripy tuna are everywhere as usual, but find a drop in temperature and they disappear and the albies come aboard.

Bluefin are in good numbers out of Southport, with smaller fish around the Friars and bigger fish currently south of Whale Head to Pedra Branca and beyond. A massive 125kg jumbo kicked off proceedings in March, and with some very settled weather the Mewstone on the way to Maatsuyker was featuring in many reports and SBT’s were landed in good numbers. Let’s hope the jumbos continue into this month.

The Tuna Club of Tasmania will hold two Rally’s in May; Rally 4 on Saturday 4th and Rally 5 on Saturday 18th.

Some excellent reports with the yellowtail kingfish lately also, with some good numbers landed in close to the Lanterns and around Waterfall Bay.

Fish were hooked up trolling then targeted with soft plastics right up tight on the kelp walls. Most fish between 2-4kg and providing great sport on light gear.

There’s such a big untapped opportunity with these fish with faster trolling on the structure edges, deep fishing with knife jigs and so on. May might be a tad late for them, but you just never know.

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