Still plenty of good fish in the cold water
  |  First Published: July 2013

July generally provides harsh pickings for the southern-based angler with inclement weather usually hampering anglers.

The likelihood of snow on the higher peaks often results in cooler inflows and a drop in water temperatures. In addition to this we usually get plenty of rain which in turn affects the water quality.

It’s not all doom and gloom though with southern bluefin tuna, striped trumpeter, morwong perch, garfish, sea trout, Atlantic salmon and the occasional Calamari squid all on offer.

Southport itself will provide ordinary fishing during July with it one of the more unproductive months to be fishing the Lune River and the bay proper.

Of recent times boat anglers have used this seaside township as the base for a mission to Pedra Branca.

Pedra has become a well-recognised fishery with SBT and striped trumpeter the two main target species.

At the time of writing Tasmanian game anglers are still catching SBT with anglers predicting they will stick around throughout the winter months.

Although the size of fish being caught at Pedra may be more fickle than past seasons all reports are indicating there are plenty of school fish available.

Tuna lures usually consist of a spread including two or three large pushers (usually dark in colour) a smaller bullet head lure or Yo Zuri skirt and finally a deep diver rigged with doubles.

The standard outfits are made up of 15kg and 24kg overhead combos..

For those that prefer bottom bouncing, still days provide the perfect opportunity to tackle morwong perch and striped trumpeter.

Large threadline reels or Alveys are usually the required tools these being spooled with 50-80lb braid. Of late electric overhead reels are also proving popular.

Best baits are squid, striped tuna belly flap, pilchards, octopus, mackerel and redbait.

The D’Entrecasteaux Channel, just like the Derwent River sustains a reasonably healthy sea run trout fishery but as an added bonus the channel also holds a healthy population of escapee Atlantic salmon.

The Atlantic salmon can be caught using a similar method as you would to target sea trout such as a slowly retrieved unweighted pretty fish.

Proven productive locations include Castle Forbes Bay, Waterloo, Cygnet and Dover.

Dover, located south of Huonville is also a renowned fishing spot and is easily accessible for land-based and boat anglers.

The area offers a variety of sportfish but can be subject to large amounts of run off after heavy rainfall. Anglers can fish off the wharf located in the bay targeting species such as yellowtail mackerel, yellow eye mullet, Australian salmon, flathead and the occasional squid.

The nearby Esperance River is also a great sheltered location that can be a saviour in rough weather. From previous experience the Esperance River is also a great place to target garfish.

A berley trail and bait or small soft plastics are the most effective methods. For those up for a challenge I have also caught them on small marabou flies.

Although I have found the going tough of late, flounder fishing in the channel can also be productive during July. The small beaches in the lower channel are productive at times with more options also available on Bruny Island.

Reads: 1986

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