Trout in the estuaries but squid popular in the salt
  |  First Published: August 2013

When thinking of August the mind automatically switches to trout fishing with the opening of the 2013/14 freshwater season the highlight for this month.

Besides the productive fishing to be experienced in the Derwent and Huon rivers for trout, southern anglers still have a couple of months to wait until the overall fishing improves.

That said the saltwater angler with the required vessel will still find calm, clear days conducive to bottom bouncing off the Tasmanian Peninsula or the southern end of Bruny Island and beyond where striped trumpeter are the usual target species.

D’Entrecasteaux Channel

The Channel offers some superb early season trout fishing even though it is not as heavily publicised as the well-recognised Derwent River. The bonus of course is the increased chance of battling a healthy escapee Atlantic salmon.

Atlantic salmon can be caught using similar methods as you would to target sea trout, a slowly retrieved unweighted pretty fish or a well presented spoon lure or soft plastic.

Proven productive locations are scattered throughout the channel with Castle Forbes Bay, Port Huon, Kermandie, Waterloo, Cygnet and Dover all good spots.

Depending on snow melt and rainfall events the lower Channel around Gordon will also offer an array of species including yellowtail mackerel, yellow eye mullet, small sand flathead, Australian salmon, barracouta and the occasional calamari squid.

Further south the Esperance River near Dover is a great sheltered location that can be a saviour in rough weather.

The river mouth holds good numbers of flathead, juvenile Australian salmon and during still, clear conditions garfish work their way up the sheltered estuarine waters.

As mentioned last month there are also various options for those chasing a feed of flounder with Bruny Island well worth the mission.


Although the majority of anglers have locked away the tuna gear the occasional devotee may still be circling Pedra Branca or Mewstone in search of a school bluefin or trophy jumbo.

At the time of writing Tasmanian game anglers are still catching school southern bluefin tuna with numbers increasing over the last month.

Pedra Branca seems to be growing in popularity with this landmark a recognised hotspot for attracting all types of marine life including seals, striped trumpeter, bait fish and bluefin tuna!

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.

Due to the resident seal population and the chance of hooking a jumbo most anglers choose to fish a minimum of 15kg, with 24kg and 37kg overhead combo’s making up the standard outfit.

For those that prefer bottom fishing the still days are perfect for striped trumpeter.

Large thread line reels or Alvey reels are usually the required tools these being spooled with 50-80lb braid.

Best baits are squid, striped tuna belly flap, pilchards, octopus and red bait. Again it is recommended to avoid areas with increased seal activity.

Noted calamari expert Ashley Hallam and his daughter show just how good the east coast squid can be.

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