Come have a look at the Apple Isle
  |  First Published: March 2014

Tasmania has so much to offer the mainland angler with fabulous fishing grounds that are on par with any in the nation. Some of our species will happily go toe-to-toe with all comers. Bream, squid whiting and bluefin tuna are all world class.

Anglers that are used to big line ups and crowded fishing areas will be blown away by the ease and accessibility of the region’s fishery. Boat ramps in Tasmania are free to use and so is the available parking. The atmosphere at the ramp is friendly and everyone is happy to help those that need a hand.

The upside down triangle shape of Tasmania with its many inlets, bays and harbours allows a plan of attack in any wind condition. All that effort in putting a trip together can be very frustrating with a week of unfavourable winds. In Tasmanian with a 2 hour drive, it’s blowing offshore somewhere.

Cheap fares by air or sea means that Tasmania has never been so accessible to those looking for adventure and something a little different. The friendly nature of the place along with its much slower lifestyle tempo means after but a few days you are relaxed and in the groove. Nothing is a problem and if you slip into one of the local tackle stores they will be more than happy to share any information on what and where the hot bite is.

Speak to Jaime at St Helens Bait and Tackle, as it’s the place to go when fishing the Georges Bay area. He has fished it for many years and constantly has his ear to the ground. He often says that for species count and quality the St Helens and Georges Bay area would struggle to be beaten. The area was fishing very well early in the season with good numbers and size bream being posted on Facebook. This is fairly obligatory now so if you would like to see the quality of the fishing in and around the Tasmanian east coast get across and slap a like on St Helens Bait & Tackle and check out their pics.


The game fishing scene is growing from strength to strength in Tasmania. The southern bluefin fishery is the staple of most anglers, however albacore and striped marlin also feature. The next run of really good yellowfin cannot be far away and we are all waiting with anticipation.

Unlike yester year when we used to just rely on word of mouth and catch reports, more and more anglers are learning and subscribing to sea surface chart websites. These can open up a whole new way in which to plan a trip and maximise success. Combining information around tide change and moon phase and logging good results can mean a more targeted approach next time they all align.

It is not just the traditional game fish that are keeping Tasmanian anglers entertained. In February there were some big schools of big salmon to 4kg in Bass Strait and those anglers that persisted pulled some nice yellowtail kingfish from amongst them. On light gear, this is game fishing for one and all, and can cause as many hoots and hollers from anglers being taken to task as the more fancied game species. So if you are reading this and don’t want to miss anymore of the action get into a local tackle store and find out where the hot bite is currently and get involved.

If you game fish in Tasmania you always have one ear out for those two words you look for at this time every year, “JUMBO caught!” March is a little early, but only just. Local fisho Leo Miller always says, “There are no fences in the ocean and if the food comes, so will they.”

Jumbos are fish over the 100kg mark and they came last season, and they came with conviction – big schools of triple digit fish in big schools. In amongst them were fish much bigger than that. If they come again this year we will be better prepared and keener than ever. We all learnt a bit more last year and we will be looking to try new things.

A jumbo southern bluefin in temperate waters he calls home is a monumental battle and one certainly to look forward to or travel interstate for. If you hear they have come to make the Tasman Peninsula home again, don’t hesitate to get on the phone. Ring a local tackle store to see if it is true, ring an airline to get over here and ring to book a charter. If you are looking to get your own boat over here, then again ring a local tackle store for Hooch and Mozz’s number. They will help in any way they can.


The small town of Triabunna has been effected negatively by the timber industry down turn. It was home to a large wood chip mill responsible for a large part of its existence. This mill is closed, but its deep water port is still an asset.

The deep water port is on the minds of a number of clever people that have big things in store for Triabunna, but as with some big plans there are some delays in enacting.

It was this deep water port and vibrant marine environment that got people thinking. In the short term it was decided that Triabunna would be a fabulous new venue for a 2 day fishing competition and boat show. The first weekend in April will see Triabunna waterfront come alive with a sanctioned game fishing tournament and an unsanctioned competition for those that would like to try their hand. The Game Fishing Club of Northern Tasmania will be involved throughout the weekend and will be working with the local community to put on a ground-breaking event for Tasmania. The prize pool for both days is well above anything that Tasmania has seen for some time and currently at $25,000. This is of course not the only reason to attend. There will be information sessions and trade stalls, food and refreshments.

The game fishing scene and recreational fishing industry has come together to put on an event that will not only deliver a vital economic stimulus to the Triabunna area but, put in place the foundation for the event in future years.

Anyone interested in being a part as an entrant go to www.fishtasmania.com.au/

Deegan Marine Team PENN

Team PENN has a great many people to thank for the tools they have at their disposal. They enjoy massive support from Evinrude outboards, SIMRAD electronics and Surtees Boats. This has all come to fruition from the staff and Hadley Deegan at Deegan Marine. In Tasmania Deegan Marine, or as previously known Lindsey Deegan Marine, has been part of the boating scene since oars were a performance option. This business has grown from strength to strength and really does ‘take Tasmania boating’.

This Team and its current configuration could not have eventuated if it was not for the willingness of PENN reels Australia to have invested in the Tasmania fishing scene. This investment continues to provide benefit and new opportunity to Tasmanian anglers and the invigoration of the industry is evident by events, such as Triabunna’s Seafest.

Team PENN attend as many competitions and fishing events it can throughout the calendar year. Agfest and the newly organised Triabunna Seafest are other places you can catch up with the team and have a chat.

Forever keen to catch up and share their love and appreciation of Tasmania and all the life lessons and good times fishing delivers.

The Surtees boat has been fitted out with equipment that makes game fishing and indeed all fishing a real experience so by all means ask the crew about anything you may be interested in.

Team PENN was very happy to be invited to the Port Stephens Interclub held recently and attended with one thing in mind. To soak and learn as much off the men and women that make catching marlin look easy. When they return they will be looking to share that experience with Tasmanian anglers. So if you see them at an event or at a ramp near you, get along and say G’day.

You can catch up with the lads on facebook at Team PENN international game fishing team. – Kelly Hunt

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