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On the chew in October
  |  First Published: October 2016



Sunday 2 October is a date anglers must mark and celebrate with gusto. Why? Because daylight savings starts! It’s go time and time to fire up. I know that spring was last month, but as always Tassie is a little behind. October is the month where we can all get a little Egyptian and worship the great Ra, God of the sun.

There is more of it, it is around longer and it brings the fishing on. To be fair, the fishing has been quite solid through winter and early spring, but not everyone wants to dress up looking like Douglas Mawson about to attack the South Pole.

The weather has been getting better throughout September, but the water temperatures are slower to react. October will see the water temperatures start to shift upwards and signal to all species to move and get active. This should also be the case with the anglers out there. The sun brings with it some enthusiasm and warmth that is infectious so get the gear sorted. So stock up on stuff you have run out of or lost, get outside and wet a line!

The striped trumpeter season is still closed, so we won’t be talking about them, but Tasmania’s other favoured fish for eating will be active and hungry. The humble flathead is the target for thousands of Tasmanian anglers each year and October has them come on strong around the state.

Calamari have hated the outflow of freshwater and stirred up coastal conditions in previous months. In October though, look for them to come on around the state like mad. If a day out on the boat with mates results in some flathead and some squid, those hungry mouths at home will be suitably impressed.

I still hear of people that would not eat squid? I’m not sure if this is because they look like large marine spiders, or that they do not know how to clean them, but if this is you, you are missing out. Squid and flathead introduced to egg and bread crumbs is sensational when deep fried, shallow fried, or even barbecued. Throw a simple salad together and you’re good to go!

Let’s have a quick look at what’s unfolding this month.
North West
Smithton and Stanley

The Smithton area is on the North West tip of Tasmania is often overlooked by Tasmanians as a fishing destination. This really pleases the locals, as the fishing is very good.

The slow rise in water temperatures will start to have places like the west inlet near Stanley really come alive. The fishing in here can have something for the baitfishers as well as the lure and soft plastic tragics.

Slow hopping a plastic with a long pause can produce some interesting results. If you don’t have any success, make your hops smaller and more erratic and your pauses longer. This works very well with plastics that are grub-like or made to imitate a worm.

If your plastic has a big paddle-tail or t-tail, keep that moving and vary your slow roll with a few rod tip rips.

Two common mistakes with plastic fishing is not concentrating when putting the plastic on the jighead, and not allowing the plastic to sink if you’re fishing deep water. While not rocket science, getting a plastic on a jig properly is well worth the effort.

Using these techniques should have you finding some nice very nice flathead and silver trevally in the inlet. The same can be said for the Duck River further along the road to Smithton. The added bonus of the Duck River in October is the advent of the searun trout. The searunners start to really thicken up as the whitebait come on strong throughout the month. Look for the trout along the edges, driving bait as they go. The reduced water on a low tide will be your friend. Look for pockets of water or little kick backs in the river bank where the bait is sitting, waiting for the tide to carry them upstream to spawn.

When that tide starts to come in, you can throw a few casts out across the top and pick your return speed up a bit. This may have you finding some cracker Australian salmon coming in with the tide.

River systems and estuaries come in all shapes and sizes. You just can’t say definitively what tide will be best for what species in what river. The systems in and around the Smithton and Stanley areas are very susceptible to tide, so get up there and learn what works for you and take note of all the little things. Weather, wind and tide can all be noted, as well as what you caught and how you caught it. That way, the next time you go up you can look at your notes and not have 20 casts trying to remember what worked previously.

Stanley is a wonderful place to go fishing around in a boat. Make sure if you are heading there for the first time that you take it easy and go slowly. No one wants to be ‘that angler’ that put their flash new boat up on Shag Rock.

I have a little tip for you. When going to a new area and you are unsure of the hazards or depths of the area, look on Google Earth and set it to satellite view. You will see what the ground is like in and around the boat ramp and any dangers that are on the route you wish to take. It’s not the be all and end all of marine safety practice, so please use your eyes and chart plotter as well. What it can do is give you a good little heads up for the area you are looking to fish and can quite often, show a few places worth a try.

What you might find on Google Earth or your electronic charts around Stanley are some features that are worth a look for snapper. These fish have been caught for years in the area and the locals have it sussed. If you find a likely spot and can hold anchor on the right tide, there is much success to be had. Running sinker strayline rigs over the back corner with whole pilchards or whiting as bait is a great way to catch them. In the side rod holders, I would run a snapper flasher rig with some strips of squid or tentacle to cover the bases. Berley cubes are worth a go, with a little often the right measure for some interest. Combine these with a small weighted berley pot on a rope on the seafloor at the stern of the boat and it should only be a matter of time before those rods buckle over!

Sisters Beach

This area is a favourite of mine and it has an interesting boat ramp. It’s tricky to launch at low tide for bigger boats, but no problems after two hours of incoming. It’s actually an area that is good to have a look at on Google Earth before attempting to launch at.

Once you have the ramp and surrounding areas mastered, you can move on and enjoy the fishing wealth. Riches are in every direction and with a little time up your sleeve, you can find flathead, squid, couta and solid Australian salmon.

On a still day in some of the little rocky bays towards Boat Harbour, you can also target some nice sized garfish.

October is about flathead and squid, so let’s concentrate on those for this month at Sisters Beach. Right in front of you to the port side will be a point, its called Wet Cave Point. It should be called ‘loaded with squid point’, as it so often is. To the seaward side right back into the shallows is a fantastic spot to load up on squid. Take some to eat and bank some flesh early in the trip. Squid hoods are always nice to have fresh, but looked after well they can be frozen and are good to eat whenever you so desire. You will also have some great fresh bait for the rest of the day’s flathead fishing.

When squidding in this area around the point, you can work both sides of a drifting boat. The landside is shallower, so use the cheaper lighter jigs and really work the bottom over. The squid will be in the ledgey and broken ground waiting to pounce. On the other side of the boat, away from land, it drops away into deeper water and a sandy edge. The water quality is often sensational down in this part of the world, and you can see the transition from reef to sand with your own eyes. This side of the boat is for your more expensive jigs that you do not want to lose. They should be a bit heavier, as they will need to get down to the bottom and you can work them as you drift along.

There are some other sensational areas of squid ground around the small island off the other end of the beach. Look for it on Google Maps and get a feel for where it is. Fish the east side of the island first, as this is more often than not the more sheltered side of the rocky outcrop.

Wynyard

This little seaside town often flies under the radar, and the locals will be all too happy if it continues to do so. The dual ramp in the river is a good amenity that you can share with the yacht club activities on a weekend. It is also a ramp and river that demands some attention at low tide. Vessels under 5m will have no issue at any tide, but any bigger than that and you may want to wait for some water to fill the river from a dead low tide.

Once out of the Inglis River and clear of the rocky outcrops as you leave the mouth, the sea opens right up to some great fishing. The Australian salmon are prolific around the mouth and can be caught trolling just about anything. Slicers and diving lures are popular.

The area from Fossil Bluff towards Table Cape is the type of bottom that will hold plenty of squid, pike and if you want to keep the kids amused, parrotfish and blue head. You will also find some very nice leatherjacket as well.

The type of ground I have just mentioned should also be of interest to the budding snapper fishers out there. If you have a good sounder and can find the edge where the reefy rocky sections finish and the sand starts, you are on the money for a snapper session. Once again, set yourself up to anchor and establish a berley trail. Big well-presented baits and a couple of snapper flashers should do the job.

For the snapper, explore the area with different depths and tides, and if you’re willing to put the time in you will crack them. It is a battle of wills between you and the draughtboard sharks, but if you start to catch a few, don’t worry, it’s actually a good sign. Just head a little further off the reef edge and further onto the sand. You have to sift through a little bit of by-catch when snapper fishing, because the berley will be interesting to all. It can be this activity in and around your baits and boat that can have the snapper come over and have a look.

Further out across the sea floor there are some good patches of sand to be explored off Wynyard. If you are new to the area you will have to work and find a patch. There are two ways you can start. Either head out to 40m and start your drift, or start off in close and hope you drift across them early. This is only really a weather consideration if you have not struck them anywhere recently. The winds that get up in the afternoon are more often than not north or northwesterly, so starting wide and working your way back in 5m of depth at Leven and a time is my preferred method.

If I am on a search mission for flathead, I like to fish two bait rods with different baits on the top and bottom of a paternoster rig, get them down and start a drift. Once they are down and settled on their way, a third rod can be cast with a big paddle-tail soft plastic on a jighead to suit whatever depth I am in. If it has gone 10 minutes without so much as a bite, I’m usually not happy with the spot. If there is a nice little drift going and I’m covering a little bit of ground, I will give it 10 minutes more. If there has been no action or very little after that, the spot is dead to me and I am looking to work my way into shallower water.

Here is a tip for you that you may not have thought of before. Use waypoints. They are the features we can put in our sounders to mark spots of interest. Normally, they are the spots we have caught fish. What is also of interest is spots that you have tried previously and had no luck. Mark the spots you have tried for flathead and done absolutely no good at. Pick an icon that you keep for the purpose and you won’t have to name each waypoint, but put a date in the detail. Over time you will end up with a sounder map that should have some bad waypoints and some good waypoints. Zoom out and the position or cluster of the good and bad waypoints may lead you to working out where to have a go next.

Leven and Forth

Trout season has been an absolute belter. I have seen the interest in trout wain over the last three to four years, but this season it has come back with some vigour. The keenness for those of all ages to get out and rediscover the joy and satisfaction of fooling the wily trout is fantastic to witness.

I have been lucky to see first hand how well the Leven and Forth rivers have been fishing. There is a young crew of anglers on the North West Coast who have been leading the charge. The fishing is competitive in a manner that is fun and sporting. Fish are being fought and proudly photographed, and then released for someone else to enjoy. The pictures have been uploaded to social media as a badge of honour.

The anglers are learning their craft and honing their skills. Line and its breaking strains are hotly debated. Leader material and its cotton like thinness is used to get the bite, but when the big one pounces, hearts are in mouths. Battles are won and lost and the banter is contagious.

Lures and each persons’ favourites are discussed, argued about and then argued some more. Don’t even get me started on soft plastics! They are many and varied, and they all seem to catch their fair share of fish. Rods are getting lighter and lighter and the rods that are of one-piece construction are finding favour, and long dismissed as being too awkward to travel in the car with, the performance benefits are out weighing the inconvenience.

Rod tubes are being made from PVC tube and I see cars with stretchy rope and pool noodles tied between the handles above car seats. The rods are poked up in the roof lining ready for action. Just like a surfer with a board quiver of different size ready for each style of wave, there is a rod for all occasions. Leaders are already tied and lures ready to fly. The local river fisher is an angler of opportunity. Before and after work, or even on a lunch hour, finding a backwater is the goal.

There are plenty of trout about at the moment in the Leven and Forth. The recent severe flooding has reshaped and carved new hidey-holes for trout to lie in. The amount of logs in the water creating habitat is amazing. I am convinced that the heavy water flows from the floods have packed the fish stocks of these rivers down toward their openings to the sea. To that end, it has these two rivers fishing wonderfully for residents and searunners.

Searunners have been in the rivers early, but we have yet to see the strong thick runs of whitebait to come from their seaward homes and course up the rivers to spawn. Look for this annual run to really come on in October. The strong flows from upstream will abate, and the fishing on low tide can be sensational. I say low tide beucasue there is the same amount of fish for less water.

In the Forth for example, the areas the searunners get in and around is shallow and they can push the bait around. This can inevitably end up with bait pushed up into a dogleg or head of a creek opening and have multiple trout working them and send them flying. If you can stalk these fish and put a soft plastic or fly in their path, they are usually hungry and aggressive enough to nail your presentation violently. The Forth has a man-made weir that has the tidal effect stall at its concrete lip. This leads to some fantastic resident brown trout fishing above it, but on occasion some remarkable searunner fishing just below it.

The Leven River has its searunner action well up the river near the golf course bridge, where it mingles with the residents and turns on some awesome action.

Don’t think the Leven offers fantastic fishing from just its lower reaches. The Leven goes up through Gunns Plains and the access there is fantastic to go along with the brown trout fishing.

The methods vary with whatever water flow you are trying to fish. Hopping soft plastics down fast flowing shale rapids and in and out of eddies and slower pools the rapids generate is good fun. Be prepared to donate some jigheads to the river bed though. Slow rolling soft plastics works well, but make sure you work at varying depths with your presentation. It takes a bit of will power to cast and let your jighead hit the bottom, and a few high rod tip hops to wake up whatever is down there.

Bibbed divers come in all shapes and sizes, colours and actions. By all means have your favourites for sure, but when you are looking at bibbed lures, its all about action. I like a floater for trout. This allows me to use the bib to get down and work the bottom, and then rest it up and work the bottom hard again without snagging. You can work drop offs and tree snags a bit better as well.
Wynyard

This little seaside town often flies under the radar and the locals will be all too happy if it continues to do so. The dual ramp in the river is a good amenity that you can share with the yacht club activities on a weekend. It is also a ramp and river that demands some attention at low tide. Vessels under 5m will have no issue at any tide, but any bigger than that and you may want to wait for some water to fill the river from a dead low tide.

Once out of the Inglis River and clear of the rocky outcrops as you leave the mouth, the sea opens right up to some great fishing. The Australian salmon are prolific around the mouth and can be caught trolling just about anything. Slicers and diving lures are popular.

The area from Fossil Bluff towards Table Cape is the type of bottom that will hold plenty of squid, pike and if you want to keep the kids amused, parrotfish and blue head. You will also find some very nice leatherjacket as well.

The type of ground I have just mentioned should also be of interest to the budding snapper fishers out there. If you have a good sounder and can find the edge where the reefy rocky sections finish and the sand starts, you are on the money for a snapper session. Once again, set yourself up to anchor and establish a berley trail. Big well-presented baits and a couple of snapper flashers should do the job.

For the snapper, explore the area with different depths and tides, and if you’re willing to put the time in and you will crack them. It is a battle of wills between you and the draughtboard Sharks, but if you start to catch a few, don’t worry, it’s actually a good sign. Just head a little further off the reef edge and further onto the sand. You have to sift through a little bit of by-catch when snapper fishing, because the berley will be interesting to all. It can be this activity in and around your baits and boat that can have the snapper come over and have a look.

Further out across the sea floor there are some good patches of sand to be explored off Wynyard. If you are new to the area you will have to work and find a patch. There are two ways you can start. Either head out to 40 odd metres and start your drift, or start off in close and hope you drift across them early. This is only really a weather consideration if you have not struck them anywhere recently. The winds that get up in the afternoon are more often than not north or northwesterly, so starting wide and working your way back in 5m of depth at Leven and a time is my preferred method.

If I am on a search mission for flathead, I like to fish two bait rods with different baits on the top and bottom of a paternoster rig, get them down and start a drift. Once they are down and settled on their way, a third rod can be cast with a big paddle-tail soft plastic on a jighead to suit whatever depth I am in. If it has gone 10 minutes without so much as a bite, I’m usually am not happy with the spot. If there is a nice little drift going and I’m covering a little bit of ground, I will give it 10 minutes more. If there has been no action or very little after that, the spot is dead to me and I am looking to work my way into shallower water.

Here is a tip for you that you may not have thought of before. Use waypoints. They are the features we can put in our sounders to mark spots of interest. Normally, they are the spots we have caught fish. What is also of interest is spots that you have tried previously and had no luck. Mark the spots you have tried for flathead and done absolutely no good at. Pick an icon that you keep for the purpose and you won’t have to name each waypoint, but put a date in the detail. Over time you will end up with a sounder map that should have some bad waypoints and some good waypoints. Zoom out and the position or cluster of the good and bad waypoints may lead you to working out where to have a go next.

Leven and Forth

Trout season has been an absolute bottler. I have seen the interest in trout wain over the last three to four years, but this season it has come back with some vigour. The keenness for those of all ages to get out and rediscover the joy and satisfaction of fooling the wily trout is fantastic to witness.

I have been lucky to see first hand how well the Leven and Forth rivers have been fishing. There is a young crew of anglers on the North West coast who have been leading the charge. The fishing is competitive in a manner that is fun and sporting. Fish are being fought and proudly photographed, and then released for someone else to enjoy. The pictures have been uploaded social media as a badge of honour.

The anglers are learning their craft and honing their skills. Line and its breaking strains are hotly debated. Leader material and its cotton like thinness is used to get the bite, but when the big one pounces, hearts are in mouths. Battles are one and lost and the banter is contagious.

Lures and each persons’ favourites are discussed, argued about and then argued some more. Don’t even get me started on soft plastics! They are many and varied, and they all seem to catch their fare share of fish. Rods are getting lighter and lighter and the rods that are of one-piece construction are finding favour, and long dismissed as being too awkward to travel in the car with, the performance benefits are out weighing the inconvenience.

Rod tubes are being made from PVC tube and I see cars with stretchy rope and pool noodles tied between the handles above car seats. The rods are poked up in the roof lining ready for action. Just like a surfer with a board quiver of different size ready for each style of wave, there is a rod for all occasions. Leaders are already tied and lures ready to fly. The local river fisher is an angler of opportunity. Before and after work, or even on a lunch hour, finding a backwater is the goal.

There are plenty of trout about at the moment in the Leven and Forth. The recent severe flooding has reshaped and carved new hidey-holes for trout to lie in. The amount of logs in the water creating habitat is amazing. I am convinced that the heavy water flows from the floods have packed the fish stocks of these rivers down toward their openings to the sea. To that end, it has these two rivers fishing wonderfully for residents and searunners.

Searunners have been in the rivers early, but we have yet to see the strong thick runs of whitebait to come from their seaward homes and course up the rivers to spawn. Look for this annual run to really come on in October. The strong flows from upstream will abate, and the fishing on low tide can be sensational. I say low tide beucasue there is the same amount of fish for less water.

In the Forth for example, the areas the searunners get in and around is shallow and they can push the bait around. This can inevitably end up with bait pushed up into a dogleg or head of a creek opening and have multiple trout working them and send them flying. If you can stalk these fish and put a soft plastic or fly in their path, they are usually hungry and aggressive enough to nail your presentation violently. The Forth has a man-made weir that has the tidal effect stall at its concrete lip. This leads to some fantastic resident brown trout fishing above it, but on occasion some remarkable sea runner fishing just below it.

The Leven River has its searunner action well up the river near the golf course bridge, where it mingles with the residents and turns on some awesome action.

Don’t think the Leven offers fantastic fishing from just its lower reaches. The Leven goes up through Gunns Plains and the access there is fantastic to go along with the brown trout fishing.

The methods vary with whatever water flow you are trying to fish. Hopping soft plastics down fast flowing shale rapids and in and out of eddies and slower pools the rapids generate is good fun. Be prepared to donate some jigheads to the river bed though. Slow rolling soft plastics works well, but make sure you work at varying depths with your presentation. It’s takes a bit of will power to cast and let your jighead hit the bottom, and a few high rod tip hops to wake up whatever is down there.

Bibbed divers come in all shapes and sizes, colours and actions. By all means have your favourites for sure, but when you are looking at bibbed lures, its all about action. I like a floater for trout. This allows me to use the bib to get down and work the bottom, and then rest it up and work the bottom hard again without snagging. You can work drop offs and tree snags a bit better as well.

EAST COAST
Inshore targets

It’s no secret that I love daylight savings, and I look forward to it every year. So too does every seaside town on the East Coast from St Helens to Orford. The towns come alive with that extra bit of sun and shack owners remember they own a shack and this brings more people into the towns. The towns become hustling hives of activity and this ramps up right onto the tourist months of summer. My message here is get to the east coast and enjoy it now before the crazy comes to town.

The fishing is starting to fire in October with the slight rise in water temperatures letting fish know its’ time to spawn and get active. Some of the spawning gets done in late September, and after some piscatorial jiggy jig, the fish get hungry.

Make your way down to any of the seaside towns and stay at a mates or family shack. If you don’t have access, get set up at any of the accommodation set ups scattered across the coastline. They have some of the best views and trouble free access to the water you will find anywhere in Australia. There’s usually great boat ramps with no crowds. What’s not to like? There’s plenty for the family to do if they don’t like to fish all the time.

Flathead will be the main target, as they taste very good and are fairly easy to catch most of the time. October is one of those times. Sand flathead and the bigger tigers out a little deeper should be quite easy to find on the chew. Paternoster rigs are the go-to style for this type of fishing. Vary your baits and find what they are preferring on the day. It may be salted blue bait from the tackle store freezer, pilchards, or even the defrosted squid tenticles you froze down from the last batch of calamari you caught. Mix it up and see what they are going at. If one starts to out perform the other, switch over to that.

Calamari go crazy in and around Swansea and all the way down to Schouten Island. There are so many sheltered bays and hidey-holes to pull squid out of, it’s ludicrous. Don’t think you are limited to the shallow water either, make sure you have some heavy squid jigs and get some prospecting done to depths of 30m if you have a boat. Make a couple of passes and have at least three jigs down working the area over. When you get a squid on, you can slowly work the squid up the water column and bring the other jigs up with it. With some skill, you can work the squid school up to the boat and have multiple squid on at one time.

Make sure you have a net with a long handle for these squid, as they are normally quite big and may test your leader if you look to tuna pole them in. The net is also handy to keep them at bay while they ink in the water a few times before you bring them aboard.

Bream Rivers

The bream rivers of the East Coast become of real interest in October to the anglers who like to target them. The fish can be concentrated up the top ends of the river systems and not spread far and wide like they usually are.

The Swan River fishes well at this time. The deeper pools upstream of the Swan River Road ramp are a lot of fun, but can spoil you to bream fishing. The action can be fish a cast until you get sick of catching them, and when you go to fish other waters around the state, you can become very disappointed.

I’ve found that the trick to fooling these bream is to pause your lure for as long as you can get away with.

Bream have very bony and hard mouths, so make sure you have your drag set properly. I say this as when you feel a bream have a crack you should set the hook with the drag sounding a little. I like to stick ‘em and stick ‘em early !

Bream Rivers

The bream rivers of the East Coast become of real interest in October to the anglers who like to target them. The fish can be concentrated up the top ends of the river systems and not spread far and wide like they usually are.

The Swan River fishes well at this time. The deeper pools upstream of the Swan River Road ramp are a lot of fun, but can spoil you to bream fishing. The action can be fish a cast until you get sick of catching them, and when you go to fish other waters around the state, you can become very disappointed.

I’ve found that the trick to fooling these bream is to pause your lure for as long as you can get away with.

Bream have very bony and hard mouths, so make sure you have your drag set properly. I say this as when you feel a bream have a crack you should set the hook with the drag sounding a little. I like to stick ‘em and stick ‘em early !

SOUTH
Tuna

It is absolutely crazy to say it, but the talk down south is still around tuna. The season on tuna has just been going on and on. In September, we had some 100kg+ specimens boated by separate boats, proving it was not a fluke. This has had other boats go out from Eaglehawk Neck and boat some good-sized school bluefin. The talk has been of more trips out and the tuna story is set to continue throughout October.

There are not a great deal of changes to be made when looking for late season bluefin. The pressure is on the skipper to watch and keep an eagle eye on the sounder and look for bait and big marks on the screen that could be feeding jumbos. The crew on the deck have to be watching for birds working or any sign of surface disturbance that could be feeding fish. The skirted lures might need to have a little more pink or red in them to mimic the late bait we have in the state, which is predominantly red bait. The divers can be whatever colour you want, as the action of the lures is really what wakes fish up and draws them over.

Maintaining a vigilant look around the horizon, and if weather permits, occasional turns at standing on the gunnel trying to find some sort of action, is even more important when only a few boats are out. The information of where the fish were caught yesterday is hard to come by when you are the only boat out. The radio chatter about who caught what is also a bit slow if only three boats are out on the water. You have to make your own luck and make a plan and stick to it. Decide if you are going to find bait and work it over until something comes up, or do the charter boat trail to try and find fish. Stick to a plan and execute it! Unless you see a mad bird feed out wide or from where you came from, stick to your plan.

Deep dropping

The more settled weather we have, the more anglers will have a deep drop on their minds, and for two reasons. The first being that when the weather is good and the forecast stays true, it’s a lot of fun. The second is that the deep ooglies taste very good and yield some good flesh returns.

Blue eye is the target species of most deep droppers, but by-catch or rays bream, gemfish and pink ling add to the attraction. The electric reel brigade has grown, as they have become available to do the job for less and less of our hard earned cash. While some may argue it is not fishing, it’s still a whole heap of fun and makes for a great day out on the water.

They allow you to fish deeper and deeper and raise a number of interesting fish. I like the idea of the electric reels as you can control your catch numbers a lot better than a set long line.

This is the domain of specialist 4-6 hook rigs attached to 80-100lb braid. Big sinkers are sent to the bottom on promising sounder readings from 1-2kw transducers feeding information to big head units. There is a real knack to dropping your baits into something that is 400-600m or more below the surface. Seeing a biomass of something on the sounder screen is one thing, but organising the deck and having reels drop at the right time of a structured drift takes some practice and solid understanding of what is going on.

As good as braided line is at cutting the water and not being drawn as much by currents, it still does to a degree. When starting out, it is a good idea to drop one first and have it all but hit the bottom until you let the second one go. This will alleviate some tangles that may occur if they both go over together and also have you spread the chance of fluking the target. It’s normally a fluke when you hit the target.

Using the sounder waypoints here works for you as well. As soon as the first sinker goes over the side, create a waypoint and create another when the second outfit is deployed. This info along with your drift lines on the screen will allow you to manoeuvre the boat for another drift and have some information to make some deductions around what is going on.

The Derwent River

The Derwent River will have its fair share of searunner action in October, and with the advent of daylight savings, there will be an army of anglers out after work. The shoreline will be peppered with keen fishers, all trying their luck to catch a big whitebait gorged silver football shaped trout. This action starts well down the river system and carries right on up past Cadbury Point and on to Bridgewater. The shallows on the top side of Bridgewater Bridge are favoured grounds, as is the reedy edges all the way up to New Norfolk.

Trout

I mentioned before what a thrill it is to see the resurgence in trout fishing around the state. The doom and gloom of the very low water levels has been washed away with the record rain recorded in previous months. Water storages have been filling with a great number of them spilling. The fishing in the lakes has been every bit as good as the river fishing. Great Lake has been performing very well with the fish feeding around the edges of the lake and shallows around the islands.

In mid to late October you can look for early midge fishing in Lake Leake and Four Springs. This can call for early starts, with the best fishing being before the sun gets up. This is a month that can see the start of some classic dry fly fishing in Tasmania’s wild trout fisheries.

Look for the Esk, the Macquarie and Mersey rivers to lead the way. The better weather and longer daylight hours also lend themself to walking into some of the favoured Western Lakes. Frog feeders and tailing trout are the excitement here. If we get some warm still days, we may be treated to some spinner hatches. Both red and black mayfly spinners can be falling on the Macquarie and the Elizabeth Rivers

National Gone Fishing Day

Fishing is a big deal in Australia, with over 5 million people involved each year. In Tasmania, fishing is just a big a deal and we have some awesome areas to practice and enjoy our pastime and way of life. We also have some characters and people involved that are well known. One of those keen fishers was the late Matthew Pace, who worked in the industry at Spot On – The Fishing Connection in Hobart. He was a much loved and jovial character sadly taken far too soon by that cancer. The first Australia Gone Fishing Day will coincidently be the one year anniversary of the day friends and family say ‘Matthew went fishing’.

So not only will this be a great day for everyone to get out and enjoy what fishing has to offer, it will have special relevance for the great many people in the angling fraternity to remember a solid human and take part in an activity he revelled and excelled in.

Fishing for some can be a sport, for others it’s a leisure activity and a way of life. For the most part though, it’s a chance to connect with nature and Tasmania’s unique marine and riverine environments. So welcome October and its extra daylight, and make sure you do something for National Gone Fishing Day, cast a line for Matthew and have a ball!

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