July is a month of anticipation. The trout season opens on August 5th, so most locals are either readying gear for that landmark date, or busily smacking the many different saltwater species that are on offer at the moment.
The southern bluefin tuna season has basically petered out with the brunt of the winter weather. Gamefishers had a good season, but it is only the diehards that venture out into the open bluewater. That isn’t to say that the tuna aren’t out there, they most definitely are, but trying to find the right day is pretty hard. Pedra Branca is the spot for bigger fish, but as this is a long trip from Southport not many choose to go.
Inshore sport is far more reliable, with warehou (snotties to the locals) in the Tamar and up the north coast to Stanley, big barracouta all around the state, excellent numbers of both juvenile and adult Australian salmon along coastal beaches, masses of tailor in the Tamar, and the ubiquitous bream in the estuaries – we are spoilt for choice!
The Tamar is a great winter venue, with sizable warehou prolific all the way from Low Head to the Batman Bridge. Chicken is the best bait, and berley will also help your cause. The special angling pontoons along the river are great places for land-based travelling anglers. Boat-based anglers will do well to stay close to structure such as rock walls and drop offs.
Along the east coast the winter bream fishing is as good as ever, with Scamander River bream hitting their big blue-nosed straps during July. In the past couple of years soft plastic lures have been the popular ‘go to’ technique, but hard-bodied lured are starting to gain a great deal of respect for local anglers. With the cold water keeping bream deep in the structure, it pays to fish tight. You might get snagged, but you will also get into some nice fish.
Down south the Derwent River is always on song for consistent bream fishing, and small schools of Australian salmon and ‘couta will keep lure fishers very happy.
With the season opener still a month away, travelling trout fishers have had to make do with the ‘open all year’ waters. The best of these is Great Lake, but with some true winter conditions prevailing for most of June, many anglers have had to pass. The best method during winter on Great Lake is to cast Cobra lures right into the teeth of the cold wind. Often the fish are quite close to shore so don’t worry about casting too far.
Lower in altitude is Brushy Lagoon, and for the first time this winter it has been open for angling. The Inland Fisheries Service has stocked some massive Atlantic salmon into this smallish water, and as a result it will attract plenty of attention during July – with good reason. Apart from the salmon, Brushy has a great reputation for growing fat fish very quickly, and with large numbers of brook and rainbow trout stocked in preparation for anticipated angling patronage, visitors are all but guaranteed a fish or two!
Lake Burbury on the west coast is also worth fishing, and is Craigbourn Dam near Hobart.
Good luck and have fun.Reads: 462