As the shadows of another magnificent Tasmanian summer pass us by, we can still look forward to some terrific fishing.
The gamefishing is at its peak, the prospect of another cracking southern bluefin tuna run has us licking our lips and the dedicated trout fisher is making the most of the last month before the brown trout season closes.
April in the salt is all about tuna. If the hoped-for warm current does its job then we can expect some good gamefishing for bigger than average yellowfin tuna. This year has all been about albacore and striped tuna in close to shore, with most of the action no further than 4km of the St Helens barway! Having said that, anglers pushing out to the Continental Shelf are being rewarded with bigger models of albacore up to 15kg – some bigger! The amount of smaller striped tuna around the massive amounts of krill has many knowledgeable gamefishers thinking about striped marlin, but as yet we haven’t seen any being caught.
Yellowtail kingfish are a very real option from Croppies Point in the north right down to Betsy Island near the mouth of the Derwent. We have seen a real influx of these great fish since NSW banned fish trapping. Between that and global warming the kingfish population has exploded, with many anglers gearing up specifically for these great fishing (and eating) fish.
Bream are always a top prospect for the keen lure fisher, with many estuaries really turning it on during April. The Derwent is as good as ever, and the east coast delights of the Scamander, Ansons, Swan, Little Swanport and Georges Bay providing good sight and lure casting opportunities for the travelling angler. Recent bream tournaments in Tasmania have highlighted the quality of the fishing, with many waterways averaging bream to a kilo and over.
Australian salmon are very plentiful along the coast as they feast on masses of krill, but use the strong arm gear as some of these fish are 10lb+.
April is all about the streams and pre-spawn browns in the lakes.
The stream fishing in April is terrific and is one of the best months to be in Tasmania. Apart from big floods, the fish are very keen to accept all manner of flies and lures.
The northern streams see many fish looking for the last of the ‘hoppers and together with small baetid (mayfly) hatches the sight fishing can be awesome. Failing that, prospecting with the ever-reliable Red Tag and Royal Wulff will see the rod bend frequently.
The lakes see the browns slowly moving towards the stream mouths in preparation for their annual spawning rituals. These fish are often very aggressive and will actively hunt and take wet flies and soft plastics with gusto.
Arthurs Lake is the place to be, as the fishing can be fast and furious. Dirty days will be better than those gorgeous calm blue sky days, and if you can put up with the cold and wind you will get big catches of lovely wild brown trout. Let the hens go, as they will be poor eating, but the fit male fish of around 2lb will be terrific.
Best spots are Hydro Bay and the opening around Jonah Bay. Be careful of submerged obstacles though, as the lake is very low indeed.
If you are after some lake inspired sight fishing then lower waters with big rainbows could be your best option, so consider Dee Lagoon and Lake Burbury – both are awesome in April.
Bream are a fantastic target for April, especially on hard body lures.Reads: 1045