Unusual Options Open Up
  |  First Published: April 2009

The fine still autumn weather provides the best conditions for fishing the deepwater bottom offshore. Blue-eye trevalla, and hapuka are the main targets and with the prevailing still conditions there have had good catches.

The target fish live in 400-500m of water so some specialised gear is needed: a large diameter deck-winch, 600m of braided line and a heavy bottom rig with 12 circle hooks make up the basic set up. The bait needs to be tough to stay on the hook, striped tuna or octopus are the best, and sinkers in the 2-3kg range finish the rig off.

The additional interest with this sort of fishing is the opportunity to catch a whole range of unusual species that live in the deeper waters. Blue grenadier, gemfish, frostfish and others are all there to be caught, and mako sharks will often arrive beside the boat while fish are being cleaned.

Closer in, there have been good catches of gummy shark and snapper on the west side of the island. To the east, salmon are in large schools moving along the beaches and a few miles offshore large schools of striped tuna are feeding on krill.

The yellowfin tuna have been thin on the ground so far this year but, with the water now cooling, we hope to see some of these fish in good numbers around the southeast of Tasmania. May and June are the best months for the chance of a bluefin.

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