Giant Gars and Super Stripies
  |  First Published: June 2009

The last couple of weeks have seen some major rainfalls in Tasmania, particularly in the North East, causing some dirty fresh water to dampen the fishing pursuits of anglers up and down the coast. However once the grey clouds have lifted it has made way for some beautiful days of glassy calm conditions and some warm winter sun.

Massive garfish

It’s days like these that become all too common when fishing Georges Bay at St Helens and the next month is when we have some of the best winter fishing we can expect. This time of year is when the large sea garfish are in full swing and garfish up to 50cm and over can be caught fishing around the expansive sea grass beds.

They can be easily attracted with the use of berley and then a small piece of bait such as squid on a small #10-12 hook under a small float.

Also available for the next few months are some very large southern calamari perfect for a meal of salt and pepper squid and just the thing to go along with a feed of crumbed garfish fillets. The squid can be targeted using basic squid jigs and cast around the edges of weed beds or suspended under a float and left to fish static while targeting other species.

Silver trevally

While some other species of fish start to slow down the silver trevally are still active for a while yet and fish of up to 45cm and over can be caught using soft plastic lures such as 80mm Squidgy Wrigglers. These fish are undoubtedly one of the best light tackle sportfish in Tasmanian waters and Georges Bay is full of them.

Big bream on the move

The coming month will see a migration of bream back up the river systems ready to school up and begin the spawning run in spring. As the water temperatures plummet the fishing can be slow but it’s during this time that some of the largest and fattest bream can be caught. Rivers such as Scamander River and the Swan River boast some fantastic winter bream fishing and reward both bait and soft plastic anglers willing to put some time in.

Offshore prospects

The offshore anglers have seen the best of the tuna run and this season will have to go down as a poor one with the yellowfin failing to put in much of an appearance and anglers having to be happy with small to medium albacore and acres of small striped tuna.

However wintertime is when Tasmanian offshore anglers target some of the best eating fish in the sea. Tasmanian striped trumpeter and blue eye trevalla are the fish of choice, and with winter months offering calm offshore conditions bottom fishing in 100m of water becomes much easier. Finding bait holding around reef in 80-120m of water is where the striped trumpeter will be and reefs offshore such as the Binalong Patch and the 14 Mile Patch off Eddystone Point are popular haunts that produce quality fish regularly.

Jamie Henderson owns St Helens Bait & Tackle right next to the fabulous Georges Bay. Call Jamie on 03 6376 2244, he has all the latest in tackle and bait and all the latest fishing information.

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