Plenty of Options
  |  First Published: July 2009

Well what a change, June and early July have turned a run of dry seasons into a wet couple of months.

Warner than average water temperatures water in the Tasman sea have allowed moisture laden easterlies to unload large falls of rain along the east coast of Tasmania.

While the lagoons on Flinders Island are now full and any surplus is running out to sea, this change in seasonal conditions offers a whole range of possible outcomes for the coming fishing season. The general rule in the past has been the more current, temperature and weather activity the more fish there are around.

Winter fishing has been mainly focused in striped trumpeter and a day out with Adrian Clark and three friends produced 21 fish as well as a good by-catch of jackass morwong.

In general the fish were 2-4 kg and this prevalence of smaller fish on recent trips is an encouraging sign of recruitment of new fish to the area.

Inshore August will see the beginning of the spring flathead run on the west side of the island, with East Kangaroo and Prime Seal islands providing some of the best fishing. To the East in the Potboil area, gummies are moving in on the squid and crabs particularly around the full moon.

For the surf fishermen, the North East River is fishing well a couple of days after any heavy rain. When there are peaks of fresh water in the river the fish tend to move out or go quiet, after a couple of days without rain the sea water takes over and the salmon and trevally are back on the bite. The surf beaches overall are quieter at the moment but these will fire up into September as the water warms up.

For the keen and hardy fishermen on the island, flounder have been on the beaches of Franklin Sound. A cold night out with light and spear, but fresh flounder for breakfast makes the effort well worthwhile.

Tasmania is in the process of reviewing fishing regulations and next month I hope to be able to advise you of some of the likely changes. For our Victorian visitors, it looks as if there will be no requirement for a license for saltwater rod and line fishing, so it is fishing as usual, but there may be some changes to possession and size limits.

James Luddington operates the Strait Lady on Flinders Island and is the islands most experienced skipper for a wide variety of fishing experiences. James can be contacted through www.flindersisland.com.au/fishingtours

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