August has been a windy month and the best of the fishing has been in the North East River with the salmon running well.
Silver or blue/white lures cast from the rocks at the mouth of the river have yielded good catches of fish in the 1.5-2.5kg range and with the number of fish feeding in the mouth of the river to make catch and release almost a necessity, lures rigged with single hooks make for easier release and safer handling for fish and angler.
Offshore the weather has been wintery and it has been a good month for maintenance, boats have been slipped, serviced, scrubbed and polished ready for September and the spring fishing run.
‘Rummage’ is an old word that comes from the days of sailing ships and means to remove every loose item of gear from a boat and only put back the items needed for the next season. Even in a smaller boat or tackle box it is quite amazing the amount of unused junk that can be disposed of. The end result a leaner lighter boat ready to fish, a well worthwhile exercise for winter weather.
September with the longer days sees the re-start of fish activity inshore with the flathead runs on the west side of the island peaking in late September. Where the flatties are active, the gummies are not far behind so a good solid bottom rig is essential for that bigger hook up. Offshore the weather will dictate the bottom fishing for September.
Last month I mentioned that our fishing regulations are under review and it looks as if, as a result of this, there will be a closed season on striped trumpeter for September and October. How much this will achieve is questionable, as recreational trumpeter fishing is always limited to good weather due to the distance offshore at which the fish live.
The rest of the review recommendations make some changes to possession limits, size limits and the finning of shark at sea; but importantly also extends boat limits from not only shark but to trumpeter.
Boat limits on shark of 5 and trumpeter of 15 actively discriminates against charter and larger boats fishing offshore. The effect is that with the possession limit, 2 people can fish for the day and keep 4 shark, 6 people can only have 5 shark on board even though the possession limit is 2 per person. With trumpeter the new possession limit is 4 per person but the boat limit is 15, this means a group of 6 may only keep 15 fish although per person they can possess 4 each.
Any state jurisdiction that allows the use of commercial style gear by recreational fishers, such as nets and loglines as Tasmania does, and at the same time actively discriminates against certain parties can have little respect or credibility.
Recreational fishers overall are a responsible group of people and well understand the need for good the management of fisheries without discriminatory rules. For more info see www.dpiw.tas.gov.au Scalefish review March 2009
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/fishingtoursReads: 562