Summer is full of surprises
  |  First Published: December 2009

The New Year brings massive fishing potential on the northwest coast.

The same species of fish are around as in December, but the weather is better and we all usually have a bit more time to head out.

These species include Australian salmon, silver trevally, bream, flathead and of course trout.


In the hot summer weather anglers seem to focus on the saltwater fishing but there is as just as big a hype around trout on the northwest. This was shown in December with Huntsman Lake, Lake Burbury, Lake Rosebery, Lake Rowallan, various farm dams and rivers being the top spots for trout. Bright coloured lures, soft plastics and Celtas are always handy to have, especially when river fishing. Best baits are wattle grubs, but worms have accounted for a few fish. When river fishing, running a worm down the river can be really effective.

Lake Barrington received 300 adult rainbow trout in November and these were really on the bite in December with quite a few where landed.


Snapper are reasonably common in the far northwest but in December the snapper were about in the Burnie area. There where quite a few in the bay but all small.

If you catch one of these fish I strongly suggest that you release it therefore keeping the numbers up so that the northwest anglers can experience these snapper for years to come. Where there are small snapper the big ones can’t be far away, so some exploration could find snapper populations similar to around the Petrels.


The salmon will be hitting even harder in January than December until they start to move on in autumn. Places to give a try are Port Sorell, Arthur River, Leven River, Inglis River, Blythe River, Emu River, Mersey River, Burnie and Marrawah areas.

All methods are worthwhile, especially spinning, bait in the surf and one of my favourites, trolling. I like trolling for salmon in places like Arthur River, Mersey River and Port Sorell and others. Try lures in fluoro pinks, greens, yellows, orange or silver. As for spinning, lures to try are soft plastics such as sandworms and 3” minnows, silver slices, Tassie Devils and heaps of other assorted hardbodied lures.


Port Sorell is one of the major hotspots on the northwest coast in summer. December saw the squid and flathead starting to move about and it can only get better in January. For the salmon I suggest to go about 2-3 hours before high tide at the Squeaky Point area. Trolling or drift spinning is the preferred option.

Flathead have been caught offshore from Port Sorell, but will soon move into the estuary.

Squid are only just starting to bite but will thicken up soon. Weed beds and rocky reefs are the best places to look. When chasing fish in Port Sorell keep your eye out for bird life as this is a good indicator of where the fish are.


In January the surf fishing is brilliant with gummy sharks hitting the northwest coast hard.

The gummies started to sniff around in December with them being caught around the Stanley/Marrawah area; this is only going to get better as summer progresses. The best place to cast the surf rod about is Seven Mile Beach near Stanley. This has been the standout but other beaches have been producing their fair share of gummies. The best bait for these shark is pilchards and strips of salmon or mackerel.

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