November and the Striped Trumpeter Season is open again. Stripeys will now be the main focus of offshore fishing from Flinders Island, till the Tuna arrive in January.
These fish live on reefs in around 100m of water just inside the continental slope around 1.5 hours travel in a fast boat from Lady Barron.
A good sounder is the first requirement to locate suitable structure, then a heavy paternoster rig and squid bait on a 13/0 circle hook. This landed accurately in the right spot will yield a striped trumpeter usually between 2-12kg; one of the finest eating fish to be caught anywhere.
This form of fishing gives a very good comparison between types of line: mono makes it harder to detect bites and because of the stretch gives very little feel of the fish except for the weight, while braid is super sensitive and catching a trumpeter is similar to catching a snapper of the same size. By-catch, as with any offshore reef, are jackass morwong, nannygai and the ever-present banded sea perch are among the many, along with the occasional large gummy or mako shark.
Inshore squid, gummies and school sharks are the target along with the continuing spring flathead run and when the water settles at over 16C the first yellowtail kingfish will arrive.
The Lady Barron wharf is now fishing in full swing with trevally and squid active. The best time is around each slack tide or after dark with small baits or Sabiki rigs the best catchers. Fishing on the bottom here usually only produces break-offs by large stingrays.
With the warmer water the surf beaches are now good for flathead as well as salmon and around the full moon the gummies come into the shallows at night to feed on crabs.
Sadly Flinders Island has seen the passing of one of its regular visiting anglers and great supporters, John Taylor from Hobart. For many years John not only came to fish, bringing an unbridled enthusiasm for the catch, but also to try and test every rig and lure and trick to tempt the fish. John also wrote regular articles on fishing for the Mercury and other newspapers as well as maintaining a presence on the Internet. He will be missed by many on Flinders Island as well as in his home town of Hobart.
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: 3279