Big fish on the way
  |  First Published: January 2010

St Helens is certainly a hive of fishing activity at the moment.

Huge numbers of large jellyfish have been present all up and down the coast; a good indication that the warmer currents are on their way down.

Game fish on the way

We have seen lots of bird activity, bait schools, dolphins and with some small albacore showing up already hopefully the yellowfin tuna will not be far behind.

Water temperatures of 18-19C are being reported on the shelf and even warmer in Georges Bay.

Elephant Rock and offshore

The coastline around Elephant Rock and Binalong Bay has started to fish well, huge numbers of arrow squid are all up and down the coast and massive schools of large Australian salmon consistently feeding on the small mackerel. Salmon of 3-4kg have been caught all around Elephant Rock and surrounding bays.

The flathead have been patchy but anglers willing to put some time in have reported some good catches of larger fish once the depth the fish are sitting in has been located. Bigger flathead have been in water anywhere up to 70m.

A local charter operator reported the capture of a small thresher shark, caught while his clients were bottom fishing for flathead and morwong.

Whilst the thresher shark is not uncommon in Tasmanian waters, it is not often caught and the anglers in question did well to land it with the lighter tackle being used at the time.

Georges Bay

Georges Bay is full of schools of large Australian salmon, which seem to be feeding on the baitfish and small mackerel. Most of the salmon are quite big with many well over the 2kg mark.

Mixed in with the salmon are also schools of good sized tailor, many of these are in the 1-2kg area but bigger fish are there. Tailor of 6kg have been caught in Georges Bay in past seasons.

One local angler was lucky enough to catch a nice tailor of 2.7kg from an east coast lagoon using soft plastic lures.

Georges Bay Bream

The bream in Georges Bay have increased in numbers throughout the last month or so and some anglers are reporting more bream in the bay at the moment then they have ever seen.

These fish pour onto the shallow sand and mudflats as the tide increases and can be found in water as shallow as 30cm. They can be targeted using soft plastic lures such as the Squidgy Wriggler 100mm in Wasabi colour or with suspending small bibbed lures like the Stiffy Minnow or the new Strike Pro Shrimp lure which is an excellent prawn imitation.

With the Tassie Bream Classics as well as the ABT Qualifying rounds coming up in the next couple of months it’s encouraging to see the numbers of bream present at the moment.

New Species

Three species of fish that have always been quite elusive but are now starting to show up in more consistent and larger numbers are snapper, luderick and King George whiting.

Michael Haley of Gone Fishing Charters reported having caught a few whiting lately on almost a daily occurrence and other anglers are reporting regular captures of small snapper up to 2kg with some fish over 3kg as well as similar sized luderick. This is testimony once again of the awesome results that a ban on recreational and professional netting has on inshore waters.

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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