Bluefin Action A’Plenty
  |  First Published: April 2010

May represents the last opportunity to get out amongst the action prior to the water temperatures dropping and the weather gradually deteriorating.

On a positive note May does although offer relatively still conditions and some spectacular southern bluefin tuna fishing.

D’Entrecasteaux Channel

As mentioned previously the channel is a 12 month fishery. Besides the sometimes-poor water clarity due to rain and extended windy periods the fishing is overall productive.

The big news during April revolved around numerous striped tuna being caught inside the channel – this is an occurrence I had never heard of in the past.

These highly regarded sportfish were feeding right up into North West Bay and although they were proving frustrating to catch at times some anglers had success with traditional tuna skirts and small silver slices.

Although I am unsure if the action will continue, let’s hope they hang around for a while.

While some anglers disregard this species for the table, they certainly make up for it with their fighting qualities.

A berley trail consisting of fish pieces, tuna oil and bread anglers will attract flathead, juvenile Australian salmon, cod, mullet, mackerel and the occasional warehou (snotty trevally) inside the channel around Dennes Point while on the outside around Adventure Bay anglers will also attract the odd gummy shark.

Land-based anglers will do best to fish from local jetties scattered throughout the channel including Margate Wharf and Gordon.

For those preferring to head out wide south of Bruny boat anglers will do best to locate drop-offs and structures where morwong perch and striped trumpeter can be targeted.

An oversized paternoster rig is recommended with squid and pilchards the preferred baits.

The occasional escapee Atlantic salmon is also available through the channel.

During the cooler conditions the salmon don’t appear to venture too far from home with anglers best to concentrate on area such as Waterloo, Esperance River and the numerous bays of Bruny Island.

Small spoon lures are effective as are smelt pattern saltwater flies.

Tasman Peninsula

May means big southern bluefin in Tasmania with the Tasman Peninsula and Southport the two best spots to target this much sought-after species.

Some fish over 100kg have already been landed, and as we move into the traditionally cold-water months we can expect the numbers of ‘jumbo’ tuna to increase.

Cold, overcast blustery days offer the best fishing with Tasman Island and the mouth of Fortescue Bay the preferred hot spots of late.

Anglers usually launch from Fortescue Bay or Pirates Bay heading straight out to the famous Hypolyte Rocks – also a proven fish holding structure.

Trolling traditional Yo-Zuri style squid skirts and mack baits are effective, as is a large saltwater fly for those equipped and ready for adventure and often frustration.

Tasmania’s coastline especially the southeast offers some of the best cool water fishing in Australia with the well renowned striped trumpeter topping the list as the number one target species.

Other bottom dwelling species that are often sought after are morwong perch, flathead and gurnard.

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