What an autumn. The weather has been fine and the water inshore and offshore staying much warmer than usual, no major southerly or westerly systems have driven in cold currents as can often happen and the fishing has been the best for years.
Inshore snapper and yellowtail kingfish are being caught on both sides of Flinders Island as well as large numbers of striped tuna right up to the beaches on the east coast.
The striped tuna have been taken in depths as shallow as 7m off the beach and within 50m of the rocks at Babel Island. Following the striped tuna are mako sharks to 50kg.
Offshore the warm water has led to striped marlin sightings and a few hook ups, but overall they have not been consistent.
Albacore are being taken well out over the shelf and this year has been notable for the number of very large sharks being seen on the surface, mainly makos but others as well.
One very large mako decided to eat the teaser being run behind a boat chasing striped marlin!
The one disappointment is that the yellowfin tuna have not yet arrived in large numbers as they often do, but a late run in May is very likely as the water is well warmed and full of bait.
The charter boat Strait Lady achieved what could be a first in Tasmanian fishing. While offshore and well east of the island and taking a break from tuna fishing, we decided to have a look at a ledge in 55m of water for a striped trumpeter.
To everyone’s surprise we were hit by big snapper and trumpeter at the same time, with fish to 9kg landed. As far as I know this is either a first or most unusual as snapper tend to school in shallower water, whereas trumpeter prefer 60-120m.
The anglers at the time were a group organised by Rob Lane from Hobart and included three from Darwin, who were most impressed with Tasmanian fishing.
May looks all set to be another top fishing month on Flinders Island, with groups coming over from both Victoria and Tasmania to make the best of the good conditions.
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/fishingtours.Reads: 2260