May 26, 2024

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Tasmania Fishing Guide: the Complete Guide

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Tasmania is a true gem in the southern hemisphere, nestled in the grasp of the ‘Roaring Forties’ a mere 240 kilometres (149 miles) southeast of the mainland. The Southern Ocean winds bring with them the purest air and clean rainfall. With such weather, it’s no surprise that fishing in Tasmania is so great. The smallest state of Australia isn’t your typical Aussie imagery of kangaroos hopping across deserts under the blazing sun!

A Tasmanian angling experience is all about purity, sustainability, and biodiversity. The reliable weather conditions feed over 3,000 rivers, streams, and lagoons across the island. Even its capital, Hobart – Australia’s southernmost city – is blessed with generous rainfall, mild climates, and rich soil.

As you begin your journey into the world of Tasmania fishing, be prepared to uncover a captivating world of excellent catches, productive spots, and generous seasons. Without further ado…

Top Tasmania Fishing Targets

First of all, let’s take a look at the local fishing menu. In Tasmania, you can get your hands on anything from the tenacious Huon River Trout to the elusive Tamar River Flathead, all the way up to cunning Southern Bluefin Tuna off the coast of St. Helens. But we’ll break the fish down into freshwater and saltwater species.

Freshwater

Tasmania Trout fishing is legendary. The Central Highlands boast over 3,000 lakes and tarns, most of which hold Trout. Then, you have gorgeous rivers and vast areas of national parks and World Heritage Areas, along with sensational populations of Sea Bream at the mouth of the Scamander River. However bold the statement might be, Tasmania provides some of the best freshwater fishing in the world. Let’s meet the stars of the show.

Brown Trout

A couple wearing red life vests holding up a Brown Trout to the camera aboard a fishing boat in Tasmania on a say with sunny intervals, with the water, a distant shoreline, and clouds visible behind them
Photo courtesy of Trout Territory – Fish Wild Tasmania

Tasmania hosts some of the purest strains of wild Brown Trout on the planet, recognized throughout the world. These freshwater champs promise an angling adventure wherever you go, from the glacial highlands in the heart of the island to the river mouths along the coasts.

Tasmania Brown Trout fishing isn’t at all about the size of the catch. Local and international anglers come to the island to explore bubbling small streams with Trout around 500 grams (1 pound) or to hunt big ones in the shallows of Tasmania’s lakes.

The Central Highlands – the ‘fishing capital for Brown Trout’, have over 3,000 lakes and tarns. You might need to bushwalk to some of the more secluded places, but the reward is worth it. For a perfect mix of angling and bushwalking, head to the national parks and World Heritage areas.

Australian Salmon

A closeup of an Atlantic Salmon being held aboard a fishing boat in Tasmania by a man wearing a green jacket on a cloudy day
Photo courtesy of Trout Territory – Fish Wild Tasmania

Tasmania’s national treasure aside, you can also find Salmon in many of the island’s lakes, coastal waters, bays, and estuaries. Despite their name, they’re not actually related to the true Salmon family. Don’t let it fool you, though. These are pretty feisty fellas, known for dramatic leaps.

Tasmania’s Salmon can vary a bit in size, with some big boppers reaching up to 9 kilograms (20 pounds). Most catches are on the smaller side, but Australian Salmon definitely compensate for this with their high energy. These fish are also more than happy to snap up a well-presented fly, which can be especially exciting if you’re a fly fishing enthusiast.

Saltwater

Tasmania is an island, so naturally, it’s surrounded by water. The saltwater fishing panorama stretches from the marine sanctuaries of bays, rivers, and estuary systems to Flinders Island in the northeast, past St. Helens, and right down to the Tasman Peninsula. Let’s kick off with the big guns…

Tuna

A group of anglers standing round a table aboard a fishing charter back at the dock, each holding a Tuna they caught during their trip on a sunny day
Photo courtesy of Awesome SA Charters

Tasmania Tuna fishing is to saltwater what Trout fishing is to freshwater. Southern Bluefin Tuna is known locally as the Usain Bolt of the open ocean. These predators are a bit of a celebrity in Tassie, with a few world records to their name. And it’s no wonder! Some Bluefins reach up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds)!

That’s not all, though. There’s another big player in the offshore waters – Yellowfin Tuna. The east coast is the place to be if you want a go at these high-speed beauties. While most catches tend to be between 15–60 kilograms (33–132 pounds), some fishers have reported much heavier specimens.

You’ll be surprised, but the Tassie Tuna fishing menu doesn’t end here. Though smaller than Bluefin and Yellowfin, Albacore Tuna are also champions of the local seas. If you’re lucky enough, you might land all three!

Striped Marlin

A view from behind of a Marlin being handlined into a boat, leaping out of the water, with a hand holding the line visible on the right of the image
Photo courtesy of Ambition Charters

The celebrated Striped Marlin stand out wherever they show up across the world, and Tassie is no exception. These Billfish representatives are a sight to behold, weighing up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds) and stretching over 4 metres (13 feet). When such a creature takes your bait, you’re in for a fantastic show.

The majority of Striped Marlin fishing in Tasmania takes place off the east coast. They’re drawn to motion, colour, and the scent of live bait, biting well around the Tasman Peninsula and Flinders Island. Plus, these fellas are valuable contributors to marine research, offering valuable insights with their migratory patterns.

Top Tasmania Fishing Techniques

On such a stunning island, fishing types and techniques are as diverse as the species that fill its waters. Tassie allows you to explore tried-and-true traditional methods and mix them with innovative approaches. Let’s see what the most popular Tasmanian fishing types have to offer.

Fly Fishing in Tasmania

A closeup of a fly fishing reel, rod handle, and fly usef for fishing in Tasmania for Trout, laying on the grass
Photo courtesy of Trout Flat Out

Fly fishing is deeply rooted not only in Tasmania’s angling culture, but throughout the world. This is especially true when hunting wild Brown Trout. This technique transcends being merely a fishing method. Fly fishing offers an intimate connection with Tassie culture and its environment.

The season typically peaks from October to March in Tasmania’s tranquil rivers and lakes, aligned with the prolific mayfly hatches. This period brings the water to life, making the pursuit of Trout an especially immersive experience. Fly fishing in Tasmania requires a lot of patience, finesse, and a keen understanding of the technique to make each cast count. Better get started!

Trolling in Tasmania

Trolling is a method reserved for thrill-seekers and offshore adventurers, looking to hook Tasmania’s big game fish. You can tap into different fishing grounds, from bountiful coastal waters to deeper offshore regions. All you need is a boat and some gear.

This technique involves dragging a baited line or lure behind a moving vessel. It’s designed to spark interest in species like Southern Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin, Albacore Tuna, and Striped Marlin. Similar to fly fishing, trolling requires a lot of patience, mixed with the sense of anticipation and excitement.

Polaroiding

‘Polaroiding’ is a uniquely Tasmanian technique that every fisher should try at least once in their lives. Essentially, it’s sight fishing but with polarised sunglasses to spot fish in clear waters. This method is especially effective in the shallow Central Plateau lakes. Spots like Flora, O’Dells, and the Botsford Lakes are productive due to their uniform bottoms and accessibility

In the south, you can try Little Pine Lagoon and Great Lake. A lot of locals head to Penstock, which may not seem like an obvious choice due to its darker waters, but it’s where bigger fish live.

Charter Fishing in Tasmania

A charter fishing boat, complete with trolling rods, sailing to the deep seas off the coast of Australia on a sunny day, leaving behind a big wake
Photo courtesy of Game Changer Fishing Charters

Whichever method you decide to try, it’s never a bad idea to book a trip with a local skipper or guide. Tassie fishers know the local waters better than anyone else. You can spend a year exploring every body of water throughout the island, yet you still won’t match the wealth of local knowledge and expertise these pros possess.

Charter fishing in Tasmania is perfect for any type of experience you’re hoping to get. Hire a guide to enjoy a true Tassie Brown Trout fishing experience or book a boat with a skipper to conquer the seas. The reward is worth it!

Tasmania Fishing Seasons

The fishing season in Tasmania usually spans from August to May, driven by various factors, including Trout feeding behaviour. However, despite a protective period for Brown Trout during its winter spawning season, several spots remain open year-round. These include man-made lakes and Trout fisheries.

Each month brings something unique, however. The season begins in the cooler months, with high water levels stimulating ‘tailing’ fish activity. This is when sea-run Brown Trout follow bait up estuaries during their annual migration and other species flood the lake and river margins with tails and dorsal fins exposed. You have to see this spectacle with your own eyes, especially if you’re a fly fisher!

Mayfly hatches thrill locals and visitors from mid-October to March. This is the zenith of Tassie’s dry fly fishing. At the same time, polaroiding is extensively employed throughout the island’s clear water bodies.

The summer season delivers bountiful saltwater fishing opportunities, with early summer Sea Bream spawning and a late-season abundance of Tuna.

Top Tasmania Fishing Spots

An aerial view of a harbor in Hobart, Tasmania, full of boats and fishing charters, with a mountain visible in the distance

From lakes in the Highlands to the beaches of the southeast coast, you’ll always find a spot to cast your line on Tasmania. Here are just some of the island’s fishing hotspots:

  • St. Helens. Nestled along the coast, this town is a paradise for saltwater fishing. Here, you can target anything from Striped Marlin to Yellowfin Tuna, plus some other awesome species that bite year-round. On top of that, St. Helens is also incredibly picturesque, even if you’re not on a boat.
  • The Great Lake. Despite being a major hydroelectric storage, this fishery in the Central Highlands is a fly fisher’s dream, even during low water levels. The Great Lake is home to Brown and Rainbow Trout, among others.
  • The Tyenna River. A tributary to Hobart’s River Derwent, this freshwater haven is brimming with Trout. Fly fishers enjoy year-round opportunities, along with a scenic backdrop of the distant Mount Field National Park.
  • Tasman Peninsula. There’s hardly a better place to hunt for colossal Southern Bluefin Tuna than the Tasman. Its rich fishing grounds like Pirates Bay and Pedra Branca offer sensational adventures thanks to their proximity to the continental shelf.
  • Four Springs Lake. This tranquil fishing spot was created by damming four creeks back in the late 1990s. It’s a mere half an hour ride from Launceston with a healthy population of large fish.
  • Duck Bay. Anglers looking to catch a good dose of Australian Salmon, Flathead, King George Whiting, and Silver Trevally come to this protected estuary on the Duck River in Smithton.
  • Arthur’s Lake. This spot is considered to be Tassie’s top stillwater Trout fishery, located an hour from Launceston. Arthur’s Lake has closed seasons, though, so make sure to check the seasonality ahead of time.

Tasmania Fishing Regulations

An infographic featuring the state flag of Tasmania along with text that says "Tasmania Fishing Regulations: What You Need to Know" against a dark blue background

When fishing with a charter operator, you’ll get the chance to maximise your game fishing potential thanks to their knowledge and equipment. There’s a strict code of practice in Tasmania that these professionals follow, especially in highland areas with their changeable climate.

If you’re fishing inland, you’ll need to get a Tasmanian fishing licence ahead of time. This doesn’t apply to anglers under 14, members of a private fishery, or those in specific Sea Bream waters. You can obtain these licences directly from the Inland Fisheries Service, by calling 03 6165 3808 or in-person from one of their registered agents.

You don’t need a saltwater fishing licence unless you’re targeting specific species or using certain equipment. Make sure to check all the rules and regulations online and consult with your accredited guide.

Fishing in Tasmania FAQs

Tasmania: The Land of Tassie Trout Tamers

A view from the beach across the water from Freycinet National Park towards a setting sun, with rocks in the water and some boats in the distance

From the northern haunts of D’Entrecasteaux’s Dace Duke to the southern realms of the North Esk’s Nase Nabber, fishing in Tasmania is a remarkable experience. Ask any local to describe it, and they’ll probably tell you that Tassie is a world where every lake ripples, every coastline holds a story, and every river bends. However, it’s not just about the fishing stories you tell, but the ones Tasmania lets you live!

Have you ever been fishing in Tasmania? Was it wild Brown Trout that made you fall in love with the Tassie angling culture? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Tasmania Fishing: The Complete Guide appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Lisa
Title: Tasmania Fishing: The Complete Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/tasmania-fishing/
Published Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2023 14:49:50 +0000

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