TASSIE LAD OFFERS MEMBERS MORE

Hello fellow Members of Kaydo fishing and welcome to my first piece on Tasmania its fishing opportunities and all that it offers.

You will have to excuse my passion and one eyed-ness for Tasmania as I have grown up and fished here all my life.

Yes I have enjoyed some spectacular fishing from around this great country, but I have a soft spot for my home state. I do not for one minute profess that we have the best of anything, but by George we have some very special fisheries and I am here to help you enjoy those as best I can. kd7 Just to tease that out a little more. A membership to Kaydo fishing has you well informed and you have access to a lot of written techniques and skills to master. The added bonus of membership now has you have a contact in Tasmania to help make any trip or fishing experience that much smoother and in the end enjoyable. The population in Tasmania is not by any means expansive and in living here for 42 years you get to know quite a few people. The best part of that 42 years has been involved in a great range of outdoor activities right across Tasmania. So while I don’t know everyone personally who can help make a visit to our wonderful island a great success? I bet I know a person that does.

Let’s just call it ‘Hooch Connect’

Members of Kaydo looking to come across and enjoy what we have on offer across a great many species and styles of fishing have full access to myself and can do so through the web site. I don’t profess to be an expert on anything, but happy to listen to what you want to do and want achieve. I can then offer my advice on my experience or put you onto someone with vastly more experience than me in your chosen plans. So let’s have a brief look at what you can expect and over the coming months I can go into things with far more detail. Members of Kaydo fishing if you have anything that you want to hear more about, then by all means let the Kaydo team know and I will be happy to do an article going into detail. kd5  

Tassie Treasure

Tasmania has long been seen as a fantastic get away for a number of fishing vocations and quality of species. The two that instantly come to mind are trout and bream. Wild trophy trout has often been the jewel in Tasmania’s fishing crown, but far from the only one. Massive Brown Trout (salmo trutta) course through a number of Tasmanian waterways and they can vary from a relatively easy drive to a full blown adventure. Lake Crescent, is not that far off the main highway, but is without doubt Australia’s premier brown trout fishery with fish in excess of 20 pounds. Yes that’s right, 20 pounds and better. The Gordon River is well known for its scenic beauty and historical heritage. It is also a cracking place to go and catch massive trout gorging themselves on whitebait next month. It takes a bit of getting to and a trip that is well regarded as a bucket list adventure. The sea run trout of the western rivers of Tasmania are legendary and people from around the world come to take in the beauty and roll the dice on catching the trophy trout of a life time. We will hear more of these waters and adventures in the coming months.  

Bream

The bream in Tasmania need no introduction and all bream anglers from around the country salivate at not only the size but relatively large numbers of big, broad shouldered bronze monsters. The Southern black bream taken from the Derwent River and East Coast rivers see mainland anglers weak at the knees. Little do they know that the real big ones are in a little river on the North West coast of Tasmania. These fish can be a cause of great frustration and immense satisfaction all in one day. Travelling up to the head waters of coastal rivers expecting to smash a heap of 40cm plus spawning bream can have you beside yourself with excitement. Finding they are not there and have moved down to the lower level flats will have you scratching your head. Bream are all about the technique and style of lure you are going to use and each river section can be very different. Don’t work the rod properly or understand just how long a long pause is and you will go home with zero’s


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Squiding 

Tassie water temps and seasons see the Southern Calamari come in and swarm up 3 times in a calendar year. They come in close and lay their eggs on the sea grasses and weed making them a great target for sport and meat anglers alike. These Cephalopods are fantastic eating and great fun for all anglers. Some of the land based angling spots in Tasmania for squid are beautiful. Out in a boat and you are looking for the same broken ground and rocky patches mixed with sand you might catch them at home. Mixing it up a bit and going deeper with a different mindset and you will come across a herd of squid that will be the envy of all back home. kd6

Whiting

Crazily in Tasmania whiting are a very under fished species and often over looked for the more prized flathead. This is starting to change. Tasmania is starting to become a real attraction for super large trophy whiting. A recent study has found the population in Tasmania’s far North West is the breeding stock for South Australia’s stock. The Tasmanians that have nailed the techniques have been richly rewarded. Mainlanders who love catching their whiting will defiantly be able to come over and teach us a few tricks.  

Snapper

Personally the searching of new ground for Snapper in Tasmania is one of the most exciting exploits I have been involved with. Some cobber’s from young North West anglers that are daring to be different and try new techniques. These techniques are not new to the fisho’s from the big isle and the lads have used them to great effect. I have been on a few trips to Port Phillip Bay and have shaped some of what they do over there to good effect on our home grounds. My friend and fishing partner caught a nice Snapper last season in PPB and that got us super keen to have a crack. We came home and used some tips and tricks to find some home grown Snapper of our own. Looking forward to sharing those tips. kd4

STRIPED TRUMPETER

Great fun to locate and catch with the added bonus of being super table fare. When I say super, I mean SUPER ! Striped Trumpeter are on the wish list of every Tasmanian fisherman with a boat over 5 meters as they can be found in good numbers in 50 – 70 meters of water. There are a few spots where you can still target them in under 40 (taps nose) Good sounder is a must and fresh baits will have more fish being interested. These fish also fight very well and don’t like to come off the bottom. Light to medium jigging for them will be a new sport fishing activity in Tasmania in the next couple of years. kd2

Blue Eyed Trevalla

I will go out on a limb here and say that these beauties are THE best table fish in our southern waters. We love catching them and they are why we venture out to the shelf with big Alvey deck winches and now in more modern times, electric reels. I have caught Blue Eye at 400 M with a big PENN egg beater, but with a total of 600 odd meters out it’s a big job. The affordability of electric reels has allowed the traditional and indiscriminate recreational long lining to slow up. Now you can target your bag limit safely and without fear of waste should the long line blowout your catch limit. There is always a great deal of mystery and excitement to reeling in from the deep. We have a great deal of nice tasting ooglies that come from the deep. Rays Bream, Hapuka, Gem fish and Pink ling. All these and more could feature on a fishing mission when you go and deep drop the shelf.

Deep Drop Surprise

If you are a fisherman that dabbles in a little or a lot of offshore game fishing you would be well aware of the amazing rise to fame Tasmania has seen in regard to Broadbill Sword fish. A mate of mine Leo Millar and his crew have really put Tasmania on the map by targeting Swordfish during daylight hours. Xiphias gladius is the sexy Latin name for a fish that has taken the off shore world by storm in Australia. It is starting to look as if Tasmania can be held in the same light as some parts of New Zealand when it comes to extra over size trophy Broadbill. Leo and a few anglers in Tasmania are looking very hard at trailer boat techniques that give these awesome fish a really good chance at post release survival. In the meantime…. They are good eating. kd3

Mako Sharks

We are lucky to have a great run of Mako sharks grace our waters each year. Most people affix to the idea they are only here in our summer months. Myself…. I am not so convinced. Its without question that the Mako’s are think in the summer time but those willing to put the effort in around nontraditional times may find themselves richly rewarded. The sharks are following the food source of their choice and around December through to March they are spoilt for choice. There is a massive amount of food for them at this time and a 3 hour burley trail will have multiple sharks at the back of the boat. Harvesting a mako for the table is fantastic as they are terrific eating and a shark of 50 to 100kg has a considerable amount of flesh to feed heaps of people. Friends and family can eat well for ages as mako shark freezes well and if vacuum sealed lasts for ages. Now this all sounds quite easy doesn’t it. Mako sharks can be a very dangerous proposition for the beginner and the expert alike. Not knowing what to expect or just how powerful these fish are is one thing. Dealing with their speed and head full of teeth is another. I love chasing mako sharks and in Tasmania they are our adrenaline fish. Big jumps and fast reel screaming runs. kd1

Bluefin Tuna

World class fishing and world class scenery. There, I have made some bold statement, but I don’t have to back them up it’s just a fact. The tuna in Tasmania come on hard and they stay around for ages. The big tuna haunt some of our legendary bait grounds and stay feeding for many months. Pedra Branca is famous for its surf break, but the tuna fishing is superb. It is an awesome place to fish and an adventure in itself. The Eaglehawk Neck area is well known for its fish holding capabilities. These are two areas that are worth a trip to Tasmania in their own right and should be on any keen Fisho’s bucket list. Will be looking to talk about all Tasmania has to offer as the Blue water season starts to wind up.

In the meantime there is lots to talk about and fill you in on. I hope you find something in my ramblings that you can use and make your day on the water a fun-filled a successful outing.
Kelly Hunt

About Kelly Hunt

Kelly “Hooch” Hunt grew up on the North West coast of Tasmania, right on the river FORTH. Spending many hours on its banks chasing trout, at the estuary chasing salmon or knee deep at night floundering. It’s just what you did, nothing special. What is special and why Kelly has fished all his life is the friendships and adventures fishing has delivered. The life skills and amazing moments along with gut splitting belly laughs can all be attributed to his fishing exploits. The adventures now days are often offshore chasing mako shark, marlin and tuna as a member of Team PENN. Game fishing has been a massive part of what Hooch has been involved in recently and he puts this down to a trip as a teenager to Hervey Bay. The Hervey Bay pier was his playground for 2 weeks and the trout fishing took a serious back step. The lad’s eye’s where opened to a world of hard charging salty critters and he was hooked deep. Hooch is passionate and enthusiastic about his home state of Tasmania and the life skills that the outdoors and fishing have bestowed him. Family and community engagement is very close to his heart and with four kids of his own has his own little community. Developing fishing events that deliver benefit to regional coastal towns is a something he loves to do. Never is he ever likely to profess to be an expert or know everything about any one thing, however his general knowledge on boating and fishing is generous. So too is his willingness to share that knowledge. Recognising his down to earth approach and nothing’s a problem attitude Navico Australia and PENN reels Australia put Hooch to work as a national brand Ambassador. He also enjoys generous support from BRP Australia and Surtees Boats New Zealand. Kelly writes for several print magazines and contributes to a number of national blog pages, holds down a spot on radio’s Geelong Fishing Show and speaks at tackle nights when ever asked. Sharing stories, successes and failures with the same outgoing and extroverted manner that generally keeps all amused. He was also part of the crew that fought a fish for 20 hours only to have it break the line. If we ask and the scars have healed he may share that epic tale as well.

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