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Issue 95 December 2011 - January 2012

$5

Western Lakes for a Day Big Arthur River Trout Huntsman Lake Trolling Deeper Back to Basics Kayaks

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Books

Chris Reygaert admires a Western Lakes fish. See page 5 for more.

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5

10

The West is Best - Western Lakes — Gavin Hicks

5

Trolling Deep Water – Snap Weights — Bill Presslor

8

Back to Basics – Georges Bay — Jamie Henderson

10

Dorset River — Craig Rist

14

Munter Hunter – Big Arthur River Trout — Daniel Paull

19

Around the Rivers — Daniel Hackett

25

Jan’s Flies — Jan Spencer

26

Chudleigh Lakes — Peter Broomhall

27

Reviews 35

19

My Say

45

I am having withdrawal symptoms as I write this. I have been sitting at my desk until midnight for about two weeks now. There has barely been a break to fish - nor even read a book. The fishing will happen soon and there is a pile of books on my desk to read. Some are those mentioned by Nick Taransky in his article on page 50. Take note of what he says if you like books and seek them out. The couple of quick breaks I have had have been spent in my kayak investigating the Meander River. It is a cracker of a river and certainly underutilised. Even though the Meander now has an Angler Access program of negotiated access points there are still many kilometres that would never see an angler. I am going to attempt to kayak fish a lot more of it over summer that’s for sure. As everyone knows we have heaps of water around us at the

Kayak Trolling — Craig Vertigan

43

Huntsman Lake – Kayak Techniques — Michal Rybka

45

Fly Rods and Kayaks — Peter Hayes

49

My Odd Books — Nick Taransky

50

Marine Fishery News

52

Inland Fisheries Service News

53

Fishing, boating and accommodation services directory

54

moment and it looks like we will have a great summer of fishing especially our streams and lakes. All of which will stay much higher than over the past few years. Dan Hackett (page 25) reports on some very good spring stream fishing and I am sure this will continue. Lakes that will perform really well this summer include Arthurs, Great, Little Pine and Huntsman. A sad note is that there has been a tackle thief operating around Arthurs Lake – especially around Jonah Bay. Beware of anyone acting suspiciously, or even extra friendly — they could be casing you. Take photos or record registration numbers as well. Report suspicious behaviour to the police. Don’t leave anything valuable in sight or unattended. I hope your Christmas is happy and the fish biting. Mike Stevens

Tasmania’s hottest lure Red Rascal split tail - Unbelievably good on browns and rainbows.

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Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News

Published by Michael Stevens PO Box 7504, Launceston, 7250. Ph/fax; 6331 1278 Email; mike@tasfish.com Advertising: Quenton Higgs - 0427 129 949 Stevens Publishing, ABN 79 095 217 299

All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. Print Post approved; PP 702512 00027

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Viv Spencer likes the Black and Gold Flapper and so does this rainbow.

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Fishing News - Page 3


The author with a superb Western Lakes brownie Fishing News - Page 4


The West is Best Gavin Hicks

I

am lucky enough at the moment to be working a two weeks on, one week off roster. When I switched over to this roster I decided it was time for some midweek trips to places I have not fished a lot in the last few years. A couple of years back whilst involved in the making of the fly fishing movie The Source Tasmania I had the opportunity to meet some champion blokes. Chris Reygaert flew over from Western Australia to help his brother, film maker Nick and he stayed at my house for a week or so. He ended up moving back to Tasmania to live a short time later, and we have become good mates. I love nothing more than spending a day on the water with Chris. He is a very accomplished fly angler and has a brilliant eye for a great photo, which is something I am becoming more passionate about with every fishing trip. So with that in mind a phone call was made to see if we could tee up a trip Grand Final week. Our work schedules agreed and we met at the shack at Great Lake on Grand Final eve morning. We had originally decided on hitting the Great Lake in the boat, but I had heard a whisper that the gate out to the Western Lakes might be open. I mentioned this to Chris whilst we were lighting the fire and preparing the lamb roast for the slow cooker. He didn’t even have to speak, I knew from the look in his eye he was keen for a walk, but a quick reply of hell yeah lets do it just confirmed it. Another quick phone call to Parks and Wildlife at Liawenee just to be sure was all we needed. The fire was shut down, the roast turned on and we were away. The drive out through the Nineteen Lagoons to our chosen departure point was exciting to say the least. All the talk was of us maybe being the first ones out to the area for the season, and how easy the fish would be, yeah right. Don’t we as fisherman have evil minds!. Once at our departure point the packs were loaded, Boags Red cans were stashed to cool down for rehydration on our return and we were off on foot. The walk in to our chosen lake was uneventful but full of more of the same banter as the car ride. Finally we arrived and were happy to find the lake chock full of water. By now it was mid morning, but there was quite a bit of patchy cloud rolling through. Guess what, by the time we got there we had convinced ourselves that being the first anglers to fish it for the season there would be tailing fish everywhere. Well there wasn’t!.

and a day is all you need First fish We had walked a reasonable amount of shoreline and things were not looking promising. The water was flooded right up into some areas of marsh land and it looked extremely fishy, but it wasn’t to be. The tailing fish we had hoped to see just weren’t there. I decided to move on ahead and make use of the available patches of clear sky to see if I could polaroid some fish around a deeper ledge. Chris made the decision to get out in the water and use the light to his advantage, so he could see back into the shallower edges I had skipped past and it paid off for him. It was only a matter of minutes before I heard a whistle and some yelling coming from back over the bank. I gathered in my fly and ran back to do the duties with the camera if and when required. By the time I got there Chris had the big golden brown well and truly under control and after a bit more thrashing around he slipped the weigh net underneath the fish and scooped him out of the water. At five pounds he was an awesome fish and a pretty good way to open our Western Lakes account for the season.

ledges with big heavy fuzzle buggers for no result. The next small bay we came to looked promising, and I cant explain it but sometimes you just get a feeling there will be a fish about. As I was walking around the edge I happened to look down at my feet and noticed a couple of small brown froglets in a pool of water. This only heightened the expectation of seeing a fish, and wouldn’t you know it. I crept

past a low lying bush and there on the other side of it was a fish lying in just a foot of water. He was hard in against the bank, obviously waiting for the unsuspecting food items to fall into the main lake. I froze on the spot and the fish turned and slowly started to swim away. Initially I was thinking he had seen me and had spooked but I flicked the unweighted brown fuzzle bugger out anyway, can’t die wondering!.

We ripped the camera out of the dry sack and fired off some photos then Chris gave me the run down on the capture. He was sneaking along just out from the bank when he spotted the fish right in on the edge, flicking out his woolly bugger fly he thought the fish had spooked. When it turned and came straight towards Chris he thought the opportunity was lost but a skilled flick of the wrist landed the fly right in front of the fish again, only metres from where he stood. Then through the magic of polaroiding Chris stood in amazement as the big brownie turned and sucked the wet fly in right before his eyes. All that was left to do was set the hook and hang on.

Missed chances After the excitement of the first capture had passed we gathered the gear up and headed off around the lake shore again. We polaroided a couple of nice pieces of water and blind fished some deeper Fishing News - Page 5


Second fish When we got to our intended spot to turn around the sun had come out slightly and visibility was pretty good so I decided to have a look in a small bay that was on a slightly different angle. I waded into about knee deep water and started to fan a few short casts around as I walked and scanned the water. After a few minutes I thought I noticed something behind my fly. As it got closer and into full view I could clearly see a fish tracking the fly. I would give the fly a few strips and he follow only a few inches behind it. When I stopped stripping he would sit dead still on the bottom, again only inches from the fly. This continued till the fish got so close that I think he seen me and turned and left the shallows at full noise. Whilst not doing a lot for the stress levels it did turn on my senses and make me concentrate on the task at hand. I had only waded a few more metres when I noticed a swirl in the shallows ahead of me. A quick back cast to change direction and the fly was landed in the area where the fish was spotted. I only had time for two strips and the water erupted. I lifted the 4wt to set the hook home and knew straight away I was into a good fish. He headed for the deeper water with a big, slow powerful run that I could do nothing to stop. Then all of a sudden the line went tight and stopped moving, he was snagged on a rock. I yelled out to Chris to come over and grab my pack off me, I was preparing for a swim as I knew it was a decent fish. I started to wade out as deep as I could to try and reach the fish when all of a sudden the line went loose. Thinking the fish had come off I let out a few choice words and started to wind in. Wouldn’t you know it the line came up tight again and the fish was away on another surging run. This time things went my way and after a few minutes Chris slipped the net under a cracking buck brown which pulled the scales down to 6.5 pounds. When I got him out of the net the fly was already out of his mouth, so he was a bit unlucky. Once again the camera got a thorough workout before the fish was slipped back into the water to fight again another day. It was now back over to Chris as I really didn’t care whether I cast another fly all day.

Third fish

Chris Reygaert wrestles a fish into the net. And is happy to report it at 6.5 pounds on the Weigh-net scales. As soon as the fly splatted on the water the fish turned in an instant and charged it. He came straight for it, stopped with his big brown snout right behind it and sucked it in, all within a rod’s length of me. I set the hook into a solid weight and let out a shout of excitement. The fish which was another good brown, but not quite as big as Chris’s first one gave two big head shakes and the fly pulled out, then it was him giving the shouts of excitement as he swam away from me. Oh well, you win some and lose some, still hurts though. I regained my composure (some would call it finished crying) and we set off again. We walked over the bank into the next bay and straight away another fish went unsighted due to the glare on the water. When I was nearly up beside him he took off in a cloud of silt. Things seemed to be going from bad to worse so we decided on a new approach. By now the sun had changed position behind us and when it broke through the clouds we were at a bad angle to see into the water with the glare from the cloud cover. We got well back off the edge and walked the shore for a bit with the intention of coming back up with the sun behind us to help get a better view into the water. Fishing News - Page 6

Chris had decided by now that another change of tactic was in order and tied on a big black dry fly he had been playing with at the tying bench. We were working our way along the final piece of shore having done a full lap of the lake. Chris was searching all the likely looking spots with the dry and I was wandering behind him prospecting the deeper water offshore with my fuzzle bugger. I wasn’t really concentrating, still thinking about the previous fish when Chris brought me back to reality when I heard him yell “I’m on again”. He had been drifting his dry fly around some rocks right close to the bank when a big brown snout came up and gulped it down. This fish was bit nicer to us and put up a determined but clean fight. It was only a matter of minutes before the weigh net was once again slipped under a fine Western Lakes brown. The handle was released and Chris had his second 5 pounder of the day, a truly magnificent sample of the fish I love so much. As we watched him slowly swim back into the depths we both looked at each other with the realisation that it was time to start the walk out.

Gear and Celebrations We both used 9 foot rods for this days fishing, Chris a 5wt GLX Loomis and me a 4wt TCX Sage. Weight forward floating lines were all that was required as we just used heavier flies with bead heads or lead wire when needed, or not fishing dry flies. Six pound tippet on the end of our tapered leaders was all we used for the day. I always carry a clear camo intermediate line on a spare reel in my pack for extra depth, but it wasn’t used on this day. One of the most important pieces of equipment for this type of fishing is, I believe the weigh net. These types of net have a set of scales in the handle that you release and it weighs your fish for you. If your

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Superb colours on this brownie, the reel, and the ink on Gavin’s arm.

going to spend some time and serious leg work chasing bigger fish its nice to take the guess work out of it when you finally land one. By the time we got back to the car the cans were nice and cool, and tasted just like we had hoped. That night back at the shack we enjoyed a slow cooked roast and

celebrated the days fishing,hard. When I woke up the next morning I realised the celebrations were probably a bit to hard. Oh well you don’t have a day like that on the water every day, do you!. Gavin Hicks

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Fax (03) 6234 8024 Fishing News - Page 7


Trolling techniques Bill Presslor

S

nap weight trolling was developed in North America for targeting suspended or structure hugging walleyes. To successfully target suspended or bottom hugging fish, no matter what species, requires a special presentation of your lure or bait. Downriggers are without doubt the best tool for precise presentations at depth, but can be a costly exercise if you are trolling in snag infested water, and you hang up your bomb on a submerged tree or rock. A snap weight line can easily be run in conjunction with a leadcore line, flat lines or downriggers. In addition, snap weight lines are perfect as planer board lines with either in line boards or double trolling boards, but let’s not worry about them here. The snap weight technique will prove a valuable asset for any dedicated troller as it will allow you to troll more deep lines without a downrigger or leadcore line. Places like Arthurs in deeper water, Great Lake, Dee Lagoon, Barrington and all the West coast waters are ideal for this technique. At one time or another, many trollers have tried trolling sinkers of every size and description, but they all seem to have their drawbacks. If you run the weight close to the lure or bait you run the risk of spooking the fish, too far away and you can’t land the fish because the weights in the way. Enough weight to get you deep and it takes the fun out of landing the fish. Snap weights overcome these problems because they employ a pinch pad release (like a downrigger release clip) with a trolling weight attached. The real beauty of snap weights is that they allow the angler to choose how close or how far the weight is placed from the lure. Basically the snap weight system works by allowing the angler to determine lead, the distance the lure or bait is let out the back of the boat. Once this is established the snap weight is simply pinched open and attached to the line. The line, with weight and lure or bait attached are then let out further behind the boat, simple and very effective! Snap weights can be almost any weight you choose. Commercially they are available in sizes from ½ to 3 ounces. Because snap weights are basically a release clip with a lead weight attached by a split ring, you can experiment with a range of weights. I generally carry ¼, ⅜, ½, ¾ 1 ounce and 1½ ounce weights for the type of fishing I do, but I have used heavier weights as well.

Getting down with Snap Weights

Whilst snap weights are a great technique for geeting deeper for trout, it can be used for any lure caught fish. They are not attached to any other line - it is just clipped on. Once you hook a fish and you are fighting the fish as you get the weight to your rod, you can unsnap the weight and play the fish unencumbered. If you choose to make up your own snap weights use a lead weight that is cylindrical or torpedo shaped to cut down on drag. Commercial snap weights are manufactured by Offshore Tackle and imported into Australia by Magnum Fishing products. Clarkson Imports also have kits available. Ask your dealer to contact them if you can’t find them. Attach your choice of weight with a large split ring to the release clip, and your ready for action.

Tackle selection: To troll with snap weights, most trout or native tackle will fill the bill admirably. To start out with this system, I’d suggest you look for a rod with a medium to fast action in the 1.8 to 2.2 m length. Ideally you want a rod that is tippy enough to telegraph your lure’s action, but still able to cope with dragging around a bit of a weight. Your choice of reel is really a matter of personal preference. Baitcasters, overheads, or spinning reels will all do the job, though my personal preference is to use an overhead reel with a line counter. Line selection for snap weight trolling is fairly crucial. This technique does not require fine line diameters to help achieve depth, the weight takes care of this. Keep in mind that if you are fishing a lake with lots of snags your line is going to get a real beating. After you have landed a fish or been snagged remember to cut a metre or two off the

end of your line. Most of the stretch in mono or co-polymer lines occurs near the end of the line. Cutting a bit of line off and retying your lure or bait may save you the grief of losing a good fish. Look for a tough abrasion resistant line with low stretch and something in the order of 4-5 kg breaking strain. This line is your main connection to the fish, it doesn’t pay to buy poor quality line. Over the years I’ve developed a real fondness for Platil Strong ST as a dependable trolling line. I’ve also used other brands such as Platypus and Maxima with good results. To make your presentation as accurate as possible you need some means of measuring the line you let off your spool. For years I played with counting revolutions of the spool on my reels, measured and marked my line in an attempt to get as accurate a reading as possible of my line out. I now use a line counter reel that makes the task of measuring line out a lot simpler. They are fairly pricey. Another less expensive method of measuring line out is a clamp on line counter that fits on your rod and measures line out after it leaves the reel. I’ve toyed with a couple of these little devices and so far, the one I like best is the Australian designed Tackle Tracka. The Tackle Tracka has an LCD screen and gives you a digital rea dout of your line out. Tackle Trackas are almost impossible to find these days and you will pay about $100. Contact the Editor mike@tasfish.com if you want one. The main purpose of all these toys is to enable the angler to accurately repeat line out. If you catch a fish at a particular depth or drop back, you can repeat the process to get back to the strike zone. If you don’t have a line counter use a permanent marker to mark your line at regular intervals. I really can’t overstress the importance of knowing how much line you have out with this technique. To avoid constant hang- ups, you need to know where your lure is in relation to the bottom or structure. Your sounder is an indispensable tool for depicting depth and structure. Get the best you can afford and spend plenty of time learning how to use it. They are an extremely accurate piece of equipment and the detail that most modern sonar units can give you is really quite amazing!

A snap weight can be clipped to the line anywhere you want. When a fish is hooked the snap weight is removed once within reach. Fishing News - Page 8

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Lure selection for snap weight trolling

Boat speed and lure depth The most widely used application for snap weight trolling is when you choose to take a normally shallow running lure to a greater depth. If you want to get the most out of this technique, remember that snap weight trolling is highly speed dependant. The slower you go, the deeper the lure will run. This also applies to the amount of weight you use, heavier weights are also going to take your lure deeper. Boat speed in the vicinity of 1.5 km/h is a good starting point. The standard trolling method with snap weights is called the 50/50 system, developed by professional walleye anglers to help standardise leads or dropbacks and to more accurately predict depth. It relies on a lead of 50 ft (15 m) being let out behind the boat, the weight snapped on and another 50 ft. (15 m) let out. The attached graphical chart is a good a starting point, and is intended as a guide to get you started. With the number of variables in this system you need to consider carefully what presentation you want. The information in the graph is accurate to within about 1-1.5 m. Your own experience will soon have you working out depths fairly close. Remember that your presentation will run slightly deeper than the snap weight.

We’re very fortunate to have an enormous selection of lures to choose from. With the vast array of locally produced and imported lures, regardless of whether you are trolling for trout, Atlantic salmon or even Australian salmon, your choice is almost endless. Locally manufactured lures such as Lofty’s Cobras, Tassie Devils, Tillins King Kobras, and the local minnow style lures, as well as Rapalas or any of the plethora of soft plastics all work well with this technique. The snap weight system was developed to troll spinner baits and worm harnesses for walleye, but most minnow style lures work equally well. Just about any lure that will consistently troll on a flatline to 1 m to 1.5 m is usually a good choice. I would steer away from using this technique with deep-diving lures, trying to predict on accurate depth is just too complicated. Don’t discount bait as an alternative with this technique. A trolled worm or even a mudeye can be deadly, especially in winter or spring when water levels are rising. Smaller attractors such as dodgers and small bladed attractors can be very productive when used in conjunction with bait, but with all but small dodgers it’s very difficult to accurately predict depth. They are not popular in Tasmania, but mainlanders really embrace them - and they work.

Advanced applications My personal favourite use for snap weights is running them off a planer board. By using snap weights on my planer board lines I can increase my coverage of fish by having a line that is not only out in undisturbed water, but down as well. This technique is often very productive if your target fish are in clear water and are spooky. To target fish that are suspended it is very handy to be able to run a couple of snap weight lines in addition to your standard flatlines.

When landing a fish you’ve hooked on a snap weight line, a steady retrieve is usually the best approach. Try to avoid the temptation of really setting the hook, you’ll find that the fish generally do a good job of hooking themselves. A heavy jerk on the line may result in your pulling the hook out of the fish’s mouth.

2 4 6 D E P T H S H O W N I N F E E T

7 10 12

2 mph

1.5 mph

1 mph

Another application for snap weights is to use them as bottom bouncers by placing them closer to the lure. This technique is a common approach for targeting bottom hugging fish, and involves

2 mph 1.5 mph 1 mph

14 16

bouncing your snap weight off the bottom to attract fish to the trailing lure or bait. This is not a technique for the faint hearted, you can sacrifice a bit of gear to snags etc. but you can also catch big fish!! Don’t just think of snap weight for trout either. This will work for any species that will take a lure. Imagine a big flathead taking that bottom bounced lure. Bill Presslor

2 mph 1.5 mph 1 mph

18

Snap Weight kit and clips are available through Clarkson Imports. Your tackle dealer will be able to order one for you.

2 mph 1.5 mph

20 22

1 mph

24 26 28

2 mph

1.5 mph

1 mph

30 1/2

3/4

1

2

3

OZ Wt

Shallow running and Spinner bait lure examples Bill Presslor’s chart might have a few scratching their heads with it all SNAP WEIGHT TROLLING KITwillSET being imperial measurements, but most anglers cope.

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Fishing News - Page 9


Back to Basics Jamie Henderson

Tips for Georges Bay O

ver the last few years there has been many new frontiers that anglers have been faced with in the fishing world, there has been more changes to the way we fish, tackle we use and techniques we deploy than probably any other decade and as anglers we at times become enveloped in whatever new technique, lure or tackle happens to be the next big thing or “Revolution” in fishing. With information highways at our finger tips, social media everywhere we look, more fishing based television and media than ever before the amount of information available to the every day angler can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing.

The final rig that will cover any other situation be it from a boat, jetty, beach or rock is a standard paternoster rig. This consists of the sinker on the bottom with either one or two hooks on small traces at 90 degrees to the main line above the sinker.

Spider Hitch or swivel

One of my favourite forms of fishing in Georges Bay is to use a simple rod and reel combo, basic rigs and some bait, rods around 6’6”-7’ with a good quality spinning reel in the 2500 size range. Shimano do a great couple of models at the moment in the Aquatip and Beastmaster ranges in a 702 Estuary and match that up with a Shimano AX 2500 or Sienna 2500 and you have an outfit that will last for years and handle anything Georges Bay has to throw at it. Spool up with some good quality monofilament such as Asari Pearl in 8lb or some Power Pro Braid in 5lb with a 8lb leader, the braid will allow a better feel of the subtle takes of some of the fish however the mono offers easier management for the younger anglers as well as a little more forgiveness in the system.

Little ‘pinky’ snapper tun up quite regularly in the bay these days.

It can be daunting for someone simply wanting to go and catch a couple of fish for tea but with all that going on there is no doubt that the basics of successful angling rarely change. I always try and remain on the forefront of the angling world, my business and livelihood depends on it, but I have to admit that although I am a hard core soft plastic, lure and flyfisherman I love nothing more than heading out onto Georges Bay with my wife and daughter armed with nothing more than some basic rod and reel outfits, some small hooks and sinkers and a couple of packets of bait to relax and have some fun. It’s the sort of grass roots fishing that I believe everybody should experience and it really isn’t that hard nor does it need to be complicated, it can be done by young and old, male or female and is the type of activity that can involve the whole family. Living in St Helens on this states beautiful East Coast certainly makes me biased but I defy anyone to find a better saltwater estuary based fishery in Tasmania than Georges Bay. It has everything to offer and is the perfect destination for family based fishing, sheltered waters for small craft, excellent launching facilities, easily accessible jetty’s and wharfs for the land based angler, lots of quality affordable accommodation and all right on your doorstep…..and of course a great tackle shop. Georges Bay has one of the most diverse populations of ‘bread and butter’ species of fish in Tasmania; some have even said the southern half of Australia and is the perfect location for a bit of basic family fishing fun. Fishing News - Page 10

with the bait. This allows the sinker to sit on the bottom and the bait to bait to move around naturally in the current trailing down stream from the sinker.

The list is almost endless and offers many under rated table fish, such as Australian Salmon, Silver Trevally, Leatherjacket, King George Whiting, Southern Black Bream, Flathead, Garfish, Snotty Trevally, Silver Morwong, Mullet, Jack Mackerel, Short Finned Pike, Tailor, Couta, Luderick, Flounder, Squid and at certain times of the year fish such as Elephant Shark and Yellowtail Kingfish

I like to keep the rigs pretty basic, if there is little current or you are fishing from a jetty and you are working in shallow water try and use an unweighted rig, or very lightly weighted with either split shot or a small swivel. This will allow the bait to present naturally in the water to the fish and will allow you to fish the whole water column. If for whatever reason - such as current, tide or just the ability to cast a little further and you have to add some more weight use the least amount of weight possible. This is one of the most important lessons of all. You must try and present the bait as naturally as possible, not send out an anchor. For some species such as Bream, Whiting and Flathead you will need to present your bait mostly on the bottom, in this situation I like to use what some people consider to be a standard Whiting Rig, this consists of a small bomb style sinker, around 10gm, tied to a short trace coming off the mainline, then a trailing longer trace with a small hook tied to the end

15cm

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Whiting Rig

Simple Paternoster Rig Make the bottom hook hang to about the sinker. The top hook should be well off the bottom.

When it comes to hooks there are many brands and types that will all do the job, I favour two styles and they are the long shank “Carlisle” style and the octopus style. The long shank are ideal for Georges Bay and any other estuary style environment, Leatherjacket are a very common species in Tasmania’s waterways and the long shank style helps give a little insurance to being bitten off by these fish, they are also a good hook for representing a prawn or nipper on for fish such as

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Fishing News - Page 11 18/11/11 9:14 AM


Bream and Trevally. Neptune do a great range of these hooks in well priced pre packs and they come in both red chemically sharpened as well as stainless. My other favourite style is the Octopus style of hook, this is great for Bream, Trevally, Salmon and most other fish however having the smaller shank means there is the possibility of bite offs from the more toothy fish. I like to use the Gamakatsu brand in these as they are extremely sharp, made from a fine wire but are still very strong and don’t rust easily. Being an estuary you need to think like an estuary fish when it comes to baits, estuary species generally don’t swim around taking bites out of squid or large pilchards they tend to take advantage of the easy meals that are all around them. Food items such as small baitfish, shellfish, crabs, molluscs etc are all on the menu of fish that live in an estuary so go for baits that represent natural food items, I tend to favour frozen Pippies and Prawns……I know what you are going to say “but they don’t stay on the hook”, well if the bait is being nibbled off on a regular basis then at least the fish are keen to eat it, if the bait is staying on the hook then the fish are obviously not interested. If you are not hooking the fish but are losing baits and getting plenty of bites try downsizing the hooks, maybe a lighter line or braid, more sensitive rod as mentioned above and keep a tight line so you can strike as soon as the fish is detected. I don’t worry too much about tides and times, fish will be active and feed on all parts of the run in and run out tide it’s really only the dead top and bottom of the tides that the flow and action will slow. Tides that are rising will flood new ground and have fish following the water up to forage and as the tide drops fish will sit down in the edge of the channels taking advantage of the food being brought to them as the water recedes, bear this in mind when choosing an area to anchor up and throw out a couple of baits. The humble old Leather Jacket are available in Georges Bay all year round and are a staple table fish of many families, they are relatively easy to catch, are widespread all over the bay and can be quite often found grazing on the barnacles and weed growth on the pylons which make them a great target for the kids. The Leather jacket is a very under rated eating fish and exhibits a firm white flesh with a very sweet taste, however peeling the skin off the fish is a must. Once skinned and filleted they are a great eating fish to take home for the family. With the many sand flat and mud flat areas around Georges Bay it is of no surprise that good numbers of Flathead are caught throughout the spring and summer months. The bay lends itself to being a bit of a nursery for Flathead with great numbers of small juvenile fish, an indication

of a very healthy fishery, however as spring approaches the abundant, nutrient rich mudflats become a veritable treasure trove of tasty food items for the Flathead to feed on, the fish putting on condition very quickly and anglers have no trouble catching a feed of legal sized fish as summer approaches. As the tide rises the fish will move up onto the flats feeding on all manner of items such as small crabs and crustaceans, prawns, shrimps, sandworms, nippers and small baitfish all being dispersed as the water floods the new ground. As the tide recedes the Flathead will sit on the drop offs and gutters on the outer edges of the flats waiting in ambush of any tasty morsel moving past them. It is at this stage that the angler has the best chance of capture as the fish will attack nearly anything that moves past it. Flathead are considered by most of the fishing public to be one of the best eating fish in the sea and those caught in Georges Bay are no exception, whack a simple fillet off each side, remove the rib bones, a quick dip in some batter or dust with some crumb mix and you have a dining experience fit for kings. The Silver Trevally is one of the most prolific species in our estuarine waters and are one of the ‘bread and butter’ species are caught by children on just about every jetty or out of every boat all around our coastline and are quite possibly the very fish that most of us would have cut our teeth on as a keen youngster. The humble little Trevally, or not so little in Georges Bay’s case, have fast become the best sportfish Tasmanian estuarine waters have to offer that can be easily caught by pretty much everybody.

So next time you have a weekend spare and need to get your fishing fix grab the family and head east to Georges Bay St Helens where the sun is always shining and the fish are always hungry, and while you are here stop in and see me, Jamie, at St Helens Bait and Tackle for all your tackle and tips on the East Coast. Jamie Henderson

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No one would have thought a few years ago that King George whiting would be caught regularly in Georges Bay.

The explosion in numbers and size of Silver Trevally in St Helens waters over the last few seasons is evidence once again that the ban on netting is improving the fishery all the time and certainly helping St Helens keep the banner as the best sports fishing destination in Tasmania. The bite from a Trevally can at times be very subtle and requires a bit more concentration from the angler to strike at the right time but once hooked Trevally are awesome fighters on light tackle testing drags and leaders to the limit and are heaps of fun. Silver Trevally are quite a reasonable table fish quickly bled and filleted however I like to smoke them, a bit of brine, quick dry, light drizzle of Maple Syrup and smoked at 90 degrees with a maple Alder flavoured smoke and you will be very surprised at how well they come out.

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Fishing News - Page 13


Exploring

The Dorset River

T

he Dorset River is a magic little stream that flows through Pera Flats at the foot of Mount Paris situated on the northeast corner of Tasmania near the town of Ringarooma. The “Dorset� is just one of the tributaries that flows into the very productive Ringarooma River. This small stream meanders its way down through a mix of farmland and native forest that generates all kinds of land based trout food which inevitably finds its way into the river for an opportunistic brown trout. When you add to this the ongoing aquatic lifecycles of a small stream and the competition for food amongst the fish that inhabit it, the trout become very willing to take a variety of well presented flies, lures or baits with this being one of the great attractions of fishing small streams such as this in Tasmania.

Fishing News - Page 14

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Craig Rist


For me, anyway, fishing small streams isn’t about catching large trout. It’s about the “take” and by that I mean that magical moment when you can see a trout eat your offering. I never get tired of experiencing that moment and I suppose it’s just one reason why small streams will keep me coming back for more. There is something very exciting about fishing new water. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an exotic overseas destination or if it’s that previously unfished stream in your home state. The sense of adventure, anticipation and the thought of what might be achieved during a day on the water remains the same. It was this need to discover and experience new water in my home state that led Simon Hedditch and I to fish the Dorset River. Simon is another likeminded small stream enthusiast, who, like me, thinks nothing of travelling a few hundred kilometres just to fish a trout stream. Our plan was to be on the river by 10am. The day starts to warm up around then and typically so does the fishing. So, after a short detour into Scottsdale to grab a morning coffee and lunch, we pulled out the map to find a back road that could give us access to the river. We approached a farmhouse that looked like it may belong to the property owner and knocked on the door to ask permission to access the river across their land. Thankfully the land owner’s past experiences with other fisherman had all been good and access was happily granted. It doesn’t take much to do the right thing when crossing private property. Small things like leaving gates as you find them, taking your rubbish with you and reporting any problems with livestock or fences goes a long way to maintain a healthy relationship between land owners and future anglers. We parked the car off the road and made our way down to the river. The day was perfect with blue skies and a light breeze blowing from the north making it ideal for sight fishing. The river is a typical freestone stream that is crystal clear with farm land on one side and native forest on the other. When Simon and I fish a small stream like this, we like to team up with one person fishing and the other spotting and taking a few photos along the way. This system works really well for us, as it can be just as much fun to capture the action on film as it is with the rod. As expected, it didn’t take long to spot the first fish of the day lying in a shallow pool below a large boulder mid-stream. Simon was first on the rod while I stayed beyond the back cast, to enjoy the hook up from a different perspective. Simon soon had a couple of false casts slicing through the morning sunlight with his little 2 weight rod, as he lengthened the cast, before finally delivering a size 16 Royal Wulff ahead of the fish. The small dry floated down stream with a perfect drag free drift and Simon was rewarded with the fly disappearing with a gentle sip. The rod was lifted into a fish that looked to be well over a pound in weight. From my position, the lightweight rod just seemed to keep bending as it took the weight of a fish charging around the pool. Of course, Simon was loving the sensation of fighting a fish of this size on his 2 weight rod. When you use a rod that actually bends under the weight of a small fish and you no longer have the ability to just muscle a fish in after the hook up, all of a sudden you find yourself having to use all of the fighting techniques you would normally use when fighting a much larger river or lake fish on a 6-weight rod. You need to think quickly on these small streams, as these fish can have you stitched up under the bank in seconds. These light rods bend a long way before the brakes come on to stop a fish. Because of this, you often need to apply some serious side strain, as soon as the hook goes in, to pull a fish out of a tight situation. Watching your mate get stitched up by these small river fish is also all part of the fun of fishing small streams. Simon’s first fish of the day wasn’t about to disappoint as it shot up stream between Simon’s legs leaving him

Stay well back as the water is crystal clear. dancing around in the middle of the river trying to step over the line. Simon quickly regained his composure and led the fish out of the fast water where he was able to remove the fly and return the fish back to the river. We changed roles, Simon was now the photographer and I was the lucky one with the rod. I was using my 7 foot 1 weight rod with one of my deer hair versions of a size 10 Chernobyl Ant. This buggy looking fly, with its rubber legs, sits low in the water and lands with a splat, signalling that food has just landed in the river. This type of fly can be deadly during the warmer months and it didn’t take too long before it was eaten by another quality fish and I regained my role of photographer and spectator as Simon took his turn on the rod. We continued to make our way upstream allowing the Dorset to reveal more of its pools and runs as we explored this new water. The Dorset has some of those classic grasshopper banks where the river meets the edge of a grassy paddock that is loaded with grasshoppers. When you find a deep pool alongside one of these banks you know there is going to be a good fish living nearby. On a blue-sky day, pools such as these are a great place to put the rod to one side and just watch from a high vantage point for a while to find the biggest fish of the pool.

On one of these pools, Simon and I watched at least six good fish swimming its length. As it was now Simon’s turn on the rod, I kept a close eye on the largest fish of the pool while Simon moved into position at the head of the pool, listening to my commentary of the comings and goings as each of the smaller fish passed by. When the larger fish came into view it was already making its way up to the head of the pool towards Simon. I relayed the location of the approaching fish to Simon who promptly made the cast well ahead of the fish. The small Chernobyl Ant landed a metre off the bank in the back eddy of the pool. I lost sight of the fish as it entered the deep water at the head of the pool. Our eyes were fixed on the small Chernobyl as it sat motionless, unaffected by the main flow of the river. Then, as if in slow motion, the fish drifted up from the depths and gently sipped in the fly and turned back down into the pool. The hook was set and the silence of the pool was soon broken as Simon let out a satisfying laugh with the fish thrashing and rolling at the surface before finding its head and slogging it out deep in the pool. Yet another quality brown from the Dorset was quickly released so that we could explore more of this fantastic little stream while we still had time.

A good fish is hooked, but what do I do now?

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Fishing News - Page 15


Flies There are many flies that will produce fish in a small stream. Traditional dry flies such as the Royal Wulff, Iron Blue Dun, Parachute Nymphs, Elk Hair Caddis and the Shaving Brush, just to name a few, are all worthy of a small stream fly box, as is the growing popularity of all kinds of foam based terrestrial type fly patterns such as small Chernobyl Ants and Stu Tripney’s Bionic Bugs. There’s just something about a low floating, buggy type fly, with rubber legs, that trout find irresistible. This same concept has led me to create my own version that has a little more hair and feather than some of the all-foam flies such as the original Chernobyl Ant. I call it “Craig’s Hair Chernobyl” but some of my fishing mates refer to it as “Craig’s Horror” in reference to its ugly appearance. For me, as long as it catches fish, I am more than happy to have it referred to as ugly. Besides, there’s nothing better than catching a fish on one of your own creations.

A lovely fish for the Dorset. There are many streams like the Dorset in Tasmania and they all have their own challenges to make a day’s fishing very rewarding. Many rivers, such as these, offer easy stretches to fish that are unobstructed by trees. These open stretches allow someone who is new to the sport easy casting and a good chance of landing a few fish. At the other end of the scale there are always those stretches that will test the casting ability and patience of some of the more advanced casters among us. That is, if they choose to fish those almost un-fishable pools that most anglers would bypass. These are the places where you get one chance and one chance only, to pull off that miracle cast in under trees and

Vision

over logs, to reach a fish that has probably never seen a fly drift that part of the river before. Believe me, if you get a fish to take your fly after pulling off a cast like that, it won’t matter how big the fish is, the reward will be in making the cast and seeing that fish rise up to your fly. These small streams are the places where you can throw caution to the wind to make that impossible cast, knowing full well that if you get the fly caught in a tree or spook a fish that you can simply wade over and retrieve your fly and move onto the next pool that will have just as many fish and another challenging place for you to place a fly.

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When it comes to wet flies, a small brown or black nymph will produce fish. Another favourite of mine is a small size 16 or 14 black beetle. Any of these flies can be fished upstream while watching the leader for any pauses to signal the fly has been eaten, or slowly worked back on those big slow pools. Using an indicator above any one of these flies can also help if you find it hard to see your leader. Alternatively, you could simply use your dry fly as an indicator by tying a short dropper from the bend of the hook. This will then suspend a nymph or beetle at whatever depth you choose. The only thing to remember with this setup is that if a fish decides to take your dry fly instead of the nymph or beetle, make sure you pause before setting the hook, just as you would with any other dry fly.

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Craig’s Hair Chernobyl

Tying method

Kamasan B170 size 10 or 12 Body: 2mm red foam cut into 3mm strip Wing: Brown deer hair Hackle: Brown saddle hackle Eyes: Mono Eyes size small Legs: Sili Legs Perfectly Barred Brown

Stack deer hair and tie in leaving 1 ½ x the length of the hook shank past the bend. Tie in the 2mm foam and fold over the deer hair and tie in to make a small ball at the bend of the hook. Apply some glue to the hook shank and wind the foam forward to make the body and tie off. Fold over the remaining deer hair to form the wing case. Tie in the Mono Eyes and the hackle. Fold the deer hair back over the Mono Eyes to form a wing and tie off. Tie in the rubber legs and then 3 wraps of hackle. Whip finish and trim legs.

Hook:

Any colour combination can be used with this fly pattern. It’s really up to the fly tiers imagination. Good luck. Craig Rist

Another Chernobyl victim.

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Fishing News - Page 17


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Munter hunter Daniel Paull

Arthur River

I

think just about everyone has used, or have at least heard of the word ‘munter’ once or twice in recent times. So, what is a ‘munter’ you ask? I think everyone has their own little word for a trophy sized brown, brook or rainbow trout, I guess it all depends on where you’re from. For me, the word ‘munter’ applies for something big, something special, that fish you’ve been looking for a very long time. If anywhere in Tasmania, the Arthur River, or any west coast river or lake, is a likely place to find one of these large, much desired fish. On the 23rd of October, I was lucky enough to have finally caught one of these large fish, a true, wild ‘munter’. I caught this fish during a recent trip to the Arthur River, in October to be exact. After a little planning, we left Burnie on Saturday, the 22nd of October, and drove to one of our most cherished saltwater fisheries. Here we encountered many large blue spotted flathead, garfish and all the other usual estuary inhabitants. After we left, late in the afternoon, we decided to head down the river. We already knew the fishing had been pretty consistent on the river for a while, so we were very keen to get down and into the action! When we arrived at the Arthur, we were quick to prepare all of our gear for a quick session. We had originally planned to hit the river on Sunday, but after hearing a report of two very large fish being caught throughout the day, we both decided to get out onto the water as soon as we could! The weather was superb, it would have been very hard to ignore the opportunity, especially with the possibility of encountering a ‘munter’ or two. After launching the boat at the ramp, we quickly began to make our way down to the mouth of the river for a quick look. There wasn’t all that much activity down that way

The author, Daniel Paull with a ‘munter’ he caught with his father, Mason, in the Arthur River. so we soon decided to head up the river a little in search of some deeper water, and some fish more importantly! Soon after reaching a productive stretch of water, we quickly deployed an arsenal of bibbed minnows. Soon after trolling over the exact same spot in which I caught a solid fish during the weekend before, dad hooked up to something solid. We had already caught a few smaller fish, but this was definitely something better. As the big doe approached the boat, we carefully prepared the net and camera. It wasn’t long before we had our first ‘munter’ on the board. We took a couple of quick photographs and slipped her back into the river. It was an encouraging start for the trip indeed! When the sun started to set, we decided to call it a day and began to make our way back to the ramp for a cold beer and some food. Actually, come to think of it, there was no food,

except for a couple of dirty old chicken schnitzels. I was not happy! When we awoke the next morning, we were quick to chuck all of our gear back in the boat. It was an early start, but nothing too spectacular, gentlemen’s hours I think they call it! After launching the boat once again, we quickly made our way back out to the mouth for another quick look. Once again, the mouth was pretty dead. I don’t really know what it was, but I think I may have lost something large down that way, but I couldn’t tell if it was a log or a trout, especially in the dark, tannin stained water. Regardless, the hook pulled and I was left wondering what it was! We continued to flog the mouth until finally choosing to head back up the river to the spot where we caught the last good fish. As we zipped past the ramp, we noticed a large number

With excellent rainfall, reinvigorated fisheries, improved access and a bigger choice of quality fishing spots the incentives to sign up are bigger than ever this season. Renew or buy your angling licence online at www.ifs.tas.gov.au or visit your nearest tackle store or Service Tasmania shop.

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Fishing News - Page 19


of trailers building up, a sure sign that there was going to be plenty of boat traffic further up the river. After a near death experience with a submerged log, and the boat, we eventually made our way up to the same little stretch of water that we fished on Saturday. It was considerably quiet for a little while, until we made another pass at some likely looking structure on the depth sounder. This is where it all happened, the capture of a true ‘munter’, an absolute beast. As I sat back in a seat, looking back at the spread, the outfit to my right buckled over and braid started to peel off the reel. It was the first time I had ever seen so much line taken by a trout! I quickly picked up the rod and started to bring the fish to the stern of the boat. To my surprise, the fish was swimming right on the surface for some reason, and it was swimming straight into a very ugly looking bank! While I moved the fish away from the snag infested bank, Dad set up the net and camera. When I finally managed to get the fish to the boat, we then had to try and scoop the monster up in our net, which was a little too small for the job! When we eventually landed the fish, we were quick to weigh her. We wanted to get her back into the river as soon as possible. She went 13.6lb on the old scale, a prime example of a monster ‘munter’ in my book!

Not as big as the leviathan dad caught a while back, but not far off it. I had no interest in keeping her for a wall mount, so we took a few quick photographs and slipped her back into the wilderness. There is

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nothing better than watching a solid ‘munter’ swim back into the depths! After we released the beast, we ventured to the upper reaches of the river. Here we encountered plenty of smaller, stream sized fish and an absolute truckload of whitebait. We even went to the spot where Peter Morse landed his monster a few years ago. When we had enough of it, we started to make our way back down to the mouth of the river where we eventually decided to call it a day. As soon as we retrieved the boat, were quick to get back home for a good feed.

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So that was it, my first encounter with a ‘munter’, a big one at that. We haven’t been down since, and by the look of things, the fishing is starting to settle down. We’ve been pretty lucky on the west coast, especially while we’ve fished on the Arthur River. The Arthur is a jewel, there is no doubt about it. It is only a considerably small system, compared to the Pieman and other west coast rivers anyway, so we all really need to look after it. The Arthur has been producing monster sea running and resident brown trout for many years, I’d hate to see the fishery ruined by over fishing. My philosophy, is that these fish that we set out to catch, put all the time and effort into finding, are just too good to be caught the once. Maybe, hopefully, someone else will get a chance at catching my ‘munter’ later on, perhaps when it reaches the 20lb mark! Daniel Paull

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Maybe we’ll catch it again. Fishing News - Page 20

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Fishing News - Page 23


Fish the shin deep water below the riffle for the best action. Fishing News - Page 24

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Around the Rivers Daniel Hackett

Happened and about to......

O

ctober and November were cracking months on the Tasmanian mayfly streams. After record wets over the past two years, the effects of the five year drought have been washed away, and most rivers are back to their absolute best. The highlight for spring was the red spinner hatches at the famed Stewarton property, on the middle Macquarie. For younger anglers, this year was the first big red spinner hatch they’d ever fished on this stretch made famous by David Scholes, while for older hands, the hatches were as good as those back in the 70’s. The upper Macquarie towards Ross still needs another year for the younger fish in the system to grow-on after numbers were depleted by drought, but the spinners are back and the eco-system is raring to go. Next year will be classic. Our best fly pattern was the Pheasant Tail Red Spinner tied on a size 10. The South Esk also featured excellent spinner falls during calm weeks dominated by high pressure weather systems. Leapers were frustrating for many, though these fish became easier at around 3pm in the afternoon when the predictable sea breeze knocked spinners down and onto the water, creating an easier hatch to match. Pheasant Tail Black Spinners along with Ostrich Herl Nymphs, Black and Peacocks and small parachute spinners were all reliable patterns. Fish size is quite good this year, particularly in the Fingal Valley where prolonged early floods have resulted in excellent conditioned fish. Towards the end of November caenid mayfly were beginning to appear in numbers, providing excellent morning fishing. The small streams of the north-east had a slower than normal start, with most flowing heavier and for a more prolonged length of time than normal. Despite this, a ripper of a warm week in November saw the water temperatures rise, and like a light switch turning on, the fishing took off and the dry fly reigned supreme. The upper North Esk, St Pats, South Esk and Ringarooma rivers all fished well during late November. Our small Scruffy dry flies, along with parachute spinners and Coachman all worked a treat, fished barbless. The Top Weir at Brumbys Creek, made famous by the red spinner hatches and leaping dragonfly feeders, received no hydro-flow from the Poatina hydro scheme between April and mid-November. The prolonged period of natural flows left many of the fishing flats exposed to frosts and weather over winter, leaving them fresh and fertile for the oncoming summer. Low hydro-flows have been released over the past fortnight, with clear water and excellent trout inundating the flats. The younger fish in the 2-2.5lb range are very well conditioned, and the weedbeds are forming very well for summer. The older fish are a little lean, which is not unusual. It should be a cracker of a summer for red spinners and dragonflies, providing the flows increase into December. Below Brumbys, in the lower Macquarie, the low flows have left the river looking anaemic and murky, but despite this, excellent fish to 4lbs have been polaroided hugging the edges, feeding on stick caddis and spinners. The 12km between Cressy and Longford will be a hotspot over summer, as soon as levels get above 1.6m at the Cressy Pumps. (You can check this easily on the front page of www. tasfish.com - go to Brumbys Creek Water Level.) Black Spinners, Stick Caddis and Shaving Brush

patterns will fool most of the trout, most of the time, throughout summer. Towards the central north and north-west, the middle and lower Meander remained murky from Quamby Brook downstream, however, the upper Meander featured excellent baetid and caddis hatches, with plenty of fish taking single dries along with the usual tungsten nymphs. Similar on the Mersey where good hatches in the lower reaches saw plenty of afternoon rises, with caddis nymphs particularly active, and the odd sea-runner around Latrobe. Look out for an excellent summer in the middle and upper Mersey this year, where wild-spawned rainbows would have benefitted in size from the past two winters of high flows. The Fastwater Dun, Scruffy and small tungsten Pheasant and Peacock Nymphs are our go-to flies for these rivers, and keep an eye out for the giant stonefly on the Mersey during the hottest days in January. For these hatches we use a WMD Hopper with an orange body.

River fishing tips to try during summer

The South Esk will fish well this summer.

Fish the faster shin to kneedeep water during hot summer days, this will be the hotspot. This is the area of the river with the most insect activity, and oxygen, and is usually found just below the riffle. Current seams (these are the tiny ribbons of current formed where two currents meet) are often found flowing along, and over drop-offs on slower rivers such as the lower Macquarie. Where a seam combines with an undercut bank and / or drop-off, you’ll typically find consistent fishing. Make sure your fly drifts along the correct side of the seam (usually the bank side of the current), as a feeding trout will rarely cross a seam of current to feed on the alternate side. Feeder creeks and the headwaters of rivers are awesome to fish with the dry fly during summer. The best time to fish them is a day or two after a decent rain, as the increased depth leaves the trout feeling safer, and the fish don’t spook one another as easily. Daniel Hackett, RiverFly Tasmania & FlyShop 1864 www. flyshop1864.com.au 45 Cameron Street, Launceston Look out for the summer 2011/2012 river report and late summer river fishing tips in the next edition of TFBN. Also check for regular fishing reports on www.tasfish.com

Make sure you fish the well oxygenated water as the streams warm up.

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Fishing News - Page 25


Jan’s Flies Jan Spencer

I

do not want to sound all flowery and fluffy, but some of my recent fishing on Tasmania’s superb streams where the little birds flutter about at rod’s length and the caddis are like snowflakes hovering in the clouds all excites me. What must it do to the trout? There are, of course, many insects on these small streams, the main one at this time of year is the mayfly. But the eager trout are mostly happy to take almost anything you may present to them on the shallow bubbly waters. A little Red Tag size fourteen or a Deer Hair Caddis work well. Where the waters have some depth, my personal choice is a small wet, a nymph, beetle or stick caddis. A new one I’ve tried on the streams is a little buzzer. A buzzer, or chironomid nymph, is a popular fish food. There are many patterns which are quite simple to tie. My preference is a fly with some red material. It does not seem to matter where the red is worn on the fly, it may be a small flash around the head area

or a full body but as most will know, red is a very popular trout attractor. This fly may be fished as a single fly cast upstream and let drift naturally, or tied in under a dry fly so the angler has a double chance. A dry can also work as a strike indicator, with this method working well on lakes in a wind lane — fish it on the edge of the smooth and rippled water. More often than not, the fish will take the buzzer. One thing to remember when tying this fly in as a dropper is to note the depth of the water, especially on streams. The dropper needs to be just short of the bottom.

Method

Buzzer

6. With the thread, tie the grizzle feather. Make only one turn as it needs to look like legs, not a neatly tied hackle. Cut away excess feather.

Hook:

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Thread:

Black

Body:

Black swannundaze

Wing or gill:

Two red goose biots

Thorax:

Small peacock herl

Hackle or legs: One grizzle feather

1. Take thread well round the bend of the hook. 2. Tie swannundaze and bring thread forward. Stop well back from the eye. 3. Bring swannundaze forward with nice even turns to the thread. Tie down firmly and cut away any excess. 4. Tie one red good biot on each side of the body and cut the points off and any excess biot material. 5. Place in the peacock herl and form a nice little head. Cut away excess herl.

7. Whip finish, cut thread away and place a small drop of varnish on the whip finish. May I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. Jan Spencer

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Fishing News - Page 26

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A Day at Chudleighs

T

he tip of dorsal fin momentarily cut the glassy surface of the lagoon followed by a slight swirl over the iseotes weed mound. This was the signal I had been waiting for, he was back. An accurate long cast placed the little Montana Nymph a few feet ahead of the slight ripple caused by this activity. This was met by a huge bow wave and swirl in the vicinity of the fly. I quickly tightened and an enormous golden sided brown trout leapt skywards in a spectacular gill rattling response. Hitting the water again the fish put on the afterburners and headed for what seemed like the other side of the lagoon with the reel screaming in protest, a universally wonderful sound for all flyfishers. Another head shaking leap further out in the lake this time resulted in the desperate feeling of slack line. Despondently I reeled in the line and inspected the broken tippet. Maybe the 4lb tippet was a little light….. After gathering myself I looked around to Todd, my companion for the day’s fishing in the area collectively known as the Chudleigh Lakes in Tasmania’s Central Plateau region. He had been watching the exchange closely, having landed a large fish himself only minutes before. My questioning look was met by a shrug of his shoulders. A few unprintable comments followed and then we were off again with eyes peeled looking for the next potential candidate.

This day’s fishing adventure had began, as many others had before it, a few short hours before. The alarm clock had played out its screeching tune at 01:30am. This din signalled the end of a fitful sleep. A quick shower and bite to eat followed before Todd arrived to pick me up. We were then on the road for the 1 ½ hour drive up to the road terminus at the foot of the Lake Mackenzie dam wall. With backpacks and headlamps on we then set off on the 2 hour mostly cross country walk to the lagoon described above for a dawn raid on its tailing brown trout. By approximately 08:00 am the tailing trout action had quietened off. Both Todd and I had a landed a solid fish each and I had also managed to break off the big one mentioned earlier. The action had been solid with just enough trout showing to keep us both interested and alert. Most fish had been working slightly offshore among the iseotes weed that dotted the bottom of this shallow lagoon, their position being betrayed only when they moved up over the weed mounds, most likely feeding on the abundant population of amphipods that these areas hold.

Tactics for Tailers On day trips into the western lakes we will often walk in with the use of headlamps or torches to a pre-planned destination so that we can be on the

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Fishing News - Page 27


shores well before the sun peeks over the horizon. The glow in the eastern sky is enough light to be able to make out the fins, swirls and bow waves of the feeding trout, especially in calm conditions or on lee shores. Low light conditions are always the most reliable times to look for tailing trout. Dawn and dusk are the most obvious, but days with rain or heavy cloud cover will sometimes keep them in close and active for longer periods than normal. High water will also be worth a look as after heavy rain the trout will feed across newly covered ground with gusto. Many waters in the Central Plateau area known as the Chudleighs have suitable areas to find tailing trout. Look for lakes, lagoons and tarns that have shallow rocky shorelines through to pin rush marshes. The trout will be in on the edges hunting all manner of food including the likes of frogs, tadpoles, galaxids, snails, amphipods and stick caddis in season. Patience is a key ingredient when targeting tailing trout. Staying alert at all times and scanning the immediate area is a must. Look for the subtle signs such as small boils, the tip of a fin or just a ripple running the wrong way just as much as the obvious signs like whole backs sticking out of the water, swirls and waving tails. Reliable fly patterns for tailing trout are many and varied. All the usual suspects in the wets such as woolly buggers, woolly worms, fur flies, Montana Nymphs and their variants work well. Stick Caddis are also a must have in the flybox out west. In the dry flies you cannot go past humble Tasmanian favourite, the Red Tag. This fly has been the undoing of a great many tailing trout over the years. Another pattern that has really come to the fore over the last few seasons is Craig Rist’s EWB (Emerging Woolly Bugger). This cross between a wet fly and a dry (damp fly?) has seen some big snouts over the top of it in recent times. Fishing gear choice comes down to the individual but a 4, 5 or 6 weight fly rod rigged with a WF line will cover most situations. Completing a circuit and back at the spot we had dropped our packs it was time to shed a layer of

clothes and get the sunscreen on in preparation for the days’ polaroiding action, this type of fishing being the primary reason for the day trip into the Chudleighs. The day ahead had an ideal forecast for polaroiding with sunny conditions, warmish with moderate northerly breeze the prediction. Before leaving here we were met by another regular on our trips out west, Simon, who could not manage the very early start but the attraction of a day’s polaroiding in this area could not be resisted. The western lakes fanatics among us will know Patience is the key to finding tailing trout - and get up early. what I mean by this. A quick check of the map and the three of us then But any low light conditions can be productive. set off on another hour long cross country walk to a series of headwater tarns that we hoped would provide us with the chance of seeing and casting to trophy sized browns, the fish that the area has become famous for over generations. A peek over the bank at the first lagoon resulted in the first trout spotted. This trout was cruising on a regular beat around a silty bottomed bay and occasional white flashes from its mouth revealed that it was feeding well. Simon got himself into position to cast to the trout, while Todd and I provided running commentary from a high vantage point. As soon as it returned within casting range Simon put out an accurate cast. The plop of the small nymph hitting the water attracted the trout’s We leave our packs and do short walks. attention and it immediately rushed over and inspected the fly. You could actually see it eyes swivelling around in the typically crystal clear water. Something about the soaring. Unfortunately you shouldn’t count your fly spelled danger to the trout and it initially rejected the chickens out here as the next few hours didn’t result offering but after Simon gave the fly a quick twitch the in any further hook-ups. A few trout were found but fish turned back around and this time inhaled it! A quick cursory examinations and rejections of our flies were all strike followed and another classic looking western that we could manage. lakes brown was heading for the horizon. Sitting down for lunch to rest tired legs we gathered Off to a great start on this series of lagoons, ones our thoughts. After much debate we decided that a that we hadn’t fished before, our confidence was change of location was in order. Another string of

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lagoons, a little closer to the vehicles, was going to be the afternoon’s destination. Almost immediately actively feeding trout were polaroided in these waters. Once again there were quite a few refusals but enough accepted our offerings to make it a great afternoons sport. One particular trout sticks in my memory. Walking along a high bank we found a large fish cruising within a few inches of the edge. Being my turn on “strike” I quickly got into position but found that at low level the trout was invisible to me. Relying on my companions direction I was able to deliver a long cast which placed my little dry ‘Bruisers Bug’ on to the water just off to the side of the trout. Immediately out of the glare came the large brown, looking from my angle like a big grey submarine and inhaled the dry. It was difficult to delay the strike long enough and not lift too early due to the chorus of whoops and hollers coming from above me! Somehow I timed it right and a furious battle ensued, much of it in the air. Alas the hook pulled on this fish before it came to hand, more so it seemed to my companion’s disappointment than mine, but I’d had my fun with him by that stage.

Polaroiding Basics It is really this type of fishing that has made the Western Lakes district famous not only amongst local anglers but worldwide. Fishing to large brown trout cruising sandy or silty lake shores on blue sky days is what anglers flock here for starting from late spring and through the summer period. Sunny days with little or no cloud are the best conditions to get the most out of the WL polaroiding. As soon as the sun is high enough in the sky, usually around 09:00 am in the summer, it is time to get the ‘roids’ on and start searching for trout. Waters preferred for polaroiding are the shallow sandy or silty bottom lagoons and bays that are common throughout this part of plateau. In good conditions you can see virtually all of the bottom of these lagoons. The shadows of the cruising trout will stand out like the proverbial! Take advantage of higher ground, such as elevated banks, big rocks, etc.. This also helps to be able see across more water. Fly patterns suitable for polaroiding are very seasonal dependant but in the summer at least this fishing is generally dry fly based. Once again the Red Tag is a popular choice as are Black Spinner patterns and foam flies such as Chernobyl Ants, WMDs and my own Bruisers Bug have their devotees For days that the trout won’t look up small nymphs, fur flies and woolly worms are good fall backs. As per the notes above on tailing trout 4, 5 and 6 weight rods are standard equipment for this fishing. Weight forward lines will give the angler some scope in the quite often windy conditions. Polarised sunglasses as the name suggests are an absolute must for this type of fishing. Amber or brown tints are generally preferred, although the yellow tinted glasses are gaining a following, especially in low light conditions. Photochromatic glasses are also handy as they darken or lighten in their tint dependant on the available light. By the time we had completed a circuit of just a few of the lagoons in the system it was time to leave. The hours tick by so fast up here, there was some heavy cloud cover starting to roll in from the north as well and the threat of getting fog bound made the decision easier. Faced with a 3 ½ hour walk back to the cars we sadly packed up our gear and headed back off down the hill, vowing to return again in the near future to do battle with these wonderful trout in an amazing setting. All up it had been a typical Western Lakes day, challenging and sometimes frustrating fishing mixed in with some absolutely memorable moments.

Accessing the Chudleigh Lakes The Chudleigh lakes region and its world class polaroiding for Brown Trout can be accessed by either the Blue Peaks or Lake Explorer tracks both of which leave from Lake Mackenzie. Both tracks are clearly marked on the Mersey 1:100 000 Tasmap. The Blue Peaks track is a relatively easy 6km walk which can be negotiated in 1 ½ to 2 hours.

This track arrives on the northern shore of the water named Middle Lake. From here there is easy cross country access to all the main waters including Blue Peak Lake itself, Little Throne Lake, Harry Lees Lakes, Shark Hole and Grassy Lakes. There are also many side waters within easy day trip access from this location. Note that the Blue Peaks track can be difficult to find in marginal conditions such as fog and or snow. Walkers should come prepared for all conditions . The Lake Explorer track leaves from the foot of the Mackenzie Wall and follows an old vehicle route around the shore of the lake. At high lake levels this track can be become quite difficult to access and if Mackenzie is full almost impossible. At these times it is best to either boat across Mackenzie or use the before discussed Blue Peaks track. Once you have negotiated around Mackenzie and crossed the Fisher River the track is well defined, albeit quite wet at times. The track as the name suggests arrives on the shores of Lake Explorer after a 1 ½ hour walk and continues on to Lake Nameless. Other main lakes best accessed by this track are Lake Lucy Long, Westons Lake, Snake Lake, Lake Ironstone and Lake Halkyard. Similar to the Blue Peaks lakes area there are many smaller waters worth investigating as well within easy cross country access. Another couple of points of access worth mentioning here are the Western Creek and Higgs tracks. These tracks lead up onto the plateau from the foot of the Western Tiers. They offer a serious alternative to anglers wishing to mix some bushwalking to the trip as they are very scenic alternatives. The Western Creek track comes out on the plateau in the vicinity of Lake Ironstone and the Higgs Track at Lake Lucy Long and continues on to Lake Nameless. Once again anglers accessing this area should come prepared for all possibilities. Weather conditions can change rapidly; we have had days up here where full sun was exchanged for thick fog within minutes. Extremes of temperature are also commonplace on the plateau so warm clothing is a must even on days with high temperatures forecast.

Heart in the mouth as a fish cruises by.

Perfect polaroiding conditions and a hook-up.

Gear Checklist for Day Walks • Good quality backpack or daypack which distributes weight evenly across the hips • Comprehensive area maps, the Mersey 1:100 000 or Lake Mackenzie and Pillans 1:25 000 series • Compass and / or GPS unit, especially if intending to do any cross country walks • Quality waterproof coat, even if fine conditions are predicted. • Strong walking boots that give good ankle support in particular. A lot of the cross country walking is across rock scree. This is not the place to roll your ankle or worse. • Gaiters for protection both from the thorny scrub and resident tiger snakes. • Layering clothing, including thermal underwear, mid weight fleece and windstopper jacket. • Well stocked First Aid Kit, including blister pads. (There is nothing that ruins your day quicker than a blister!!) • Spare socks • Sunscreen • Plenty of food to keep energy levels up. Muesli bars are a personal favourite to snack while fishing. • Beroccas, to give you back the b, b, bounce !!

Summary The Chudleigh Lakes area is a wonderful fishery within easy reach of anglers with average fitness levels. The fishing, as is the case with much of the Western Lakes, is very rarely easy but if you are up to the challenge is a great destination. Every fish successfully fooled up in this country brings a great level of satisfaction. Peter Broomhall

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This is what we came for—and carefully released it will be bigger next time. Fishing News - Page 31


Stormrider Explorer Stormrider Active

Stormrider Pro

Stormrider Hunter Stormrider Yoke

Stormrider Premium Yoke

Introducing PFD Australia’s STORM RIDER Series By Ian Stead When it comes to marine safety as responsible anglers we should give it the highest priority, after all, to put it quite simply our recreation is for our enjoyment and getting back home safely after a day out on the water is the desired outcome. With this upper most in our minds the most important safety item in our boats would have to be our Personal Flotation Devices, commonly known as PFDs or quite simply, life jackets. Unfortunately, this subject does bring out some rather bad feelings among anglers due to the stringent marine safety laws that are in place. For some time now Tasmanian boaters - in boats under six metres must wear a pfd when under way. Some are plain uncomfortable, other bearable and some you can wear all day and not notice. Australian anglers are lucky as there are really well designed PFDs that really do fit the needs of all anglers. There is an Australian company that designs and makes their own PFDs and they are up there competing with the best in the world. The company is called PFD Australia and they are based in Geelong,Victoria. The owners, Glenn and Sherrilyn Sheldon, started out making wetsuits in the late 1980s in Torquay, Victoria and have developed and progressed this business in designing and developing clothing, embroided products and services plus screen printing for the marine industry. Being initially involved in the surfing industry, they soon turned their expertise to helping our surf life savers as they saw the need for a specific life jacket which was made from neoprene and would fit snugly to the body and could be safely used in the rough and tumble of our surf beaches. From here they then moved their attention to the woes of all boating anglers and seeing how the new boating safety regulations in Fishing News - Page 32

Victoria and other states saw many anglers stuck using uncomfortable and cumbersome life jackets, so was born the Storm Rider series of PFDs. The Storm Rider series of PFD jackets range has every type of boating angler covered from the high seas to the skinny waters of our river systems and includes large boating cruisers to kayaks. When I say they have all anglers covered I do mean all, as these PFDs are not only functional, but are also quite fashionable and very practical. No more will an angler have to wear a bulky lifejacket or even wear one over your winter jacket as PFD Australia have got you covered with the Storm Rider Explorer, Pro and Lite PFD jackets. These PFD jackets are very cosy with inbuilt inflatable PFD neatly designed into the jacket that is easily activated by a simple pull of a chord, or there is an optional water auto activated module which will automatically inflate when you are in the water. These jackets have removable hood and sleeves and can be worn legally with the front zip undone as there is an additional strap that is done up underneath. PFD Australia has also ensured the ladies are not forgotten either as there are full ladies cuts and sizes available. The Storm Rider Explorer PFD jacket is 100 per cent waterproof and quilted on the inside for extra warmth and comes with matching waterproof pants with long waterproof leg zips. These jackets are the ultimate storm jacket on those cold and wet days and you will be kept warm, dry and safe indeed. The Storm Rider Pro PFD jacket is a wind and water resistant fleece jacket made with warmth and versatility in mind with removable hood and sleeves for the warmer times of the year. The Storm Rider Lite PFD jacket is the all-rounder of all the PFD jackets and is my

favourite. It has a waterproof shell with water and wind resistant material. Combined with removable sleeves, roll out hood and a removable panel at the back to allow the jacket to be worn in warmer weather, makes this a great all-round choice for most weather conditions in our south east environment. PFD Australia’s great range does not stop there, as there are also a series of vest type PFDs. This range consists of the Storm Rider Active, Hunter and Compact models. This range has been designed with the more active recreationalist in mind like fly fishermen, hunters, canoeists and kayakers. Each one is designed with comfort and practicality being the utmost outcome and they look great. At the tail end of the range is the yoke type style PFD that is hugely popular in Tasmania And in true PFD Australia design and manufacturing style the Storm Rider Yoke and Premium Yoke PFD has comfort and ease of movement, along with safety, as the highest priority. The entire Storm Rider range of PFD jackets from PFD Australia covers the needs of every water user. Not only will you be safe in the knowledge that you have a high standard, Australian made PFD that is built to our tough Australian standards you will also stay warm, move about freely and be very comfortable. The entire range are all built to PFD Type #1 specifications and can be used in all water conditions. Available in manual and automatic inflate. Stay safe, warm, comfortable and look great too in Storm Rider PFD jacket from PFD Australia. I know I will! Further information can be found by visiting the PFD Australia website www.pfdaustralia. com.au or they are available in tackle stores and most marine outlets.

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Fishing News - Page 33


Port Sorell Marine 7 Club Drive Shearwater, Port Sorell Phone: 03 6428 7124

Channel Marine Services Lot 10 Gemalla Road, Margate Phone: 03 6267 1456

C.J. Marine Pty Ltd 8 Legana Park Drive, Legana Phone 03 63302277

Fishing News - Page 34

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Mercury release new lightweight 150 FourStroke Mercury Marine has just released its new 150 hp FourStroke EFI outboard engine.

All Halco Lazer Pro Tuna lures $15 Arctic Graphite Spin combo $149.95 Seven Seas Heavy Duty Spin reels $329.95 Stainless Steel Pot Hauler

The Stainless Steel pot hauler is made from heavy wall pipe that is highly polished in the factory. The bracket is laser cut and welded into position. The standard pot hauler can be converted to hold a Line Hauler. The line hauler will hold over 1000 m of 600 lb line — enough for any long line. All of the stainless steel used in the hauler is 316 (marine) grade and polished to a full mirror finish. Call RL Welding on 0417 504 602 and mention this ad for Tackle Us Customer special pricing.

FREE Fly Fishing Lesson

Christmas Present from Tackle Us to you. We are offering a free fly fishing lesson from Roger Butler of Red Tag Trout Tours. Roger is regarded as one of Australia’s best guides and we thank him for this oppourtunity. Register in store November/December.

We hope you have a safe and Merry Christmas.

The engine boasts a 3.0-litre, 4-cylinder in-line configuration that easily creates superior power for single or twin applications. In fact, it has more displacement than any other 150 hp FourStroke engine, yet it delivers fuel efficiency at cruising speed that no other engine can beat. At just 206kgs, Mercury’s new outboard is the most compact FourStroke 150 hp outboard in the world. In fact, it’s just 11kgs heavier than Mercury’s popular OptiMax 150 direct-injected outboard. The Mercury 150 FourStroke has almost 20% fewer parts than a Yamaha F150. The new 150 FourStroke is designed, built and tested to be one of most reliable and durable engines in the world. The new engine also provides a massive torque curve which ensures that even the heaviest boats will plane quickly. “The new Mercury 150 is class-leading in every respect but we particularly focused our attention on being a stand-out in the areas that our customers told us really matter quality and reliability, smooth operation, a great torque curve, low weight and compact size, plus excellent fuel economy,” said David Foulkes, vice president of engineering at Mercury.

4.9-inch Gearcase: Similar to the powerhead, the 4.9-inch gearcase housing meets durability requirements for 300 hpclass outboards though it needs to manage just 150 hp – an illustration of why this is the most durable 150 hp outboard on the planet.

Shop 4/14 Channel Highway Kingston Gateway Complex Kingston, Tas, 7050 P:6227 2400 E:sales@tackleus.net.au

SmartStart: Instead of turning the ignition key to the “start” position and holding it until the engine starts, the operator simply turns the key and immediately releases it. SmartStart will automatically continue turning the engine until it starts. Warranty: Given the incredible durability of the new 150 hp EFI FourStroke, it comes with both Mercury’s standard 3+2=5 Year fully transferable non-declining engine warranty plus its industryleading 3 Year Corrosion Warranty. First shipments in Australia and New Zealand of the new 150hp FourStroke are expected in January 2012.

Reliable, efficient, fishing reel that won’t let you down No bearings, no gears - no problems Deepwater Combo Alvey 825BCV/6R

250 mm diameter with powerful 1:1 winding power. 600 metre/23 kilogram line capacity, powerful multiplate drag system, strong solid 1.6 metre fibreglass rod. Ideal outfit for striped trumpeter. Don’t risk a good fish get it in the boat. Available from all good tackle stores for $299. TAMAR MARINE PTY. LTD. LAUNCESTON Ph: 6331 6188 THE FISHING CONNECTION HOBART Ph: 6234 4880 GOOD SPORTS - SCOTTSDALE Ph: 6352 2357 or 6376 1390 TASSIE TACKLE & OUTDOOR BURNIE Ph: 6431 6500

In short, Mercury’s new 150 FourStroke is compact, powerful, incredibly reliable and delightfully easy to operate. More Features

‘Live to Fish’

Repowering is also quick and easy. The new 150 will connect to any steering, Mercury rigging or instrumentation currently in the boat, or whatever the consumer wants to upgrade in the dash or console.

Phil Atherton N.E. Tas.

Christmas specials

“We listened to what boaters were asking for and then set out to build the ultimate 150 horsepower FourStroke outboard,” said Mark Schwabero, president of Mercury Marine. “The finished product is an engine that is incredibly durable – more durable, in fact, than any other 150 FourStroke ever built – but is more compact than the less-durable engines of our competition. It delivers great fuel efficiency and tremendous performance.

cables, dual cable or hydraulic steering compatibility, optional power steering on dual-engine setups, and the ability to run on either standard analog or full SmartCraft instrumentation straight from the factory. All connections under the cowl for throttle and shift cables, data harnesses, etc., are easily located and accessed for quick, intuitive, hassle-free rigging. It’s also compatible with Mercury’s innovative Big Tiller system.

Rig it and forget it: The 150 FourStroke is the world’s easiest 150 hp outboard to rig, with standard mechanical

BIGFIN SPORTSFISHING EAST DEVONPORT Ph: 6427 8854

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Spotlight rechargeable LED Lights. Technology these days is really cool. Torches have come a huge way in the last five years and popping up recently is a brand called Spotlight. These are a compact and surprisingly bright rechargeable L.E.D. flashlight. It has a clever charging system which means there is a convenient torch/light always at its peak power and easily within reach.

Fogdog Batter and Fritter Mix The packet says ‘Just Add Beer’ so that got my interest straight away. I must admit though it is a crying shame pouring perfectly good beer into a mixing bowl to make batter. The results though are fabulous and you only use 130 ml so there is some left to drink. Fogdog is a product of New Zealand that purports to make a good beer batter - especially so on fish. Now a good batter is very hard to beat, if only it was as easy as the packet says. Well I was given some to try and I followed the instructions to the letter. It wasn’t that hard as there are only three. It pretty much goes, empty the sachet into the bowl, add the beer and mix until smooth, dip the fish and then shallow fry. It is as easy as it sounds and the results are golden, crispy battered delights. There are three flavours - Original, Cajun and Lemon Pepper. The Original and Lemon Pepper were my favourites. They come in twin packs and each pack will easily do 3-4 serves and costs around $7-$8. Fogdog also do Fritter mix and Panko Breadcrumbs. I didn’t try either of these, but if the quality of the Easy Beer Batter is any indication they will be just as good. Mike Stevens

Tournament Fishing Tools

Top is the Standard rechargeable Spotlight, which can be recharged in any 12 volt socket. Below is another powerful little torch that has nonrechargeable batteries.

There are a few ways you can recharge your spotlight. The principle charging method is in the 12-volt power outlet socket (formerly known as the cigarette lighter) in your vehicle, be it a car, a truck, boat or a plane if you have one. They can also be charged in any mains power outlet using our handy a/c adaptor. The Spotlight is 25 lumens and can shine 50 metres, providing more than 3 hours of light. The Spotlight glows red to show that it is connected and charging.

And it’s waterproof. The Spotlight is submersible, with an IPX7 rating. IPX7 designation means the spotlight can withstand accidental immersion in one metre of water for up to 30 minutes.

We all have a tackle box of tools we use whilst fishing. Pliers, scissors, split ring pliers all get used in some form or another by all anglers. Many fisho’s choose to buy quality tools and can pay a high price for top end stainless and find they still rust which only leads to frustration. Enter E J Todds Tournament range of tools. There’s something for everyone in this range, long and short nose pliers, curved and straight, braid scissors and split ring pincettes that make opening those tiny little split rings on small lures a breeze best of all they won’t hurt the hip pocket with a price tag of under $20. The split ring pincettes are fantastic if you find it frustrating trying to replace trebles on split rings of small lures as they’re much easy to handle than big split ring pliers. The braid scissors should also get a mention as they have a finer serrated blade than I’ve seen on other scissors providing a much surer cut. All tools are of course stainless and available at good tackle stores. Leroy Tirant.

Burn time is 180+ minutes, when fully charged and a new fully charged spotlight can hold its charge for many months under normal conditions. Leave one in the car on permanent charge. The spotlight has a robust Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni - MH) battery that in addition to being environmentally friendly and recyclable, can handle partial charges without hurting its life or burn time. The Spotlight recharges using a slow trickle charge; this design allows the Spotlight to be left in (and recharging) in your car for many days, weeks or even months without damage to the light, your car or battery. In summary, the Spotlight can be used daily or left un-touched but will always be ready and fully charged when you need it.

Stacer 459 SF Barra Pro

In stock now (white in colour). This boat is kitted out beautifully. The Evo Series II Hull gives a smooth, stable ride and the fishing friendly transom compliments the rear casting platform with a live bait tank. With a 60 4 stroke. Package Price $28,490 or willing to deal.

Probably the best thing though is ‘the system’. There are many different accessories, chargers, adaptors and useful bits and pieces. Think lanyards, holders, bike clips and more. Small in size, big in performance. You should find them at most tackle stores and other outlets.

BLA Bladepro Paddling Vest Specifically for canoeing and kayaking, the Bladepro PFD Type 50 paddling vest is packed with features and designed with extreme comfort and functionality in mind. Made from 500 denier polyester, 500 denier nylon ripstop and neoprene trim, the vest utilises multiple side, front and shoulder adjusters for the ultimate fit and security while the front zip provides easy access. Features include deep zippered front pockets plus a multitude of departmentalised expanding cargo pockets with adjustable side release buckles for security. Lanyard attachment ring, integrated expanding back hydration and cargo pocket, plus reflective tape and trims complete the jacket. Available in a range of sizes in yellow with black trim approved to AS478550 or camouflage approved to AS4785-50S. Available from good marine outlets.

Port Sorell Marine Ph 6428 7124 Shopping Centre, Club Drive Shearwater www.portsorellmarine.com.au

Fishing News - Page 36

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Wilderness Systems Commander 120 It’s very hard to choose a kayak specifically for fishing in Tasmania. The small size of our state means most people have rivers, lakes and estuaries all within close proximity to home. Finding a boat that will cope in these varied environments with the right mix of features for fishing is a challenge. In warmer climates sit on top kayaks are the obvious choice as they are stable, self draining and generally have plenty of room to stow gear / deal with fish. However here in Tassie the downside is they afford you virtually no shelter from the elements, leaving you cold wet and uncomfortable. This is why the Commander 120 from Wilderness Systems is a serious contender for Tasmanian Kayak fishing. This is a hybrid kayak / canoe gives you the best features of both styles. The scalloped pontoon style hull with multi chined sides provides incredible stability both at rest and whilst paddling. This unique hull shape also provides the feel and comfort of secondary stability making it a pleasure to paddle if conditions turn for the worst and you are stuck in chop. The twelve foot length makes this boat nimble enough for tighter river paddling but tracks straight enough for covering bigger lakes and estuaries. The other key benefit that the Commander 120 has is the level of comfort provided by the Phase 3 seating. For people with back or joint pain the infinitely adjustable seating provides a level of comfort above and beyond what can be found in most other boats. The fully adjustable seat and slide-track foot rests allow comfort for people of all shapes and sizes. The high back rested seat has scope to be adjusted to perfectly support your trunk without restricting natural paddling movement. Thigh bracing is the other key feature which is overlooked in most kayaks, supporting your legs in a natural slightly bent position allowing good circulation. Wilderness Systems have taken the Canoe / Kayak hybrid a step further than the offerings from other

of stability. The advanced pontoon hull excels here again. This unique scalloped pontoon design with multi chines is exceptionally stable and provides the superb secondary stability and feedback. You really have to try it to feel just how good it is. The angler fitout of the boat is fairly close to spot on, providing two flush mount rod holders to the rear of the seat, anchor trolley, cleat and anchor all included as standard. On top of this you have the SlideTrax system which is a universal mounting design allowing a range of easily mounted and moved accessories such as rod holders, bait boards, tool boards and transducer mounts. Included with the boat is a Scotty rod holder designed for use with the SlideTrax. It’s common to hear of people mounting accessories to their kayak only to later regret placement as it snags lines or impedes paddle stroke. The SlideTrax system fixes this by allowing quick and easy installation and removal of accessories without drilling holes or cutting into the boat. There is no such thing as a kayak to suit every condition. Essentially it comes down to compromise in any kayak purchase. When you consider all the variables involved; comfort, ease of paddling, ease of handling fish once hooked, weight, stability and quality the Commander ticks most boxes quite readily. Joe Harrison

brands by providing dual seating positions. With the Commander 120 you have the choice of using the lower Phase 3 seating mentioned above which gives you the most stable lower centre of gravity and also reduces windage whilst paddling. This is the classic kayak seating position and will be most comfortable for paddling to and from your destination and in rougher water. On top of this you can stow the phase 3 seating away as it easily slides on quick release rails. Once stowed you can take advantage of the higher seating position putting you more in a canoe paddling position. This higher seat referred to as the Captains chair by Wilderness Sysems, allows you to see further and be looking down on the water for casting to fish and also allows for greater leverage when paddling flat water. The other advantage is that for standing up the higher seat makes the transition from sitting to standing easier but putting you half way their already. The icing on the cake is that the phase 3 seating is easily fully removed from the boat to be used as a camp chair on shore once your paddle is over! Whilst standing requires a little bit of care and balance in any kayak, and the commander is no exception, the layout of the side rail padding means that as you brace your legs in when standing you have four points of contact with the kayak providing you with ample feedback and a greater perception

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Rapala MaxRap 05/07

3M/Scientific Anglers Acquires Ross Reels Last year’s announcement by the 3M Company of their intention to acquire Ross Reels, the US-based manufacturer of high quality fly fishing reels, has now come about and this well-recognised fly fishing brand now becomes the stable-mate of 3M’s other iconic brand – Scientific Anglers. Says, Gabi Sabongi, vice president, New Business Ventures, 3M Consumer and Office Business, “The addition of Ross Reels builds on 3M’s core fly fishing portfolio and further expands the business,” From a fly fishing viewpoint this seems an ideal marriage. As most fly anglers would know, 3M is an innovation-focused company – just look at the various patented technologies employed in their range of Scientific Anglers fly lines. So too is Ross Reels. In fact their latest top-of-the-line model F1 reel is so-named because it employs technologies actually used in Formula 1 racing cars. On their acquisition by 3M, Ross announced, “We are excited to be joining an organisation that embodies the same spirit of innovation that has driven product development since our start in 1973. Please know the 3M acquired us for who and what we are. There are no plans or intentions to change us other than to bring in 3M technology and innovation to enhance our products as we move forward. We are excited about the future and we look forward to sharing a number of new product announcements with you in the coming months!” Good news for fly fishers! Ross Reels will be distributed in Australia by Mayfly Tackle, 3M’s Scientific Anglers agent for Australia. Trade enquiries should be directed to MAYFLY TACKLE PTY LTD (03) 9899 0034

Marttiini BBQ Set WINNER – Best Giftware, AFTA 2011. Marttiini knives are well known as the sharpest choice when it comes to quality blades. This specialist Finnish company has been manufacturing world famous knives since 1928. Marttiini’s BBQ Set features a reinforced cordura roll with 3 storage pockets, hanging rings for convenient display and a Velcro strap to roll and secure the set. Within this set you will find a 195mm Roast Knife, a 150mm Roast Fork and a 12” set of quality tongs. All of this comes neatly packed in a durable poly bag. As an added bonus, each Marttiini BBQ Set comes with a bonus 30 minute DVD; “Seafood Recipes with Marttiini – Hosted by Shane Hannet”, which features some great tips and tricks on how to best cook your catch, with your Marttiini BBQ Set. The Marttiini BBQ Set is affordably priced with the serious chef in mind, available only in Australia. Fishing News - Page 38

With all the maximum details of the MaxRap series, the new No. 5 and No. 7 offer anglers premium components and swimming action. The smaller sizes are the perfect choice when fishing smaller salt or freshwater prey like bream and trout; or any other finesse species. Tip to tail everything about the MaxRap is premium. Designed for maximum casting distance, the MaxRap features an aerodynamic shape that combines with its patented internal MaxCast mechanism to deliver unbelievable distance in each cast. Complemented with every imaginable maximum feature like laser-engraved scales, VMC® Spark Point hooks and superior quality components. Rip it for darting, wild searching action or straight retrieve for hard-flashing “wounded minnow” Rapala wobble. The Rapala MXR05 is a 5cm lure weighing in at 2g; and the MXR07 is a 7cm, 5g model. Both models are available in 10 realistic patterns.

Okuma Taurino Advanced design meets modern appeal – Okuma Taurino. Inquisitive anglers will immediately notice the absence of a fore grip on the Taurino series of performance rods; this provides the user with direct contact to the blank, allowing 100% uninterrupted action and sensitivity. Featuring a full set of ALPS guides, an aluminium ALPS reel seat and closed-cell EVA rear grips; the new Okuma Taurino rods have something to offer to all anglers with an extensive range spanning 22 models covering all baitcast and spinning scenarios. Available at all good retailers.

Okuma X-Factor 2012 has brought upon a further three models which continue to make X-Factor rods the choice for all serious anglers; the 8’ Squid Light and Squid Medium are dedicated EGI rods designed with specialist Fuji components to enhance your squid fishing experience; rated to fish jigs of 2.0-3.0 and 2.5-4.0 respectively. The third new addition to the X- Factor range is a highly requested 16’ 3 piece surf rod rated to fish 8-10kg for those anglers after a bit more reach. Intricately machine woven graphite strands come together to present extremely responsive blanks which offer a med/fast taper with serious power in the butt section, the sophistication of the graphite weave is visible throughout the entire length of the blank denoting the sheer power of the construction. Featuring Fuji Guides and reel seat, the X- Factor rods are a must have for all serious anglers.

New to the Australian line up of reels the Biomaster FB range is set to have a huge following of fans, boasting a stack of features commonly used by Shimano in their high end reels this range of reels has not been spared. Featuring Shimano’s unique X Ship design creating ultra-light handle rotations, for less effort and power giving perfect rotation performance under heavy loads, coupled with the ‘SR’ Concept of smooth, strong, silent and reliance, ARC spool technology, Aluminium Frame, lightweight XT7 rotor, 7 ARB bearings and 1 roller bearing and you have a reel unrivalled in performance, quality and price. Biomaster FB range is in the most popular sizes of 1000, 2500 & 4000 to cover most fishing styles and applications in Australia.

Shimano Terez Rods Terez rods are the first ever rod series designed and built to fish Power Pro line. Shimano designed the blanks to be longer and to have a slower taper than traditional Australian blank designs to create power and some shock cushion for braided line usage without compromising and in fact to enhance the performance of the rod when on a fish. With Shimano’s exclusive TC4 technology we have created arguably the lightest and most powerful rod ever built. Fuji K guides with Alconite rings are used. Spinning and overhead models ranging from 10lb to 100lb. in Pearl white blanks with Metallic silver binds. Species these rods were tested on include Yellow fin, Marlin, Kingfish, Sailfish, Amberjack, Spanish Mackerel and more. TC4 blanks feature 4 ply graphite will be the inspiration for new styles of fishing and new applications in the next decade. Innovate don’t imitate.

Spitfire – change the way you think about props. It used to be that three-bladed propellers were for speed and four blades were for holding and acceleration. The Spitfire’s unique design changes that forever– it’s the ultimate performance fourblade aluminium propeller. The Spitfire’s aggressive blade design uses features borrowed from Mercury’s hugely popular Fury and Enertia props, so that on the water it provides incredible holding in the turns and eyewatering acceleration. With high rake angles, a large blade area and reduced diameter, the Spitfire is something special. Mercury created the Spitfire especially for boaters with mid-range (40-60hp) outboards. However with these results, Mercury now intends to spread this technology across other horsepower ranges.

All three new models feature the ‘bling’ and attributes of their original surf and rock predecessors; a stylish metallic silver/gold cosmetic with a gloss/matt combination black blank highlight & sleek clear protective coating. The fish won’t know what hit ‘em!

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Coming soon will be Spitfire propellers specifically designed for 75-125hp and 25-30hp range engines. With the industry’s largest and best range of props more than 700 in all - Mercury Marine is No. 1 in the world for propellers. Note: Mercury props will fit most other makes as well. Ed.


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Fishing News - Page 39


SCIENTIFIC ANGLERS NEW FLY LINES

Mastery Textured Trout Stalker Fly Line The Textured Trout Stalker is another addition to the Scientific Anglers stable of lines that feature some form of surface-structuring or Micro-Replication Technology, as 3M calls it, a core technology that they have applied to SA fly lines such as Sharkskin, and in the case of the Trout Stalker - Texturing . One thing immediately apparent with the Textured Trout Stalker is the feel of the line; more like a conventional fly line than the more

According to SA’s fly line engineer this colour scheme was done for a few reasons: The willow tip is there for stealth; the orange colour for easy tracking and line control when casting and mending on rivers; and finally the willow starts back up in the running line to mark the end of the head, which again aids in casting by indicating where to shoot and pick up the line. The VPT is available in 3 through to 6-weight.

aggressive Sharkskin lines. This is no doubt due to the dimpled or divoted surface - similar to a golf ball - than the diamond pattern of the Sharkskin lines. The Trout Stalker is based on the proven Expert Distance taper and is designed as an all-round dry fly line to excel at both short and long casts. The long front taper will enable delicate presentations to be made while the compound belly section and extended rear taper will give the line the feel of a double taper at close and medium ranges, yet will easily reach distant targets. And Texturing, SA claims, enhances the line in four ways: the line will float higher, cast easier, have less memory and last longer with normal use. The TTS will please those anglers who like their fly lines in a sombre tone, being willow coloured with a dark willow tip. The TTS is available in 3 through to 7-weight.

Mastery Versatile Presentation Taper Fly Line Designed as the replacement for the long-standing XPS taper, the Versatile Presentation Taper (VPT) achieves what its name suggests through its unique taper design. The front portion of the taper comprises twostages designed to provide precise

Honda releases its new BF250 outboard in Hobart Honda has just released its new BF250 at a dealer conference and media event in Tasmania. Over 150 people, from Australia wide, attended the event and many of the dealers attended with their family and stayed to take in Tasmania’s hospitality. Superb facilities meant just a two minute stroll from the hotel conference rooms to the water to try the new engine on three very different vessels. A Brig RIB, 6.8 metre Archer and a 7.3 metre Surtees all had the new engines fitted for dealers and media to try. Whilst the Derwent didn’t put on any rough conditions it was more than suitable to try the engines rather than the sea worthiness of the boats.

and accurate casts with the softest of presentations. This two-stage taper continues on to a relatively short belly section and then to an extended rear taper designed to provide extended loop control at distance. This makes the VPT ideal not just for close-in work but for distance presentations as well, a quality lacking in its predecessor the XPS, a line designed for accurate short to medium presentations.

Both the VPT and TTS lines feature all the usual 3M technologies such as Dry Tip, Streamlined Loop, Advanced Shooting Technology and a more recent innovation to come from the 3M laboratory is (SA ID) or Scientific Anglers Line Identification, a line marking system which makes it easy to identify line model and weight at a glance; a handy feature for those of us that tend to accumulate fly lines. Call MAYFLY TACKLE PTY LTD (03) 9899 0034 for your closest stockist.

An interesting feature of the VPT is the line’s colour scheme. The first stage of the front taper is coloured willow, while the second stage of taper, belly and rear taper is orange, followed by willow for the running line.

The first boat I jumped in was the Brig RIB, its is a good fun boat, soft ride and great ride, but has no room for all my stuff. My comment was it would be a great fun boat, but not useful for me. What it did show though was how quiet and smooth the BF250 was. The holeshot is very impressive, no doubt due to a combination of 3.6 litres and the Honda BLAST technology. This motor is a serious contender for a ski boat I reckon, or any of the silly performance boats the bream tournament guys use. But pushing the heavier boats like the Surtees 7.3 is really the BF250’s forte though and it does it with ease. Honda believe a lot of call for this motor will be repowering older boats and anyone that does will be amazed. Attention to detail is impressive - as it is on all Hondas and they back their renowned reliability with an extensive non-declining 5 year warranty.

The 6.8 Archer - with Honda’s Assistant Manager - Marine, Teizo Yokota evaluating the BF250 which he worked on from conception to production and delivery If you are spending around $30K on a motor you do want peace of mind. And whilst it is okay to spruik warranty you don’t want warranty claims, just a motor that keeps going without fail. However Honda probably has the best warranty in the business. I have owned more than a dozen Honda outboards from 2 HP to 150 HP over about a dozen years and never had a warranty claim or any issue with any motor. That’s what I want - reliability. Now follows the Honda supplied information. Mike Stevens

The media give the Brig and Honda close attention

The BF250 is quiet and very responsive. Fishing News - Page 40

The Surtees 7.3 is a heavy boat, but performed superbly with the BF250

Entering the next power range, the BF250 combines a new 3.6L V6 EFI engine with the world’s first direct air induction system in an outboard – designed to reduce intake air temperature and increase air volume to the engine – to deliver outstanding overall performance and best-in-class fuel economy. Beneath its distinct, angular and streamlined cowl, the BF250 incorporates exclusive Honda technologies including BLAST – advanced ignition timing control system that significantly improves hole-shot performance; ECOmo – sophisticated lean burn fuel control system, which contributes to the engine’s excellent fuel economy; and VTEC – variable valve timing technology developed for

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Formula One race cars to deliver incredible power.

increasing consumer demand for additional onboard electrical power. At idle, a new Adjustable Idle Charge system automatically adjusts engine speed to raise the charging rate when an increased electrical load is detected. Under these conditions, the highoutput 90amp alternator still puts out 40amps (60amps during normal running conditions).

The BF250 also features a new high-performance gear case, which enhances hydrodynamic efficiency. Combined with a new gear reduction ratio (2:1), the engine delivers even greater allround performance, beyond just an increase in horsepower.

Honda’s new BF250 is also NMEA2000 compliant, allowing engine-to-electronics data communication to deliver engine management and performance data to compatible marine electronics displays.

Shifting effort is further enhanced by the introduction of a new Shifting Load Reduction control system. Supporting boat users’ operating characteristics, the Engine Control Unit modifies the ignition timing resulting in reduced engine torque to lessen the shift load required for the engine to change gear.

The Surtees test boat, courtesy of Deegan Marine was fitted a Simrad NMEA2000 compliant display. Everything including fuel consumption can be seen in an instant on a large screen.

A class-leading battery charging system also allows the BF250 to handle

Surtees 7.3 Sportfisher In stock nonw at Deega Marine

ive.

r Book a test d

If you are spending serious money on a boat of this size the NMEA2000 compliant instruments are a must in my opinion. Combining the performance, environmental, reliability and durability characteristics for which Honda is renowned, the new BF250 is also backed by Honda’s five-year warranty. The BF250 outboard engine is scheduled to be available in Australia from very early 2012. Visit your Honda dealer or www.honda.com.au Incorporating unique attributes such as BLAST, ECOmo and VTEC, along with a five-year warranty, Honda’s technologically-advanced four-stroke outboard engines run quieter, offer greater fuel economy, burn cleaner and are just plain better for the environment… at the same time delivering superior power and unmatched reliability. Honda – four-strokes of genius.

One of the most exciting boats ever seen in Tasmania Powered by the all new BF250 Honda Fitted to the 7.3 Surtees Sportfisher is the just released (21 November) sensational, all new BF 250 Honda. This is an amazing 3.6 litre V6 engine with BLAST for awesome throttle response, new low drag gearbox and unrivalled 5 year nondeclining, transferable warranty.

From gunwhale to gunwhale and anchor locker to walk-through transom, the Surtees® 7.3s are out-and-out fishing machines. And because they are the biggest boats we’ve ever built for general production there’s even more room for serious fishing gear - and serious fishermen. In fact, we doubt there’s any other boat on the market that measures up to these. What does your Surtees come with? Your Surtees start up package will also include battery box, battery isolation switch, navigation lights, switch panel, bilge pump, hydraulic steering, anchor, rope and chain. Because the 7.3s are so much bigger than their predecessors, we’ve included all these features as part of the total package:

Standard Features • Water ballasted hull for superior stability • 6 fully welded stringers • Fully welded tread plate floor • Sealed underfloor buoyancy • Under floor storage bin • Large dashboard area • Toughened glass screens • Large forward hatch • Portofino stern • Boarding ladder • Large shelves side / aft and front-ideal for dive bottle storage • Separate anchor locker • Six rod holders • Rocket launcher • Bow roller and bollard • Bow, side and stern rails

• Ample hand /grab rails • Provision for toilet • Thru transom burley pot • Two x 2 metre bunk bases • Side graphics • Spray deflection chines • Smooth non pounding hull design Specifications • WATER BALLAST 450 litres • FUEL TANK 300 litres • BEAM 2500 mm • WEIGHT 1350 kg • OVERALL LENGTH 7.3 metres • FRESH WATER 75 litres • RECOMMENDED HP 200-300 hp • FREEBOARD 810 mm • CE MARKED

www.deeganmarine.com.au – Ph: 6425 2238 – 102 Eastlands Drive, Ulverstone – “We Take Tasmania Boating” www.tasfish.com - Get the knowledge - Get the fish.

Fishing News - Page 41


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LOCAL STOCKISTS CAMBRIDGE

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Fishing News - Page 42 01_11_ Tas Fish News_HB FullyL Dec.indd

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01_11_ TasF&B_HB FULLY Dec

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25/11/11 8:40 AM


Kayak trolling Craig Vertigan

Exercise, scenery ... and fish

T

hese days fishing techniques and fishing tackle just keep making more advances and becoming much more technical. I know I have fallen into that trap myself. I’ve just added a GPS to my arsenal, so that I can mark waypoints for hotspots. I also have a fish finder installed. Some kayakers even have high end fish finders with dual beam, side imaging, big colour screens and inbuilt GPS. The same kind of set up you’d see on a well laid out bream or trout boat. Getting back to basics, one of the simplest forms of catching a fish from a kayak is to troll a lure. Most fish which will take a lure of any description will also take one when trolling, including some favourites such as trout, Aussie salmon, flathead, bream and even squid. Your old school rod and reel spooled up with monofilament will be capable of doing the job. But ideally a modern lightweight graphite rod teamed with a reel with a decent drag and spooled up with braided line is going to improve your chances immensely. The improvements provided by this kind of combo are that you will be able to monitor the swim action of your lure much better with a lightweight graphite rod and braided line. The braid conveys the movement of the lure to the rod tip perfectly, and a light tipped graphite rod will respond accordingly with very noticeable bouncing to the rhythm of the lure. So when the rod stops bouncing this is an indication that your lure has hooked some weed and is no longer swaying to and fro in a seductive manner. It’s time to wind up and clean that lure. The next most important thing to complete the set-up is a forward mounted rod holder. Kayaks designed for fishing mostly come with moulded rod holders set behind the seat. This is okay for storing your rods when not in use. But when trolling it is much more useful to have them up in front where you can watch the action of the lure conveyed via the rod tip and also see a strike on the lure straight away. It needs to be close enough to reach easily to grab your rod and fight the fish. But it needs to be far enough on a paddle yak so that it doesn’t get in the way of paddle strokes. For these reasons an adjustable arm style of rod holder is the best option. Scotty and RAM mounts both make adjustable arm rod holders that can be adjusted to just about any angle and moved out of the way when required. When you get a take on the rod but you have a paddle in your hand it is best to resist the urge to put down the paddle and pick up the rod. I learnt this the hard way through too many lost fish early on. The fish gets a good opportunity to shake free of the hooks on the slack line when you stop paddling and then pull you rod out of its holder. The better method is to put in a couple of power strokes to drive the hooks in and then reach for the

A silvery Derwent sea-runner.

rod. With the Hobie Mirage drive kayaks this isn’t such an issue since you can pick up the rod and strike while still maintaining pressure by continuing peddling. You can also troll while holding the rod, making strikes quick and easy. If you hook up while trolling along snaggy territory such as drowned timber it pays to head straight out into deeper water for a few meters before grabbing the rod and fighting the fish. My three main trolling targets are trout, Aussie salmon and flathead.

Trout For trout I like to use rapala or similar bibbed style minnows. I usually go with natural colours such as rainbow or brown trout or anything that looks green/brown like our natural white bait, galaxia and sandies.

It is always great to fish with a mate.

When trolling in estuaries for sea runners such as the Huon or Derwent I concentrate my efforts on the edges by trolling as close as possible. Utilising an extended arm rod holder I have my rod at ninety degrees to the kayak to get the lure right in close to the bank. On lakes I search out a few different areas, utilising my sounder to find the suitable areas. Preferred spots include along deep edges, weed beds and around sunken timber.

Australian salmon For the salmon I usually go bright and flashy metal slices. If there are no visible signs of salmon such as surface boils or diving birds then I just troll along the back of beaches and around rocky headlands and varying the depth by zigging in closer to shore and then zagging back again. When you do hook up try to remember exactly where the fish got hooked up so that you can fan out some casts after you land that first one. The action can get thick and fast if you can keep a track of where the school of salmon is. If you lose them, then just troll around in a circle around the area to see if you can find them again.

Not a care in the world - and might even catch a fish.

Flathead When trolling up a feed of flathead I start out with a large deep diving hard body around 8 to 10cm. Big lures with big hooks equals less undersize flatties and more keeper size flatchaps over 40cm. If I find a good patch of them I swap to a second rod

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Troll the edges. Fishing News - Page 43


rigged with a soft plastic. With that rod I’ll do some drift spinning and also some slow trolling. Good soft plastics for trolling are curl tail grubs such as Squidgy Wrigglers and paddle tail fish such as Squidgy Fish. The flathead don’t tend to be too fussy about colours. I have caught them from everything from bright flouro green and pink to natural browns. Though, if they don’t respond to the brighter lures it does pay to go with natural colours.

The second rod When trolling for these or any other species it pays to have a second rod rigged with another lure. For me that second rod is usually rigged with a soft plastic. The second rod comes out when something exciting happens such as you see a whole bunch of salmon bust up the baitfish or a trout takes something off the surface. I also discovered last season that metal blade lures are great for slow trolling for flathead and also great on the second rod when trolling a bibbed minnow. The flathead seem to find the vibration of the blades irresistible. Trolling is a great way to enjoy your kayak fishing if you really enjoy the kayaking side as much as the fishing. You get to cover a bit of ground, see some lovely scenery and wildlife, get a bit of exercise and as a bonus there are fish to be caught along the way.

A rod with a good stiff butt is best in a kayak.

Craig Vertigan Join the locals as they discover salt water sight fishing for bream in the clear estuaries, rivers and lagoons of Tasmania. Marvel at the similarities between the opportunistic nature of trout and bream as you witness the rare sight of bream feeding off the surface as maggots trying to escape the rising tide.

NOTHING CAN WIPE AWAY THAT

Bream on Lures

BOATING GRIN

Tasmania’s black bream find it hard to resist the pulsing action and the long pause of a well presented hard body lure. Share the experiences of local anglers as they reveal their secrets and attempt to explain why catching Tasmania’s black bream on lures is so addictive.

Bream Tournament

Ever wondered what it would be like to enter a bream tournament in Tasmania? Tasmania hosts the Tasmanian Bream Fishing Classic each year. Anglers experience some of Tasmania’s best bream fishing locations and mix it with the best in the business. Get a close and personal insight into what Tasmania’s bream tournaments are all about.

Secrets of Black Bream

Listen in amazement as Dr James Haddy of the Australian Maritime College shares some of his closely guarded research on the spawning cycle of black bream. These slow growing but long lived bream have been recorded to be as old as 30 years of age.

Trophy Bream

Tasmania is arguably home to Australia’s biggest bream. The limited angling pressure in the State has allowed these fish to grow to some mythical sizes. Almost unbelievably fish of half a metre in length swim in these waters giving the adventurous the chance to catch a fish of a life time. Language: English. Running Time: 63 minutes + extras. DVD: PAL Produced and filmed by Backcast Productions - Craig Rist. Email: backcastproductions@gmail.com

BLACK BREAM - TASMANIA

Fly Fishing for Bream

BLACK BREAM TASMANIA

Discover the magic of catching bream on lures and flies in Tasmania. Produced and filmed by Back Cast Productions - Craig Rist.

NEW Black Bream Tasmania DVD Tasmania has some amazing bream fishing available that is just waiting to be discovered. Black Bream are readily caught using bait and in recent years angler have discovered just how effective and rewarding these fish can be to catch using lures and flies. This DVD gives the viewer a real insight into what can be achieved while using lures and flies to target Bream in some of Tasmania’s best estuaries, rivers and lagoons. Local anglers share their experiences and provide some useful tips along the way. Watch rare footage of bream feeding off the surface in the Scamander River, tailing bream in the coastal lagoons and see what its like to take part in a bream tournament such as the Tasmanian Bream Fishing Classic. This DVD also delves into the fascinating world of marine science as Dr James Haddy shares some of his research into the reproductive cycle of Black Bream and some astonishing facts about the true age of some of Tasmania’s large and slow growing bream.

Search over 20,000 at Australia’s No.1 Fishing News - Page 44

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The DVD Trailer can be viewed using this youtube link http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=98kqzX1pjVo and the full DVD will be released in all good fishing tackle stores within the first two weeks of December. Retailing for $19.95. or by contacting backcastproductions@gmail. com.


Huntsman Lake Michal Rybka

Perfect Kayak Water H

untsman Lake lies approximately 20 km south of Deloraine. It’s an easy, scenic drive via the small town of Meander. As most anglers know, the lake is only a few years old. It was formed in 2007 with the construction of the Meander Dam. The lake is fed by the Meander River and also by several small streams.

Michelle Rybka showing how it is done

Where to troll (see map)

The lake is intended as a brown trout fishery and has been stocked by the Inland Fisheries Service with wild brownies from the Great Lake. It also benefits from the natural recruitment of wild brown trout from the local Meander River. As such, the average size of the fish is not very large. Fish around the 300 mm mark, weighing in at around the 600 gram mark are very common. However, what they do lack in size, these little pocket rockets make up for in condition. They are fat and full of go!

Most people who troll Huntsman in a boat will tell you that the fish lie deep and lead-line is required. Trolling depths of 15 to 20 metres are common using lead-line, and lures such as Tassie Devils and Cobras are regular choices. This method is productive – I totally agree. It’s also one of the most frequently used trolling methods used in Tasmanian lakes.

The lake itself is a very large body of water and can be overwhelming for a kayak fisherman. Some good reconnaissance is required in order to know where to find the fish and how to go about doing it. I have had many trips there this year – some good and some not so good. With plenty of hours spent, I can now honestly say that I have managed to ‘suss’ the place out. With this knowledge, I have consistently caught my bag limit during a day’s fishing over the last few trips.

But, from my experience, one can do equally as well, if not better, trolling at a much shallower depth, using a variety of lures. I have found the Western shore, between the Meander Inlet and Paynes Landing, to be by far the most productive. Depending on water levels of course (and water levels vary considerably, and often, at this lake), the shore there is usually 4 to 6 metres deep.

So how did I do it? What’s the most productive kayak fishing method? In one simple word the answer is ‘trolling’. Without boring you with fishing jargon, let me explain some useful kayak trolling tactics that I get results from.

The Southern shore is also productive, but more so when water levels are up. The fishing is especially good when this happens because of the freshly flooded grass. Fish can be found gorging themselves with

A couple of hot spots on Huntsman Lake

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Fishing News - Page 45


worms and insects. Leeches are common in the grass and provide a good food-source. It pays to remember when getting out into the water that these little critters can swim. In other words, check your legs! It’s also worth thinking about what lure best resembles a leech.

Trolling with hardbody lures

A well set up rod holder, and notice the safety line.

Trolling hardbody lures behind your kayak works very well at Huntsman Lake. The ability to go super slow on a kayak makes this tactic a deadly one, especially when using suspending hardbodies. Lures such as the Strike Pro Bass X minnow range are a favourite of mine. They have a tight action and feature fish-attracting rattles. This model of lure will dive to around 4.5 metres and is perfect for trolling the areas that I have highlighted on the attached map. While factory colours are great, I have taken it a step further. With a little imagination, and some help from JD Lures at Beaconsfield, I had a couple of these Strike Pro lures ‘pimped’ in some custom colours. The black and gold colour in particular (by JD) with the orange belly has caught me many brownies and would be my all-round favourite Huntsman hardbody lure. Aside from the custom painted lures, the new ‘spotted dog’ Rapala is also a good choice. Because the version I had was not suspending, I didn’t use long pauses in my trolling runs. The results were comparable with the suspending lures. I will rig a hardbody for trolling almost exactly the same way as I would for casting, except with a longer leader. A 4lb leader of around two rod lengths is ideal. This is attached to a good quality, braid using either a ‘slim-beauty knot’ or the easier to tie, ‘double-uni knot’. Instructions for both of these knots can be found easily on the internet with a simple Google search. I found that the visibility of your braid doesn’t matter too much, as long as a longer fluorocarbon leader is used.

In order to commence your trolling run, position your kayak parallel to the bank at the correct depth (4 to 6 metres). Having a sounder fitted to your kayak is crucial if you are going to do this successfully. In my Hobie, I will begin to pedal as I cast the hardbody lure backwards behind me. I will let out a good 40 to 50 metres of line before I start trolling. This does a couple of things. It helps to not ‘spook’ the fish by the movement of the kayak and its pedals (or paddle). And the extra distance in the line will help take some of the shock out when the fish hit the lure – remember braid has no give and doesn’t stretch like monofilament will. Huntsman brownies are vicious little predators and, despite their size, will hit a lure with amazing power, often bending your rod violently. Pedal or paddle at very slow speed – about walking pace is good. Watch your rod tip for vibrations to make sure the hardbody lure is working correctly. Tell-tale signs of hooking weed are obviously a rod tip that doesn’t vibrate or becomes slightly bent or seems to be under pressure. I will then vary my trolling run to affect the action of the lure. I will use a couple of fast pedals…and then stop for a few seconds… until my kayak comes to a stop. Make sure you are holding your rod in your hand and low to the water when doing this. Using a suspending lure will mean that it will sit in the water column and stop as your kayak stops. Often fish will follow and take the lure as it comes to a stop. Repeat this tactic several times throughout your trolling run to increase your hook-up rate!

Trolling with soft plastics The above tactic can also be executed successfully using soft plastic lures. Anything that has a good built-in tail action will usually work well. Tasmanian soft plastics, such as the 3” Strike Tiger curl tail grubs in ‘spiced pickle’, ‘black n gold’ and ‘homebrew’, all work very well slow trolled behind a

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Fishing News - Page 46

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kayak. Others to try, which are also effective, are the 3” Berkley T-tails in the trusty ‘black n gold’ colour and the 3” Squidgie in the “Garry glitter” colour. Depending on how deep you want your plastics to go of course, rig them as you normally would on a jighead of choice. Jighead selection for trolling involves a bit of trial and error. Different shape jigheads will impart a different action to the plastic. I personally use a bullet head style jighead in a 1/12 weight for trolling. My selection varies with weather conditions and depth. I use a lighter jighead in calmer conditions and increase the weight as the weather deteriorates. Your choice of jighead will require some experimentation to find out what you are comfortable with and what works. Once rigged up using the same method as with the hardbodies, repeat the same kayak-trolling manoeuvre I have described. The only difference - your stop or pause period will be considerably shorter in order for the plastic not to completely sink to the bottom. If you are holding your rod in your hand (as I often do), you can throw in a few twitches of the rod tip on the pause part of the manoeuvre. This will prevent the plastic sinking all the way to the bottom, and more importantly, it will add extra interest to your offering. There are many ways a plastic can be trolled/ worked. The method I have described is just one of many but it is one that has worked very well for me. If you are getting plenty of hits, but no hook-ups, then try cutting your plastic down with a pair of braid scissors and using a smaller jighead. I find that a size 2 hook is perfect for smaller fish. You can also buy smaller size plastics – 1” and 2” sizes are worth thinking about.

Trolling with flies (harling) This method would no doubt appeal to those of you that are fly-fishermen. Harling is a trolling method where flies are used instead of lures. They can be trolled either unweighted near the surface, or deeper using a split shot sinker rigged just up from the fly on the leader. I am not a fly-fisherman, but I have experimented and tested this method at Huntsman with surprising results. I obtained a nice selection of custom tied flies from a keen fly-fishing friend a couple of years ago. I went through the box of flies and selected colours that were closest to the hard body or soft plastics that I have had success with.

My top picks consisted of dark green flies with orange or red highlights. Given the number of leeches present in the area, I also picked an all black fly with a touch of silver. All three colour choices worked very well. One thing I will mention in relation to ‘harling’ using a kayak is speed. The speed for trolling with flies needs to be even slower than walking pace. Many people use this method successfully with only a rowing boat. Every row of the oars gives the fly its action. Not exactly a fast manoeuvre. The same applies with a kayak. Use your pedals or paddle to give the fly a subtle action. It’s basically the same method I have described for soft plastics and hardbody lures, but in super slow motion. If you have not done much trolling with flies before, then experimentation is the key. I have had more success running the fly deeper, rather than on the surface. Rigging a small split shot sinker 30 cm or so above the fly on the leader is the easiest way to achieve some depth with a fly in my opinion. It will also enable you to cast the fly out easier when starting to troll.

Final thoughts Not all of the brownies caught at Huntsman are small. I remember one particular trip at the start of the season. My wife came along to keep me company. Trolling a Strike Tiger soft plastic grub behind her on the western shore near the sunken trees, she landed a brownie which would have easily weighed in at 2 lbs. I remember the moment well, very well in fact - it is one she will not let me forget! There was no secret to her success - just slow kayak based trolling, with plenty of pauses in between. No special knowledge or expertise required. Hopefully I have provided you with some insight into how easy and effective trolling (at a reduced depth) in a kayak can be. Although it may not be everyone’s idea of trout fishing, it can indeed be a fun and very rewarding activity.

Angling regulations

Hard body lures and soft plastics both have their appeal.

Only fly fishing & artificial lures are permitted. Brown trout – bag limit of 12 fish per day applies (min. size 220 mm) Speed limit of 5 knots applies. No restrictions on fishing the feeder streams/river. A current Inland Fisheries licence is required for angler 14 years of age or older.

Angling is permitted from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset (check automatic gate times).

NOTE: Remember the automatic gate closing time. The fee to be let out is $30.

Open for fishing all year round.

Michal Rybka

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Fishing News - Page 47


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Fly rods and kayaks Peter Hayes

Recent kayak popularity

It was over 25 years, maybe 30 years ago, when I first saw someone fishing from water level in a boat. On a dark and windy night much to my amusement my mate John Rumph waddled into Lake Toolondo in the Grampians on a horrid night standing in what I think was the first ever float tube imported into Australia.

so close. Try standing on the bow of a Quintrex Hornet in Brumbys and see how many you catch.

Rumphy looked a sight with neoprene waders and huge flippers. He could only walk backwards on the land as well as move backwards when in the water. Float tubes never really took off. I’ve always seen the advantage of being able to get to every inch of water and for that reason I have an assortment of boats, all shapes and sizes. Last year I saw a super cool ‘Freedom Hawk’ kayak in an American magazine. I finally found the Australian importer and now I have one. My girlfriend calls it ‘the earwig’ because the rear third splits open with the pull of a lever. The result, from a birds eye view, is the kayak looks like a capital letter Y, an earwig in Anna’s eyes.

The kayak my girlfriend calls ‘The Earwig’. The rear opens out to stabilise it and I can stand comfortably and cast.

Once opened up I can stand up without the fear of tipping. No fish are safe if I am on the earwig.

Fishing with Mike I recently floated the Meander with Mike Stevens and his son Hamish and this stimulated this article on rods and kayaks.

Bent cane rods One of Mike’s favourite rods is a Payne 101. What? You’ve never heard of the brand? You should get out more. Anyhow, this rod was designed two of my lifetimes ago in America. It is made of cane and Mike’s was made by our fabulous local cane rod maker Peter Mckean. Mike hooked a solid two pounder that played up – a lot. The rod was bent double for too long and particularly when he tried to land the fat little sucker. The result was a semi permanent set in the rod. I can tell you there is no worse feeling than having to fish with your beautifully hand crafted rod with the butt pointing west and the tip pointing north.

in the tip. There is a great practical advantage in this — especially when you are trying to get a fish to your kayak. Secondly, when landing a fish you will never fear pulling this join into your rod. The result, with a long leader at least, is that you get better angles and control of the fish during those last vital moments. Drop me an email at hayes@flyfishtasmania.com. au to order a $45 glue kit that you will thank me for for the rest of your life.

Rod length and weight Generally the casting distances are very short. I once saw Mike catch several fish in Brumby’s Creek from his Kayak. He sat side-on with his feet on the bottom holding the boat still. None of the half dozen fish were more than 2 leader lengths away. It is your low level to the water that allows you to get

So, line weights can be lighter than normal and rod lengths can be shorter than normal because long casts are not necessary. It may be a good idea in some cases to upline a rod. Rods are designed to load properly at a distance of 30 feet of flyline out the tip. With a 10 foot leader and a 9 foot rod this would give a cast length of 49 feet. Therefore if you are continually casting 20 – 30 feet then it is sound logic to use a line weight heavier on your rod.

Rod material

Don’t use your cane rod in a Kayak. Ask Mike why not. There is a resurgence of fibreglass rods and some of these would be perfect if you are into the slower action and smoother deeper bending action. Mike has one and it is a cracker. Modern graphite rods are just fine but make sure the leader is glued in so there is less likelihood of you breaking it.

Gravity drop and line speed on longer casts Keep in mind that gravity effects a flyline just like anything else. If you are standing 3 feet abopve water level on the bow of a Hornet, your casting hand is 5 feet above your feet and the rod tip is 8 feet above that then the line is towed back and forwards at a height of 16 feet above water level. With the timing required for a 60 foot cast the line may drop or sag perhaps 10 feet.

I used one of the new Sage One graphite rods and had no such trouble. This got me thinking. Landing fish while you are sitting at the level of the fish is tricky and if you are going to do much of it then you need to give it some thought.

With the same casting conditions from a seated position on a kayak using a 6 foot rod there would be a constant problem of the line hitting the water. Higher line speed and longer rods are definitely needed for kayak fishing if you are going to cast long distances. The float tubers learnt this lesson 25 years ago. My advice is to just paddle closer to the fish.

Nets Get a good one with a longish handle and tie it on. It is better if it floats.

Leader joins To start with you should consider the way your leader joins onto your flyline. For 4 years I have been gluing mine in. Yes, that’s right, no knots, just glue. I do this for the backing too. There are two clear advantages in doing this. Firstly the leader can be pulled into the tip runner at any time and easily cast back out. Never, ever, does it stick

Getting very close to a feeding fish is a joy — and quite easy in a kayak.

www.tasfish.com - Get the knowledge - Get the fish.

Fishing News - Page 49


My odd books

For fun, knowledge or Christmas

Nick Taransky

I

am a fish deprived mainlander — from NSW, North of the Mexican border. Our trout season doesn’t open here until October, two months after Tasmanians can re string your rods - a symptom of a mixed rainbow and brown fishery, and a “one size fits all” management approach. This also means our season stays open until June. The irony is that although both browns and rainbows are afforded some spawning protection, the end and beginning of the season here sees the most angling pressure for the “trophy hunters”. Late, for the spawning browns, and Early, for the spawning rainbows! Bob Jones, President of the Monaro Acclimitisation Society put it well – “I don’t like my love life being interrupted, so I give the trout the same courtesy”. Amen.

You can never have too many fishing books. As someone who’s given up a real job to make fly fishing their life, I admit that for quite a while, the last thing I could do after answering emails and the phone, making rods, and even doing some fishing, was pick up a book on it and read about it. I have Patrick F McManus to thank for bringing me out of the doldrums.

Anyway, this gives me plenty of reading opportunities. I hope here that I can share some worthwhile reading based on last Winter’s pile of books. Apologies if preaching to the converted – many of these are not new books, and I’ve lead quite a sheltered life.

Even in my self imposed exile from reading, I did manage to keep accumulating books for when I came to my senses. The procedure for me would go something like this – and I’m sure many of you suffer the same condition… Search the web for classic titles from second hand bookstores that I knew that I would read someday… Look for other titles from the same seller that might be of interest to the angler (to save on shipping of course)…. Add to Basket!... Well, somewhere along the way, the title A Fine and Pleasant Misery, by Patrick F McManus popped up. It proved to be a collection of short, unconnected humorous, no - hilarious, essays on the outdoors (including some angling mis adventures)– the perfect way to get back into reading. These had me laughing out loud over and over again - in bed, on the dunny, on  the couch (when I should have been working) – and  some even while I was  reading the book.

   

 



   

Christmas all wrapped up!

Fishing News - Page 50

In short, I devoured it, and went on to pick up a big pile more of his work, including Real Ponies don’t go Oink, Into the Twilight, Endlessly Grousing, and others. They are all good. He also put out a good book about writing humour, called The Deer on a Bicycle which I should probably read again… McManus has recently moved into the genre of Crime Fiction. Before you groan fellas,

it’s semi redneck small town USA Crime Fiction that will appeal to blokes. It began with The Blight Way, followed by Avalanche and The Double Jack Murders (which I’ve read), and The Huckleberry Murders which I haven’t got to yet but I’m sure will be a hoot! Another title that took my eye while searching the internet was Confessions of an Eco Redneck (or how I learned to gut-shoot trout and save the wilderness at the same time) by Steve Chapple. I mean, how can you NOT buy a book with that title. All I can say is, stand back and enjoy the show. The other book that brought me back to reading in my flat spot, at completely the other end of the scale, was Robert M Pirsig’s iconic work – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Incredibly powerful in it’s own right, it came to me at the right time in my bamboo rodmaking. The way he relates complete immersion in the process of working in any medium struck a chord with me that continues to resonate. Wow. Along with these American books, I recently had the pleasure of reading Hugh McDowell’s I Mind One Time. Published by no other than Stevens Publishing, this is a limited edition, leather bound book of reminiscences. From Hughie’s childhood in Ireland, to time in (yes) America, and then onto a long guiding career in New Zealand, this rich, warm and witty book is well worth pursuing if you can still get one. How-to books? I’ve acquired a few of these recently too. In working towards my FFF MCI (Masters Casting Instructor) accreditation, I now have a growing mountain of casting books. They all have something to offer, but Mel Krieger’s classic The Essence of Flycasting is one I would put at the top of the list of anyone wanting to improve their casting. His DVD series under the same name is also very useful, as well as showing his exuberance and passion for casting and teaching. Two other how-to books recently arrived. The first is from Trout Lessons, by Ed Engle. Engle’s name will be familiar to readers of John Gierach, being close fishing mates as they are. Engle is a massively experienced angler and guide on Colorado’s technical tailwaters and other streams. Rather than covering basic techniques for everyday conditions, Trout Lessons focuses on tactics for difficult days and difficult trout. It will have something to offer anglers of all levels, but particularly those with more experience and an open mind. It also contains beautiful on-stream colour photos and informative diagrams too. The Orvis Guide to Small Stream Fishing, by Tom Rosenbauer, is the other how-to book I need to find

www.tasfish.com - Get the knowledge - Get the fish.


a place for on my shelves (I actually need two more book cases). Rosenbauer is currently Orvis’s Marketing Director, and has had a long association with the company. He has written several other books for them, and for those up with the podcast age, hosts the excellent “Orvis Fly Fishing Podcast” series. This is a gorgeous book. In large, coffee table format, with full colour photos of small stream fishing, it is worth getting for the pictures alone. Along with this is a comprehensive coverage of all aspects of small stream fishing: types of stream, approach, tackle and flies, fishing techniques, casting, etiquette and more. As a lover of small stream fishing, I agree with James Babb, who wrote the foreword to the book. It’s so good, it’s tempting to worry about all the extra anglers we might find on our favourite small streams. Like him, I’m fighting off my selfishness and irrationality and recommending this book to everyone! Though I’ve stumbled into good books on my own, many have come on the recommendation of those better read than I am. Many Tasmanians already know Launceston Bamboo Rodmaker and Vet, Peter McKean. Peter has been very sharing with me in his rodmaking knowledge, and we talk often about what we are up to. As an aside, it’s also nice to know as many angling Vets as possible. It helps to keep the animal rights activists in check! Peter has also put me onto some wonderful reading. Mostly Tailfeathers, by Gene Hill, is one of them. Like McManus, the book is a collection of unconnected essays, (though his humour is a little more subdued)! Some are on fishing, but more are about guns, dogs and birds, in the Cheasapeake Bay region of the USA. His writing has is warm and moving, and makes me think of damp fields, oilskins, and warm armchairs by the fire with old friends. If you hate Winter, or aren’t allowed out, track it down. It might change your mind. Peter (and Paul Squires) were also responsible for putting me onto James Babb’s Crosscurrents. Babb is the editor of Gray’s Sporting Journal, the leading literary Sporting magazine in the USA, so it is little surprise that his work is such high quality. Born and bred in Tennessee, but relocating to Maine, his writing, like his life, cross boundaries of class, culture and belief. His love of small stream angling and simple, wet wading, on your knees fishing relates both the deep meaningfulness and plain fan of why we fish. His other books Fly-Fishin Fool and River Music are on my “to read” pile. Babb, as it turns out, is a good friend of John Gierach, who also has a new book out. I’m half way through No Shortage of Good Days. It’s classic Gierach, and won’t disappoint those who have read all his books, or even maybe those who haven’t. Gierach of course is responsible for keeping bamboo “cool” through the dark ages, as well as making quitting your real job to make a living from being a Trout Bum sounding romantic. I have a lot to thank (and/or blame) him for…

Thankfully, I had already read a couple of the books that Peter sent me a while back, just to show I am semi angling-literate. One was Michael Checchio’s A Clean, Well Lighted Stream. A small, landscape format book, it contains a diverse selection of chapters about cutthroat and golden trout, steelhead, salmon and road trips, based from his home in California. Good reading. The other one was Harry Middleton’s classic On the Spine of Time, on his love for the haunting Smoky Mountains and it’s trout. Powerful and moving, joyful and sad, as another friend eloquently said to me “it has a darkness to it”. Another person who has some me some wonderful reading is Garry Nuttall, from Tumut. He sent me David M Carroll’s Trout Reflections, with the qualifier “it’s good but his real passion is turtles – you should read his books on them”. Trout Reflections follows a year in the life of Brook Trout and their environment, in New Hampshire, from the perspective of both the fish and the angler. Carroll is a University educated artist, so the book us exquisitely illustrated by the author. The book also contains other creatures living along the trout’s stream– birds, mink, frogs, and of course, turtles. A fascinating read, those who enjoyed Greg French’s Frog Call will immediately recognise Carroll’s love for where he lives and spends countless hours. Garry was right though. Though Carroll is an angler, and loves trout, his life is devoted to turtles. His memoir Self Portrait with Turtles is a beautiful dedication to these creatures, how he grew up with them, and continues to be mesmerised by their grace and beauty. A truly magical read about passion to the point of obsession.

BOOKS FOR

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The Compleat Angler A delightful facsimile. This classic work of Izaak Walton *16 copies only.

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Garry also introduced me to some wonderful music Lucinda Williams, Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch and others (I did say I lead a sheltered life). The one artist that really blew me away though was Greg Brown – a fly fishing folk/roots artist from the American Midwest. His album The Live One is a masterpiece – recorded live in a pub from the sound of it (complete with the occasional beer bottle toppling on the floor). Get a copy and put it on. Real Loud.

Saltwater Game Fishes Superb illustrated history. A book for anglers, seafarers and marine scientists.

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Anyway, before I get carried away with music, I should get my gear out and go fishing’. P.S. If you have a good bookshop nearby you are lucky. The ‘category killers’ have been along and made it difficult for the specialist shops, but it didn’t kill them. And as is often said ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. That is what has happened and the dedicated smaller shops are beautiful places to visit. I love to browse and always find something of interest. The staff are all book readers – rather than just check out staff that the majors have. Many of the great fishing classics have been reprinted and are available now locally – so give them a browse.

Trout Waters of Tasmania We have obtained 8 more of the Limited Edition of 150 copies.

Be quick $169

Standard Edition $69.95

Hook, Line and Sinister An anthology of mystery stories written by best selling authors who have a passion for fishing. Only $22.95

Nick Taransky

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Fishing News - Page 51


cauf. You may possess rock lobster in your home on mainland Tasmania providing what you possess in the Eastern Region and anywhere else in Tasmania does not exceed the possession limit of 10.

RECREATIONAL SEA FISHERIES NEWS December/January 2012 NEW LOBSTER RULES ROCK INTO ACTION Since the rock lobster season opened in early November, feedback to Departmental staff is that the new rules are being well accepted and understood by most fishers. There have been some enquiries seeking clarification of a few rules. Answers to some of these frequently asked questions below may be of interest to TFBN readers.

What if I live on mainland Tasmania (on the East Coast eg. St Marys) and I tow my boat to the west coast to fish? The daily bag limit of 5 rock lobster applies as you are fishing the Western Region. The possession limit is a total of 10. Eastern Region limits do not apply as you will not be in that region, so if you fish longer than a day and have not exceeded the daily bag limits you can possess up to 10 rock lobster. This includes the number of rock lobster you possess anywhere in Tasmania (eg. rock lobster in your freezer at home) and those that you possess driving back to your home. Can I fish for rock lobster in the Western and Eastern Region in the one day? Yes, providing you do not exceed the Eastern Region limits when you are in that region. Also, you cannot fish for rock lobster in the Eastern Region if you have a special rock lobster licence. What if I fish in the Western Region and want to return on water through to the Eastern Region? Do the Eastern limits apply?

Rock Lobster Regions: Does the line separating the Eastern and Western Rock Lobster regions separate mainland Tasmania? No! The new Regions only apply to the fishing waters and islands contained within. The lines separating the regions do not extend through mainland Tasmania.

Bag and Possession Limits: How do people prove they are on an extended trip? When does a bag limit and possession limit apply? A bag limit is the number of fish that can be taken in any one calendar day (24 hour period commencing at midnight). The possession limit is the amount of fish you can possess at any one time. If you are on state waters with more than the daily bag limit for that Region, you may need to establish that you have fished for more than one day and not exceeded your daily bag limits. The possession limit facilitates fishing over a number of days from camps at islands or in ‘live aboard’ vessels and return across the water. There are no transiting provisions to allow different catch limits between regions. What possession limits apply if I am in a shack (eg. shack at Bruny Island) or camping on one of the islands (eg. Clarke Island or Schouten Island) in the Eastern Region and have rock lobster at home on mainland Tasmania (eg Launceston or Hobart)? While you are in your shack or camp, as you are in the Eastern Region you may possess up to 6 rock lobster in total. This could include a Fishing News - Page 52

While you are in the Western Region you may have the catch limits (bag limit, possession limit and boat limits) that apply to the Western Region. Once you cross into the Eastern Region you must keep within the Eastern Region limits.

Use of Rock Lobster Pots and Boat Gear Limits Who is responsible for ensuring the boat gear limits are adhered to? The person in charge of the vessel. Does the boat gear limit of 5 include the pots set in the water? Yes. What happens if another person uses the boat? eg. takes charge of the vessel and starts a new fishing trip? The boat gear limit includes all rock lobster pots being used from the vessel. Irrespective of who uses the vessel, not more than a total of 5 pots can be used at any one time.

Boat limits aim to limit the overall recreational fishing catch and prevent the circumvention of personal daily bag limits or possession limits by individual fishers through the carrying of non-fishing crew in a boat. The individual gear, bag and possession limits still apply. Boat limits can also be a useful management tool as they can limit the potential for localised depletion of lobster stocks. Localised depletion can happen as a result of the fishing impact of vessels with a large number of fishers on board, whether charter or private vessels. In these cases, the limits are appropriate as the expertise of the vessel operator and the use of navigational aids potentially increases the amount of catch.

Why are there boat limits? The introduction of boat limits aims to confine non-commercial fishing activities within the spirit of recreational fishing. These activities should reflect a non-commercial fishing operation that does not provide opportunities for illegal fishing.

Tasmania is periodically affected by toxic algal blooms, so if in doubt about the water quality or the safety of bivalve shellfish for eating, contact the Tasmanian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program (TSQAP) for more information (contact details below).

Giving Away Rock Lobster: If I give away rock lobster does it count in my bag limit? Yes. The bag limit is the amount of fish you can personally take in one day. Can I swap rock lobster for something in return? eg. swap a rock lobster for a slab of beer. No, if you barter goods in exchange for fish that have not been caught commercially, it is considered the same as if you sold the fish. Both the person that receives the reward and the person that receives the fish are liable for prosecution.

Can our club raffle rock lobster? Recreational fish cannot be raffled because this is deemed to be a commercial transaction under the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 because reward is involved. If the lobster are purchased or donated from the commercial fishery they can be raffled. These fish would be counted through the commercial quota system and will be marked with commercial tags and a receipt would be provided.

IS YOUR FISH SAFE TO EAT?

Do not eat any bream from the Derwent

Heavy metal contamination in the Derwent Estuary affects the type and amount of seafood caught in the area that you should eat. The Director of Public Health advises people not to eat bream caught in the Derwent and to limit meals of Derwent caught scalefish to no more than two per week or one meal per week for pregnant women and young children. More information about the health of the Derwent River and eating fish caught in it is available from the Derwent Estuary Program website. Read the Derwent Estuary Program’s Information for Recreational Fishers pamphlet (updated September 2011) which is available from their website (see below): Should I Eat Shellfish and Fish from the Derwent?

Eating Fish Offal It is advisable to remove the gut of wild abalone, crab and rock lobster before eating the meat.

Contacts: Phone: Public Health Hotline – 1800 671 738; TSQAP (03) 6222 7718 Website: Public Health (General advice on eating wild shellfish and on eating fish from the Derwent): www. dhhs.tas.gov.au/peh/current_public_ health_issues

How do boat gear limits work if a boat is shared and different people operate the boat? If a person in charge of a boat has set or allowed to be used 5 pots from the boat during a fishing trip, they cannot use, set or allow to be used any more rock lobster pots until a number of pots have been retrieved and removed from State waters. If one of these pots are taken back to land, then the boat could then take a ‘new’ fisher out to set their pot.

not take shellfish from areas near stormwater drains, marinas, slipways or waste-water outfalls or after heavy rain. The advisory also warns that it is unsafe to eat shellfish from the Derwent or Tamar estuaries.

TSQAP website: www.dhhs.tas.gov. au/peh/tsqap Derwent Estuary Program website: www.derwentestuary.org.au

Patrons enjoying safe seafood at the Taste of Tasmania The Department of Health’s standing public advisory warns against collecting and eating wild bivalve shellfish anywhere in Tasmania. This is because shellfish filter large amounts of water and can accumulate high levels of contaminants and toxins that may be present in unmonitored water. Fishers should consider the water quality of the general area before taking and consuming shellfish including species such as clams, mussels, scallops and oysters. Do

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FISHWISE GRANTS ANNOUNCED

The Fishwise Community Grants program provides funding for projects run by individuals, organisations and community groups that improve the management of recreational sea Continued next page ........


Inland Fisheries News Good Fishery, Great Fishing Prior to its commencement in August this year, the 2011-12 angling season was predicted to be one of the best seasons in the last 40 years and so far, this prediction is holding true. It also seems that anglers are aware of this since licence sales are higher than this time last year. Hopefully, the fishery will continue to flourish, anglers will be satisfied with the fishing and the positive trend in sales will continue throughout the season. The fishery is definitely in good condition with lake levels persisting at waters around the State. Excellent angling reports have been received from many waters over the first three months of the season. This includes the highland lakes and as expected early in the season, lowland lakes and rivers have fished particularly well. .........continued from previous page

fisheries and provide education on recreational fishing issues. Calls for applications to this scheme are open between 1 July and 31 August each year. Twenty three project applications were received for the 2011 funding round, with Minister Bryan Green recently announcing that he has approved seven grants totalling just under $223,000. These include funds to establish a marine discovery centre at Bridport Primary School, a TARFISH junior angler logbook project and an assessment of licensing arrangements for recreational fisheries. The Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies also received funding for fisheries management projects including: • a survey of recreational fishing to validate catch rates; • baseline studies of key recreational and commercial marine species; • research on sand flathead populations; and • an assessment of the postrelease survival of southern blue fin tuna.

Need more information? • Get a copy of the Recreational Sea Fishing Guide from Service Tasmania; • visit www.fishing.tas.gov.au; or • subscribe online to have fishing news information updates emailed. • Phone 1300 720 647 (local call cost) or 03 6233 7042

Reports from Lake Leake, Tooms Lake and Lake Dulverton indicate that the effort by the Inland Fisheries Service to reinvigorate these fisheries over the past few years, has paid dividends. Meanwhile, the natural recovery from drought conditions at important fisheries such as Arthurs, Woods and Great lakes has been consolidated. With the higher rainfall and sustained flows, there has also been a natural recovery of valuable river fisheries. These are more easily accessed from major population centres, provide a popular alternative to highland lake fishing and offer excellent angling at this time of the year. This means that the Tasmanian inland fishery currently has an unprecedented range of quality fishing options. This has resulted in reduced angling pressure at certain waters and a dispersal of angling effort, which is a further benefit to the sustainability of the fishery. The Inland Fisheries Service wishes anglers a fabulous Christmas and a wonderful summer’s trout fishing season.

Changes to Inland Fisheries Advisory Council The Inland Fisheries Advisory Council was set up in 2000 to advise the Minister on inland fisheries issues. It was also designed to provide a forum for consultation, promote understanding and acceptance of the functions of the Director of Inland Fisheries, encourage community support for fisheries management activities and review management plans for inland fisheries. Initially, it was made up of nine members, representing various segments of the industry and the recreational fishery, who were appointed for a two-year term by the Minister. IFAC has operated over the past decade under three separate Chairmen, Professor Nigel Forteath, Mr Jason Garrett and Mr John Cleary. Members over the years have included Ms Gabrielle Balon, Mr Bernard Creed, Mr Jason Garrett, Mr John Ranicar, Ms Sheryl Templar, Dr Leon Barmuta, Mr Jim Ferrier, Mr Les Monson, Mr Bob Ward, Mr Louis Molnar, Mr Gordon Goudie, Mr Ashley Artis, Mr Peter Richards, Mr Malcolm Crosse, Ms Ruth Mollison, Mr Bruce Heathcote, Ms Veronika Sakell, Doug Shirkey, Dr Helen Locher, Mr Richard Dax, Ms Kerri Lynch, Ms Louisa Fitzpatrick, Mr Peter Maloney, Mr John Smith, Mr David Ikedife, Mr Pheroze Jungalwalla, Lara Vandenberg, Andrew Braithwaite, Ms Robyn Lewis, Michael Bidwell, Phillip Cooper, and Mr John Diggle.

The structure was altered in October 2011 when the final term of the previous members expired. The number of members was reduced to seven, including the Director of Inland Fisheries, and the appointment period was increased to four years. Further, the appointment of members is now skills based to provide advice to the Director of Inland Fisheries as well as the Minister. The new members of IFAC appointed for a four-year term on 30 October 2011 are Sue Baker, Chairperson, Phillip Cooper representing commercial freshwater fishing, Gary France representing tourism, Dr Christine Mucha, a ministerial appointment, Dr Karen Richards representing conservation of freshwater ecosystems, Michael Stevens representing freshwater angling associations and John Diggle, Director of Inland Fisheries.

Fishery Infrastructure Works The Inland Fisheries Service has improved angler infrastructure and boating access at Camerons Lagoon, Little Pine Lagoon and Woods Lake in the Central Highlands over recent weeks. The access track to Camerons Lagoon, which was in a degraded state at the start of the season, has been filled and covered with rock aggregate. Meanwhile six truckloads of sediment were excavated from the toe of the boat ramp at Little Pine Lagoon to deepen the launching depth at low water levels. An old pile of spoil was also removed from the boat ramp, greatly improving boat launching convenience at the site. Work has also been completed on the boat launching facility at Woods Lake. This included maintenance of the existing boat ramp and parking area, as well as improvements to the facility, being the construction of a 30 metre breakwater for protection against prevailing winds. All the work has been managed by the Service but funding for the improvements at Little Pine Lagoon boat ramp and at Woods Lake was provided by Marine and Safety Tasmania. In regard to Woods Lake, over 1000 tonnes of rock material was used in building the breakwater which was quarried in an area of State Forest. This area has now been rehabilitated under a requirement by Forestry Tasmania. The boat ramp and parking area were gravelled and rolled, and several trees were removed to improve boat launching safety and convenience. The breakwater is designed to provide shelter for boats being retrieved during westerly or south-westerly weather. However, it should provide protection from most wind directions and help improve boating safety at the Lake. On the day of its completion, the breakwater was providing shelter on the northern side from the 30 knot westerly wind blowing in to the ramp and on the previous day, it provided protection on its southern side during a north westerly wind blowing at a similar velocity.

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The Service would like to acknowledge the funding provided by MAST, which made this project possible as well as the support of Forestry Tasmania and Hydro Tasmania. The contractors, Stornoway, also deserve acknowledgement for doing an excellent job with a high degree of environmental responsibility.

Fish from the Sun – Inland Fisheries has gone Solar The Inland Fisheries Service is leading the way in government with its investment in solar power for its New Norfolk head office and hatchery. Currently, the single biggest energy consumption by the Service is in the hatchery for cooling and recirculating water. This is because the water temperature in the tanks must be kept at an optimum level in order to maximise trout production – increasing growth rates and reducing mortality rates. Hence, this investment in solar power is aimed to offset the costs of cooling the hatchery, reducing the overall cost of fish production. During November, the Service completed additions to its existing solar array that was originally installed in 2009. The latest additions have doubled the effective power capacity from 25kW to 50.1kW, making the installation the single largest solar array in Tasmania. The system consists of six inverters and 283 solar panels which have been mounted on the roof of the Service’s premises at 17 Back River Road New Norfolk. The additions were undertaken by a local Tasmanian business, Powercom at a cost of $62,500. The system includes Web box monitoring so that system performance can be monitored remotely. The total system will reduce the total energy costs of the Service by approximately 20% during peak consumption periods. This initiative by the Service is a demonstration of its progressive financial management as well as its commitment towards environmental responsibility. The solar system will provide a good return on investment and help with the Service’s long term financial sustainability.

Fishing News - Page 53


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SPECIALS

by the wind, tides and currents. Offshore from the Tasman Peninsula is not a place for novice kayakers. OKUMA TITUS GOLD 15S $330.00 Safety gear: A 20S $350.00 marine VHF radio is especially handy, and Advertise here for $77. Contact Mike Stevens 0418 129949 I routinely car r y an EPIRB, flares, whistle, SHIMANO TLD50 FULL ROLLER 24KG ROD paddle float, strobe light $575.00 (for my own epileptic Fishin g Sea marine disco), map, World class fishing in the heart of the central highlands son compass and a GPS. I Stay in a luxury art deco 3 bedroom cottage barely ever use them, Atmospheric Highlander Arms tavern on the doorstep but its comforting to 3 course meal provided each night know they are all there. Catch your own salmon in Tarraleah lake and learn how to Fishing gear: A prepare it with expert chef handline is much cheaper 18 lakes within 30 minutes drive SHIMANO TYRONU S 50 than a rod and reel and ROLLER TIP 37KG ROD seems to work fine for $779.95 (03) 6289 0111 this type of game fishing A dream fulfilled and thankful to be on hard ground again. BULK MONO LINE providing you have a @tarraleah.com PRICE PER METRE Handline trolling for bluefin from a kayak info is not easy, but is way to securely attach it, 10KG $0.04 www.tarraleah.com achievable as the author shows. 15KG $0.06 and plenty of line (I use 24KG $0.08 Endurance: You might need to stockpile some patience, about 300m of 37 kilo mono). Don’t forget your gloves. Include 37KG $0.10 a couple of lures that swim well at kayaking speeds, ideally fitted since the reality is you’ll be slow and with only one lure out STORMY SEAS YES!! WE CAN with long heavy mono traces. A gaff, knife and club to pacify your chances are low compared to other boats. But when MARINA WET SPOOL YOUR the fish are all potentially useful. You’ll need plenty of water your time finally arrives.... its hard to imagine any other WEATHER SET YOU REELS FOR fishing experience coming close. Best of luck out there. and high energy food to keep paddling for hours. $39.90 Bluefin tuna from a kayak, it is indeed possible. JACKET & PANTS Nick Gust

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Kitchen and the Tessellated (or tiled) Pavement. You will be impressed by the drama of these geological wonders, sculpted by Mother Nature over millions of years. A mere 15 minutes south by car the history of Tasmania’s convict past comes alive at the former penal settlement of Port Arthur and other historical sites on the Tasman Peninsula. Nearby you can also indulge in sports and pastimes like deep sea fishing, surfing, and bushwalking, or visit other nearby attractions like wildlife parks and wineries. $59 pp twin share incl. The Lufra Hotel offers comfortable accommodation continental breakfast or in a range of rooms and self-catering units as well as a $65 pp with hotrooms” breakfast. limited number of “fishermen’s at very affordable rates. · 66 Stylish Additional car parkingRooms development allows substantial car and· boat parking. Our licensed restaurant and bistro CBD Location restaurant are complemented by a games/recreation Affordable Rates room, ·TV/lounge area with open fireplace, café/coffee shop and two bars. · Conference Rooms Australian aviation pioneer tourism entrepreneur · FREE Parking · and FREE Movies Sir Reginald Ansett is reputed to have described the Lufra · FREE Fitness Hotel as “the hotel with theRoom best view in the world.” No wonder· there has been an accommodation house on Wireless Broadband the same site for more thanon 150 years. · Three Steps GeorgeThe Lufra Hotel Bar - Restaurant 380Heritage Pirates Bay Drive Eaglehawk Neck www.colonialinn.com.au Toll free 1800 639 532 (03) 6250 3262 www.lufrahotel.com or info@lufrahotel.com

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Fishing News - Page 55


Issue 95 December 2011 - January 2012

$5

Western Lakes for a Day

Big Arthur River Trout

Huntsman Lake

Trolling Deeper

Books

Kayaks

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Chris Reygaert admires a Western Lakes fish. See page 5 for more.

Print Post approved; PP 702512 00027


Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News Issue 095 2011 December