Whitebait season ends
THE 2017 Tasmanian whitebait season closes on Saturday.
Some good schools of bait have made their way up the Derwent River in the past few weeks in the settled weather of spring.
Warmer water has also bought in gudgeon/galaxia, though slightly later than usual this season, and small shrimp which all bait fish and other fish feed on are now lining the water’s edge after dark.
As previously mentioned, lots of smaller trout are present and in turn this makes it difficult to catch bigger trout.
Smaller fish know it’s safer without the threat of bigger fish around to eat them.
Bigger trout tend to feed during the earlier months of the season, knowing they don’t have to and can’t compete later on with little fish for food.
Big trout can easily handle faster flowing, dirtier water and this allows them to hide and hunt undetected where in contrast it can put a little ones’ lives at risk.
When for example a river’s water clarity slows and clears all fish can see better and they can spook easily because they can determine the difference between something real or fake.
Lake Leake, Lake King WIl- liam and Lake Echo are starting to give up good numbers of fish and fly anglers are seeing more surface action up top in the sun.
Up North, the Arthur and Pieman rivers are fishing well with some big trout weighing more than 5kg caught and released in the past fortnight.
Back home, black bream are continuing to move through estuaries to spawn and some good catches have come again from the Derwent around Claremont-Old Beach-Bridgewater-New Norfolk using minnow-profiled hardbodies and soft plastics.
Off the coast, some mako shark action has game anglers excited and further out some good striped trumpeter catches have come from off the continental shelf.
The rock lobster/crayfish is under threat again from paralytic shellfish toxins.
Samples have been taken and are being tested to determine which fishing zones are safe to open at the start of the season on November 18. A decision will be made by Monday.
Statistics from a recent sur- vey on Shannon Lagoon have been released.
This fishery doesn’t get much angling attention. It’s shallow which can cause water clarity issues but this has improved due to flushing and better management by Hydro Tasmania.
The Inland Fisheries Service recently set 40 box traps in the area and 106 brown trout and one rainbow trout were caught over two nights.
The average weight of each fish was a healthy 1.25kg with 60 per cent weighing between 1kg and 1.5kg. A few fish pushed over 2kg-2.25kg as well.
Twenty-five tagged trout transferred from Lake King William in July were caught, and they all showed they had put on weight and condition.
Data suggests Shannon Lagoon holds around 2200 trout and going by those statistics a visit should very much be considered.
The gate is open to the Western Lakes/Lake Augusta and the 19 Lagoons. This will please fly anglers who target big wild Tasmanian tailing trout at this time of the year.
From December to February is prime fishing time with wet-dry fly, nymph and mayfly fishing the stand out.
The Western Lakes is restricted to artificial lure and fly fishing. Be sure to check an area’s bag and size limits before fishing, and practice catch and release when you can.
The second round of the Petuna Tasmanian Trout Classic is on this weekend at Arthurs Lake. Results will be in next weeks report.
Tight lines until next week.
Send your fishing reports, pictures and tips to valleyfishes @gmail.com and keep track of the Fishing page on Facebook.