White­bait sea­son ends

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - SPORT - With Adam Rice

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.

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