Tasmania is surrounded by water and has some spectacular marine fishing from bays, river and estuary systems to game fishing for yellowfin tuna, albacore, striped marlin and southern bluefin tuna. Southern bluefin tuna are one of the most keenly sought game fish and several world records for these are held in Tasmania.
For many years Tasmania has had recreational bag limits for all game fish and in 2001 introduced bag limits for all saltwater species. Whilst some recreational netting is still allowed it is banned in almost all bays, rivers and estuaries – as is commercial netting.
Tasmania holds several world records for southern bluefin tuna including a fish of 108 kilograms on 15 kilogram line. Although good numbers of fish had not been caught for several years, 2001 saw the return of some great gamefishing return off Tasman Peninsula. Whilst St Helens is largely regarded as the game fishing capital of Tasmania, Tasman Peninsula rules the roost for bluefin.
Large yellowfin tuna, striped marlin, albacore, striped tuna and mako sharks are also available on the east coast from Flinders Island to Tasman Peninsula. In recent times professional charter operators have developed this fishery with most operating from St Helens. Striped marlin are perhaps the most sought after prize and in recent years the numbers caught every year are increasing.
The best way for visitors to go game fishing is to hire a charter operator. Their knowledge, boats and equipment are all first class. These are professionals who are on the water almost every day and can maximize your chances. Charter operators operate under a strict code of practice which was initiated by the Sea Charter Boat Owners and Operators of Tasmania.
Southern black bream are another fish eagerly sought in Tasmania. These are mostly an east and northern coast fish that grow to well over three kilograms. Nowhere else in Australia is the average size as big and a genuine four pound fish is well within the reach of keen anglers. Little Swanport and Ansons Bay are hot spots for big bream.
Of course there are many other species eagerly sought, these are just two examples of Tasmania’s unique saltwater fishery.
You do not need a licence for saltwater fishing in Tasmania’s seas with a rod and line. A recreational sea fishing licence is required to fish for abalone, rock lobster and scallops or with a graball, mullet and beach seine net.
Saltwater fishing locality guides
D’Entrecasteaux ChannelBruny Island
Frederick Henry Bay
Tasman PeninsulaOrford – Maria Island
Triabunna – Swansea
Great Oyster Bay – Freycinet Peninsula
Bicheno – Scamander
North East CoastFlinders Island
Cape Portland – Bridport
Badgers Head – Bakers BeachDevonport – Ulverstone
Burnie – Wynyard
Table Cape – Rocky Cape
Detention River – Black River
Stanley – Smithton
Montagu – Sandy Cape
Strahan – Macquarie Harbour
Information courtesy Saltwater Fishing Tasmania