Whether you prefer lure, bait or fly, Tasmania has an abundance of freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities.
Inland, thousands of lakes, rivers and streams are home to rainbow tiger and wild (and feisty) brown trout. And in estuaries, bays and further off-shore, Tasmania has superb game fishing, with southern bluefin tuna among the most prized game.
Mist rises. The fly line kisses a glassy bend. A few heartbeats pass, then there’s the thrill of a strike. Arguably the world’s purest strain of wild brown trout thrives in Tasmania, from the lakes of the central highlands and broad rivers of the south to meadow streams in the north. Even better, many of the island’s most prized beats – Western Lakes, Nineteen Lagoons, Little Pine Lagoon, and Great Lake among them – are located in tracts of accessible wilderness.
On 4 May 1864, after a third attempt to transport fish eggs from England, a batch of brown trout eggs hatched in the cold Plenty River, in southern Tasmania. These brown trout, and later rainbow trout, acclimatised and continue to live in the island’s cold, fresh waters, so clear that some of the world’s best sight fishing is found here. For the ultimate angling adventure, hook up with an expert Tasmanian fishing guide and tap into a deep well of local knowledge.
Whether using dry flies or wet, wading or walking or drifting by boat, the diversity and beauty of Tasmania’s waterways and the vigour (and stealth) of the fish reward novices and pros. Brown trout can be caught with a licence in season from August until April; rainbow trout from October to May. Tasmania also has private fisheries that can be fished out of season.
Year-round, there’s a wide range of saltwater fishing experiences on offer; and always something biting. Throw a line off a jetty, foreshore or beach, cast a rod into a bay or estuary, or arrange a charter for deep sea, offshore reef or game fishing.
Tasmania’s game fishing waters stretch from Flinders Island in the north-east to the Tasman Peninsula in the south – only 20 minutes from shore in places. St Helens, a fishing village on the east coast, is considered Tasmania’s saltwater fishing headquarters. A fleet of professional charter boats is based here, which caters to experienced fishers and holiday anglers. Highly prized species include yellowfin tuna, striped marlin, albacore, striped tuna and mako shark.