Tips for hooking and cooking Australian salmon

​​Many fishers are used to wetting their line to hook a sand flathead, especially when fishing from shore. But by switching up your rig and technique, there are a number of alternative (and delicious!) species you could be catching instead.​

One underrated species that's around in good numbers right now is Australian salmon. They can be caught all year round in Tasmania with the warmer months being the most popular and are a lot of fun to target, especially on lures. They're also great eating when prepped well and a sustainable species, so what's stopping you?

Australian salmon in wet cloth 

This good sized Australian salmon was caught from shore in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel.

Tips for catching Australian salmon  

Good areas to target – Often caught off rocky headlands and breakwalls, in estuaries and bays, and from surf beaches in holes and gutters. Water movement is key, and keep an eye out for birds following actively feeding salmon schools.

Where to go fishing – Australian salmon can be found all around Tasmania.

Use lures that mimic baitfish – These fish love to eat baitfish! If casting, use metal or soft plastic lures with a fast retrieve (and try putting a quick pause in to trigger a strike). When trolling, shallow diving hardbody lures work well.

Most baits work - Australian salmon generally aren’t too fussy when it comes to bait. Good quality bluebait, whitebait, pilchards and squid strips all work well.

Bleed immediately – Australian salmon have a high oil content, so if you're planning to keep your catch, kill it first (via brain spike or knock to head), then bleed it immediately after capture (cut through membrane at the back of the gills) to greatly improve the quality of the flesh.

Have your ice slurry ready – Like any fish, Australian salmon tastes better when kept as fresh as possible, so put it in a 1:1 saltwater and ice slurry as soon as it has been bled.

​​Cooking up your catch

​Australian salmon can easily be cooked whole or as fillets. If you want to make a fish go further, try adding it to a curry or turning it into burgers or fish cakes. Because of its flavour, Australian salmon can pair well with other strong flavours including tomatoes, olives and antipasto vegetables. More people are also trying it fresh as sashimi and being pleasantly surprised with the results!

Whole baked Australian salmon 

Cooking Australian salmon can be as easy or complex as you like. The fish above was simply baked whole with herbs and lemon.

You can find information on other great alternative species to sand flathead on the Flathead for the Future page.​

Published on: 3/13/2024


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