Targeting Tasmanian Trumpeter

Tasmanian Striped Trumpeter

Tasmanian Trumpeter
Tasmanian Trumpeter


As people begin to fish areas like Portland in Victoria more regularly in search of Southern Blue Fin Tuna, other target species are becoming more widely noticed as a great option to break up the monotony of trolling lures all day and to give their catch bags some variety. While the locals have been catching Striped Trumpeter for years, there is not a lot of information on this exciting form of fishing for people wanting to see what all the buzz is about. Although we’re no experts we thought we would help share some information.

Striped Trumpeter are distributed from Sydney to Kangaroo Island. They are found also in New Zealand. They spawn from late Winter to early Spring. Trumpeter can grow to 1.2 m in length and 25 kg in weight. The Tasmanian Striped Trumpeter is one of the hardest fighting fish in the sea, and even better on the plate!


Bermagui, Eden, Merimbula, Warnambool, Port Fairy, Portland, Port MacDonald & St Helens are all popular locations to target Trumpeter. Using your sounder to mark fish sitting on areas of rocky reefs and drop off ledges will put you in the right areas.

Here are some GPS marks of two Trumpeter hotspots to get you started:

  •  Bermagui 12mile reef: 36.29.000S 150.15.000E
  • Portland:  38.38.937S 141.28.343


Winter to spring sees the bigger fish caught, with smaller fish present year round. Like all fish tide changes are important, top of the flood being the most productive in areas such as Portland. Often the bite window will be short and fast on the action.

Tackle and technique:

Drifting over deep offshore reefs is the best way to cover ground and find the schools. Trumpeter are rarely caught any shallower than 140m deep.

A deep water bottom bounce rig loaded with some fleshy baits such as a fillet of couta, slimies, yakka or similar is ideal.

Modern oversized spin reels with a strong drag that have a large line capacity are ideal. Braid is a must, with the smaller diameter there is less drag in the water and the sometimes small bites can be detected. Braid anywhere from 30-80 pound is the norm. note the heavier the braid the more weight you are going to need to keep it on the bottom.

A short jigging style rod is recommended, as some decent weight sinkers are often required.

Nick Scott bringing a nice Trumpeter up from 140m below
Nick Scott bringing a nice Trumpeter up from 140m below


Striped Trumpeter has a beautiful firm white flesh and doesn’t have a very strong taste. A light coating of bread crumbs or batter is perfect.

Don’t keep too more than you need for a feed as they are a slow growing fish, and once a school has been overfished in a certain area they never return to that reef, it’s suspected they are at risk to overfishing.

Matthew Hunt with a nice Portland Trumpeter
Matthew Hunt with a nice Portland Trumpeter

The best way to experience these awesome fish is to book a charter with Matthew Hunt Fishing charters in Portland. Call Matthew on 0419 760 510 or email him on