“Tumby Tom” Tierney

Fishing Journalist And Author

Tumby Tom is a well known fishing personality on South Australia’s west coast. He’s been writing for SA Angler Magazine for many years, has made multiple appearances on various fishing television shows and has traveled the world with his fishing rod. Tom’s been fishing South Australia’s west coast for six decades!

Tumby Tom’s Top Tips For Australian Salmon

  • Tumby Tom looks for days when there isn’t too much swell. Salmon in his part of the world school in massive numbers well behind the main break but small pods break off and move into the gutters close to shore if the water is clean. If there is plenty of sand stirred up close to shore the fish won’t come within casting range.

  • An offshore wind helps flatten the swell out and assists with casting. Swell and wind condition are far more important than tides for this type of fishing.

  • It pays to climb onto the frontal sand dunes and observe whether fish are present before starting to fish. Look for fish that are already in the gutters within casting range, but be aware that fish move in on an incoming tide, so big schools of fish behind the breakers on an incoming tide can signal good fishing ahead.

  • Throwing berley into the gutter can also help bring fish within casting range at times when they might otherwise be out of reach.

  • Avoid casting lures into the middle of a school of fish or you risk spooking them. It’s better to judge which way the school is moving and cast well in front, bringing the lure back across the leading edge of the school.

  • In the winter the large schools of salmon tend to disperse, with fish tending to move about in small schools in pursuit of bait fish.

  • A peaking tide coinciding with low light around dawn and dusk is a good combination for salmon fishing on the South Australian West Coast.​

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Tom’s Tackle Recommendations For Salmon

  • release.

Tom’s Blue Groper Lure Selection

  • Metal slices are the number one lure choice when surf fishing for Australian salmon with lures. There are numerous brands and most will work fine as long as they cast well and have plenty of flash and a pilchard-like colour.

  • If he’s fishing from a boat Tumby prefers to use hard body lures like minnows, jointed minnows and stickbaits that cause less splash and are less likely to spook the fish. Salmon are aggressive, so working the lure with a few twitches is all that’s required to get a strike. Berlying them up will keep them around and within casting range.

  • Soft plastic lures such as Squidgy Flickbaits are a good option when salmon are within close casting range. Cats them out, allow them to sink a little, then work then briskly past the leading edge of the school of salmon.

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