Fishing Gear Restrictions

​​​​​A licence holder must personally set and retrieve any scalefish fishing gear.  Another person may assist them if needed, for example, to haul the net. 

Lady with fishing rod

Rod and Line

In Tasmania, you don't need a licence for rod and line fishing in marine waters.  Anyone can fish with the following types of line fishing gear in marine waters:
  • rod and line; and
  • squid jigs.
You can use any number of lines with up to five hooks, so long as you are within 20 metres of the gear, or the lines are attached to the boat from which you are fishing.

For freshwater fishing enquiries, contact Inland Fisheries.

Electric Reels

Electric reels can be used with no more than 5 hooks.  You must remain within 20 metres of your gear.

Kites and Shore Based Longline Gear

​Auxiliary fishing gear which includes gear such as kites and balloons:

  • Can be used to deploy or retrieve not more than 200 metres of fishing line with 5 hooks or less.
  • Is not permitted in rivers or shark refuge areas.
  • Can not be used within 100 metres of swimmers or any vessel or within 400 metres of a boat ramp, jetty or mooring.
  • Can be used on a boat. 
  • If using auxiliary fishing gear from land you must remain within 20 metres of the gear and not use it more than 20 metres from the high water mark.​
Auxiliary gear does not include electric reels, capstans or haulers used for set lines.

Set Lines (Longlines and Droplines)

Drop lineA set line is an unattended line, either a dropline (see larger dropline image) or a longline (see larger longline image), with up to 15 hooks. A licence is required to use this gear and area restrictions apply. The licence holder must be present when the line is set and retrieved.
  • A person may only use one set line at a time.
  • In waters shallower than 150 metres, set lines can be joined to one other line on a boat provided no person uses more than 15 hooks and not more than a total of 30 hooks are used.
  • In waters deeper than 150 metres, set lines can be joined to up to three other lines on a boat, provided no person uses more than 15 hooks or more than a total of 60 hooks are used on the combined line.
  • Not more than 4 set lines are permitted on a boat.
  • Set lines cannot be set at night.  Night is defined as from one hour before sunset ot one hour before sunrise.
A dropline is set vertically with one end weighted and a marker buoy attached to the other. When droplines are joined together, each fisher must have a separate marker buoy attached. A longline is set horizontally, weighted at both ends and with a buoy attached at each end. When longlines are joined together, each fisher must have a separate marker buoy on each end of the line.
Long line


Set Line Buoys

Set line marker buoys must be:
  • marked with your licence number and either the letters 'LL' for longline or 'DL' for dropline;
  • at least 195mm in diameter; and
  • specifically designed as a buoy and float on the surface of the water.

Set lines cannot be used in some restricted areas including:
  • shark refuge areas;
  • no netting areas; and
  • no fishing areas e.g marine reserves and some research areas.

Learn more about using Recreational Droplines or Recreational Longlines

Squid Jigs

A squid jig is a baited or artificial lure with one or more sets of pointed hooks or spikes used to take squid.  You can use up to three squid jigs per line.


Gaffs (Gaff Hook)

You can use gaffs to take scalefish, other than bream and boarfish, but not rock lobster or abalone.

Spear Guns and Hand Spears

Hand spears and spear guns can be used to take any scalefish except bream and boarfish. Taking rock lobster or abalone with this gear is prohibited. Spears cannot be used in the Mersey, Leven or Inglis rivers, other than to spear flounder.
Fishing spear 

Rock Lobster Fishing Gear

See Rock Lobster Gear and How to Mark it.

Bait Traps

One bait trap per person can be used. The trap must comply with the following dimensions:
  • no larger than 500 mm x 350 mm x 250 mm
  • not have more than two entrances not larger than 65 mm
  • mesh between 10 mm and 40 mm.
Unattended bait traps must have a buoy or tag attached marked with "BT" and the user's surname, initials, year of birth and postcode.
Bait Pump
Opera house traps are not legal gear in Tasmania. Traps that are modified to meet the specifications of a bait trap can be used.

Bait Pumps


A hand-operated bait pump with a barrel of less than 85 mm may be used.

Landing Net

A landing net is a hand-held net that:

  • can only be used to land fish;
  • is attached to a frame no larger than 600mm across; and
  • has mesh of any size.

Dip Net

A dip net (see larger dip net image) is a hand held net that:

  • can be used to take fish including prawns;
  • is attached to a fram no larger than one metre across; and
  • has a mesh larger than 20mm.
Dip net

Hauling and Cast Nets

Bait net

You can used one bait net. A bait net is an encircling net:
  • no longer than 6 m;
  • no deeper than 2 m; and
  • with mesh no more than 20 mm.

Cast Net

You can use one cast net (see larger cast net image). The net must be:
  • circular or oval net with a leaded footline around the outside; and
  • not exceed 6 m in diameter.
Cast net



Beach Seine Net

A beach seine net licence allows you to possess and use one beach seine net (see larger image).
Beach seine net

A beach seine net must:
  • be an encircling net that does not exceed 50 m in length;
  • have a bag or bunt or a panel that forms a bunt with a mesh of at least 30 mm;
  • not be pursed or drawn through rings into the shape of a bag; and
  • be emptied while in the water.

Learn more about using a Recreational Beach Seine Net


Graball nets and mullet nets, including flounder nets, are types of gillnet .

  • No more than three gillnets may be carried on, or used from a single boat.
  • A gillnet cannot be used as an encircling net, eg. as a beach seine net.






Graball Net

One graball net (includes flounder nets) may be used and a licence is required. A graball net is a single mesh net:
  • mesh must be between 105 mm and 140 mm; and
  • must not be deeper than 33 meshes or longer than 50 metres.

Learn more about using a Recreational Graball Net

Mullet Net

One mullet net may be used and a licence is required. A mullet net:
  • is a single mesh net;
  • mesh must be between 60 mm and 70 mm;
  • must not be longer than 25 metres; and
  • must not be set over rocky bottom or reef.

Learn more about using a Recreational Mullet Net

Gillnet Buoys

Gillnets, including mullet, graball and flounder nets (a type of graball net) must be marked with two white buoys, one at each end of the net, both that:
  • are marked only with the licence number and 'G' for graball or 'M' for mullet net in figures not less than 70 mm high and 12 mm wide;
  • are at least 195 mm in diameter; ​and
  • are specifically designed as a buoy and float on the surface of the water.
Additional buoys may be used for visibility.

Soak Times

  • Gillnets cannot be set at night, other than graball nets set in Macquarie Harbour. Night is defined as between one hour before sunset to sunrise.
  • Gillnets may be set for up to 6 hours, except in Shark Refuge Areas where they may only be set for up to 2 hours.

Weighting Your Net

All gillnets must be weighted in one of the following ways in order to prevent drift:
  • a weight of at least 2 kilograms tied to the bottom line at each end of the net; or
  • a weight of at least 4 kilograms tied to the bottom line at one end of the net; or
  • the net has a minimum weight, when dry, of at least 13 kilograms for a 50 metre net.

Macquarie Harbour

  • Night nets may be set in Macquarie Harbour from one hour before sunset and must be removed from the water by one hour after sunrise. A red buoy not less than 90mm in diameter must be attached to each end of all night nets in addition to 2 white buoys.
  • Day nets may be set from sunrise and must be removed from the water by one hour before sunset. They may be set for up to 6 hours and no red buoy can be attached.
**If you are netting in Macquarie Harbour, you may be able to help protect threatened Maugean skates. Learn how to identify this species.

How to Measure Net Mesh

Diagram showing how to stretch mesh - by pulling from left and right sides.

Stretch mesh until upper and lower knots touch

Diagram showing how to measure mesh - by pulling as tight as possible from sides. 

Measure mesh at full stretch

Lost, Stolen and Irretrievable Gear

If you leave your net in the water for longer than allowed due to bad weather conditions, illness or theft, contact the Marine Police on 1300 720 647 or your nearest Police Station and provide them with your licence number.


Recreational Fishing Enquiries
Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 3233, 1300 720 647