The entrance to Macquarie Harbour – Hells Gates.
Ben with his pod catch; Larry the Lobster.
And with his Jack Russell Terrier.
Join Ben in Tassie for a fishing frenzy. Drop some crayfish pots while casting a line for the vast variety of local ling, mackerel, trumpeter, trout or salmon.
Mario Sorrentino used to race boats and holds a couple of Tasmanian and Australian titles. Now he owns Strahan Marine Charters and he and his Jack Russell take people out in a twin-hulled 5.5m Shark Cat, a powerful vessel perfect for exploring the open sea.
Mario moors his boat at Strahan, a place with a rich history of explorers, convicts, track cutters and Huon piners. From Macquarie Harbour, you head through Hells Gates, the narrow opening separating the harbour from the Indian Ocean.
About 25km out to sea, Mario will drop a crayfish pot and, weather permitting, you can stay out there to fish for ling, mackerel, trumpeter, trout or salmon. There is a limit of five crayfish a day.
Mario will then take you back through Hells Gates and down Macquarie Harbour to Kelly Basin, a trip of about 45 minutes. The harbour is a combination of fresh water from the Gordon River and salt water coming in from the ocean, which means there is a terrific variety of fish in the area.
The harbour's four fish farms harvest 2500 tonnes of seafood each year. If you are there at feeding time, you can see them stirring up the water in a frenzy.
Kelly Basin was the site for a convict timber station as early as 1824 and Sarah Island was a probation station from 1846 to 1847. Pillinger became a busy town but blossomed and died in no time at all, the ruins are all that's left today.
The area is rocky, dangerous, wild and remote with beautiful scenery.
After a good look round, it's time to head back to the cray pots to collect your catch ... unless another marine creature has got to it first!