Home' Afloat : AFLOAT Sep 2014 Contents Take monthly with water September 2014 45
range. As if to prove as
much, the female President
of Sydney Game Fishing Club
nailed a world record giant
southern bluefin tuna last
Fishing on the mighty
Tantrum, Karen Wright hooked
her bluefin just inside Heaton’s
Hill, which is roughly 80km
offshore, on a trolled blue-
over-pink skirted bullet-head
lure. After just 30 minutes
on 15kg tackle, the big fish
At the time of writing,
the southern bluefin tuna
was a pending female 15kg
tackle club, Australian and
world record at what is one
of this country’s oldest and
most revered game-fishing
institutions at Watsons Bay.
Such has been the boom in bluefin, fisheries managers expect
a whole new year class of 20kg fish to start swimming in close to
the coast once again. Meantime, some fair weather windows have
seen just about anyone with a game-fishing bent head offshore
for bluefin over winter and score fish.
Expect more yellowfin tuna this month from around Browns
Mountain (40km offshore), along with the never-ending supply
of gemfish, some big blue eye, plus some agitated mako sharks.
The kingfish on the 12 Mile and Peak, the big snapper and oodles
of schooling Aussie salmon are adding to the mix.
Spring often brings even hotter fishing for kingfish on the
reefs, great sportsfishing for striped tuna and mackerel tuna in
close, as well as the winter species such as trevally and tailor,
John dory and luderick, maybe some hairtail and jewfish.
Meantime, the Winter of 2014 will be remembered for southern
bluefin tuna and we tilt our fishing hat to mother of two and top
rod Karen Wright for landing the fish of a lifetime off Sydney. Keen
fishers and famous cricketers Brett Lee and Doom Thornely landed
85kg and 135kg-plus bluefin also weighed at Sydney Game Club.
A wicked winter of tuna indeed! That said, the fishing for many
fish species was so hot the top rods were proffering that winter
is a more productive time to fish than summer off Sydney. And
looking at what hit the deck it’s hard to argue. h
A WINTER TO
The Winter of 2014 will go down in fishing history, as hard-
fished Sydney has reinforced its world-class angling status once
again, with a pending world-record 143.7kg southern bluefin tuna
captured on 15kg tackle by a mum with two kids.
Social media channels were in a flap for weeks over the
news of the bluefin tuna’s increasing frequency and traditional
seasonal arrival off Sydney. By and large, these are a schooling
fish commonly ranging in year classes from 30-70kg. But a few
jumbos or barrels over 100kg have been mixed in with them.
Landing a fish almost half as big again off Sydney is certainly
something to celebrate.
Despite being officially listed as critically endangered – due
to commercial overfishing – aerial surveillance of Australian
waters has shown the species is staging a Lazarus-like comeback.
The leaders of the various recreational fishing bodies
from around Australia who attended the Australian Fisheries
Management Authority’s recreational fishing forum in Canberra
on June 17 were shown the latest CSIRO aerial survey results
for juvenile southern bluefin tuna in the Great Australian Bight.
The relative abundance of two-to-four year old fish this year is
the highest on record and twice the long-term average. This is great
news and a clear sign of further steps towards stock rebuilding.
The recreational sector is now
looking at options to secure
access and continue stock
Not that you need to
remind offshore anglers,
who were hooking the bluefin
with regularity this past
winter. Bluefin catches from
Portland to Port Stephens
have been the best in years
with some coastal towns
seeing massive pre-dawn
queues of trailerboaters lining
up to launch. Such has been
the tuna fever at Portland a
new multi-million-dollar ramp
was built to handle the frenzy.
Sydney has historically
proven itself as a southern
bluefin hotspot near the
northern end of the species’
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*while stocks last
Keen fishers and famous
cricketers Brett Lee and Doom
Thornely landed 85kg and 135kg-
Mother of two and top rod Karen
Wright landed the fish of a lifetime.
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