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be revived. This was amazing fishing by
world standards, but as a DIY trip from
a trailerboat it’s just mind blowing. They
were far from alone in their success.
Days earlier, 17-year-old Locki
Nichols put a satellite tag in a 280kg
sword, his eighth from the region, while
some local boys landed a 356kg cleaned
swordfish from St Helens, the biggest
ever caught by a recreational angler in
Australia. There was also an amazing
female capture of a broadbill around
the same time.
A typical swordfish rig comprises two
house bricks for a sinker, a 4kg break-away
line, a massive squid bait with a lumo
skirt on a giant 20/0 circle hook, an Optia sword light, a diamond
light, and a 400 pound leader. The fish are fought for hours on
37kg stand-up tackle.
St Helens is now the undisputed Sword Capital of Australia,
accessible to trailerboaters taking their rigs across from the
mainland on the ferry. This opens the floodgates for some serious
rec-fishing tourism dollars and the ensuing science data from
those tagged fish will be fascinating.
LONG-RANGE KINGFISH RECAPTURE
We are grateful to the Adelaide Game Fishing Club (AGFC) for
supplying the following report of the longest ever tagged kingfish
recapture in Australia and one that doth make the mind boggle
in respect of interstate fish stocks and potential management.
A kingfish released by AGFC member Adam Todd at Port August
on November 25, 2013 aboard Like a Boss was recently recaptured
off the Gold Coast by Dave McKenzie. The fish spent some 866
days at liberty, swum at least 1,600 nautical miles (3,087km), and
headed around the south and east coast of Australia during which
time it grew from 121cm to 127cm (16.25kg).
Interestingly, the second furthest recorded swim north by
a tagged SA kingfish was also originally captured aboard Like a
Boss. The AGFC president Paul Williams released that fish at Port
Augusta on October 21, 2013, and it was recaptured and re-released
approximately 387 days later off Coffs Harbour, NSW.
All of which, including the recent swordfish satellite tagging
in Tassie, reinforces just what a valuable tool tagging is for
understanding fish migration, growth rates, and post-release
survival. Angling has a bright future when it gets in bed with
with David Lockwood
• ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY
• SUPERIOR QUALITY
26/17 Bowden St, Alexandria Sydney 2015
(02) 9319 5222
NANNI DIESEL AUST
TRY THE TRANSEASONAL WARDROBE
In May, the drop in boat traffic and angler activity coincides
with the decreasing light levels. But look on the bright side. That
means it’s easier to be out there when the fish are biting best,
at dawn and dusk, and on those wet, overcast May days you can
strike incredible action.
May is a trans-seasonal time when the top summer species
mix it with a vanguard of cooler-water fish. In this overlap month,
the fishing can be red hot. Game fishing will continue to fire.
There’s also a lot of hanky-panky going down, so the fish tend
to be aggressive and territorial. It’s a great time for lure and fly
fishing with bright-coloured offerings.
If you want a change of scenery, head west for some trout
fishing before the rivers close on the June Long Weekend to let
those fish spawn. Many of us have urban assault vehicles, 4WDS
and SUVs, designed to get off the beaten track. And a pair of legs.
Unfurl the topographic maps and take a look around the Blue
Mountains. The Kowmung, Abercrombie, Jenolan and Coxs rivers
await your adventure.
TASSIE SWORDFISH CATCH ON
It’s no secret that St Helens on the east coast of Tasmania
is a fishing mecca. Decades ago, I watched a fleet of bumper-to-
bumper trucks back down the jetty to collect a load of orange
roughie from the trawlers via conveyor belts and drive off to the
processing plants. This went on, day after day, in what proved to
be unsustainable fishing.
Now, recreational fishers are supplanting the commercial
fleet in St Helens. The fishing is proving exceptional for that Holy
Grail, yep, the broadbill swordfish. While the local community
and rec fishing fraternity deserve all the credit for putting Tassie’s
sword fishery on the map, high-profile angler and IFISH host Paul
Worsteling recently added considerable weight to the fishery.
Paul took his big blue Stabicraft 2400 Supercab with twin
130hp Yamaha outboards across to Tassie on the car ferry. His
crew included gun local angler Jamie Harris and scientist Sean
Tracey. Their mission was to catch a broadbill swordfish and to
pin a satellite tag in one. What eventuated on Tuesday April 12
was beyond all expectations.
The IFISH crew caught three swordfish up to an estimated 270kg
on that day, tagging two of those fish, and boating one that couldn’t
Worsteling with a huge
St Helens swordfish
that he tagged and
Paul Worsteling captures a swordfish fight, tag and release for an
upcoming episode of IFISH TV.
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