109 tuna on scalePresented from Issue 109, April 2015
Fishing has always been a big part of my life however, for most of it I was land based. I was content fishing from the shore for a very long time, and don’t get me wrong I still love fishing off jetties and beaches to this day. However after getting the tuna fishing bug about 5 years ago, I knew that the only way I could fish for these offshore speedsters whenever I wanted was to get my own boat.

It wasn’t till January 2013 that I finally bit the bullet, and ended up purchasing a modest 5.5m fibreglass Savage Ensign named “Mustang Sally”. After taking ownership of her I considered changing the name at some point down the track. Little did I know at this point in time that after the season I’d have with her, this name would be staying with the boat forever.

After the reports of numerous jumbo southern bluefin tuna (SBT) caught days before, during, and after the 2013 Tom Jenkins Memorial Bluefin Competition, the temptation to fish was too much. After checking the weather for the week, I applied for one day’s leave from work, and Tuesday was the day.

108 yellowPresented from Issue 108, February 2015
The weather in Tasmania is sometimes unpredictable and the start to the “warm” weather was a bit iffy.

The weather gods have it well sorted now and water temps and ambient air temps are on the rise. If you have seen the Disney Movie NEMO you will know The East Australia Current is great for turtles, but it is also wicked for tuna fishermen.

The East Australia Current or EAC has been balled up off Eden and is ever so slowly making its way down the east coast of Tasmania. By the time you read this the albacore will have thickened right up off the east coasts of Tasmania after a slow start.

104 jumbo aPresented from Issue 104, June 2013
Eaglehawk Neck, located on the rugged Tasman Peninsula, has really become a paradise for those seeking the elusive ‘jumbo’ sized southern bluefin tuna. The ‘barrel’ has become an Australian fishing icon, especially here in Tasmania. People have travelled the country and the world searching for these fish, from Portland in Victoria, right around the Tasmanian coastline and as far north as Bermagui in New South Wales, there are virtually no boundaries on how far an angler will go to catch one of these awesome creatures. Here in Tasmania though, we are blessed with our tuna fishery, especially down on the Tasman Peninsula. Where else in the country can you launch a boat and start fishing for monster tuna just a stone throw away from the ramp? Each year, Dad and I spend at least one week fishing around the Peninsula, targeting one thing and one thing only, the legendary jumbo bluefin.

104 game surprises bPresented from Issue 104, June 2013

This could well be the new number plate slogan for Bluewater anglers. This season we saw good numbers of small albacore at St Helens swimming with the marlin. Yes! the marlin run was short, but good this year.

Southern bluefin turned up early and even the schoolies were big’uns. Mega sized albacore inhabited the Southern waters for a good while. A very fit looking 127kg Bluefin caught at the Light Line competition by a un-entered boat was an excellent surprise as it looked like they may have arrived early?

103 game fishing teamPresented from Issue 103, April 2013

The 2013 Tuna season has opened with a tremendous head of steam. The west coast was treated to spectacular a sighting of Bluefin Tuna smashing bait from Macquarie Harbour all the way to Point Hibbs. These fish have fed well and are turning up in good numbers and good size. In this month’s issue we look at a few hints and tips that should have a few of those 30 plus kilo Bluefin with one of your lures in its mouth. The rest is up to you and your crew.

Team PENN – DOUBLE BLACK has started the year well and loves fishing off the East and South coasts of Tasmania for Tuna. We have many years’ experience on board and would love to share some advice that may have you catch a few as well.

101 making trophy headPresented from Issue 101
Catching the fish of a lifetime was one thing, but preserving it as a trophy was going to be another. Since the capture of the massive 147kg Southern Bluefin Tuna which we had now affectionately called ‘Charlie’, the desire to have the fish immortalised grew.

But just how do you freeze a fish head and backbone that weighed over 50 kg and measured over 2 metres long? Most of the flesh had been shared among friends, family and neighbours and in the first week alone it was calculated that over 140 people had eaten a meal from “Charlie”. Some had commented “best sashimi ever” whilst others had preferred the taste of the smaller, tastier, softer school bluefin tuna. Charlie had been grilled, fried, curried, marinated, smoked, baked, battered, mornayed, and yes…even eaten raw.

Presented from Issue 97

For the past eight or nine years, game fishing in Tasmania has predominantly relied upon good numbers of southern bluefin tuna turning up in the south of the state. St.Helens, which for many years was the Mecca of game fishing slumped to the stage most anglers were heading south to get their “fix” or targeting other species instead.

Presented from Issue 97
What a fantastic year it has been already! The eastern side of the state has been producing some extraordinary fishing, including the appearance of some very solid striped marlin and yellowfin tuna. It would seem that the fishing has improved greatly since last year, as more and more big, trophy sized fish have been landed, lost or sighted. One thing I am really impressed with this year, is the size of the yellowfin that have been caught off the one and only game fishing capital of Tasmania, St. Helens! Not too long ago, I was lucky enough to have seen a huge yellowfin swimming beside our boat, the Terminator. Unfortunately though, for us, after a long battle on considerably heavy tackle, the line gave way and the fish was lost. Jamie Harris was on the rod, and I can assure you all right now, it was a very quiet few moments aboard the boat after the fish snapped the line and powered back off into the depths.

96 rockyPresented from Issue 96
I fly fish for trout and Rocky chases offshore species like tuna.

That is why when I get a day free to spend fishing on the coast with the kids I go out with Rocky who owns and operates ‘Professional Charters.

It was a an early morning start from the lakes - 3:30 a.m. to be exact and as you can imagine it wasn’t difficult waking 12 YO fishing junkie Lachlan Hayes from his slumber. It was near impossible to get my 10 YO anti fishing activist Maddie out of her bed. Three hours and six kangaroos later we drove into St Helens without a speeding fine. I thought it was a great start to the day as I had been nabbed on a couple of occasions on the Fingal Valley road before.

Presented from Issue 96

Why Do it?

Mako Sharks are a fantastic sports fish and as luck would have it, they live right here in Tasmania. They are visually spectacular during the extremely hard fight as they rip line from the reel on one of their blistering runs and then up the entertainment value one more notch by leaping metres into the air, crashing back down with a huge spray of water.

Daniel Paull - Presented from Issue 91

As everyone is aware, with the current fuel prices and particular pelagic species becoming harder to find each year, we must become smarter in the way we approach our game fishing. St. Helens has been the game fishing capital for many years, but this has changed. Most people will agree that Eagle Hawk Neck is now the most popular fishing destination for large pelagic species such as the Thunnus maccoyii or southern bluefin tuna. St. Helens can still be a productive fishery if people start to use different techniques and tactics. I fish game fishing tournaments with a team of four keen anglers, and I having been doing so since I began attending the events. We have become very effective in the way we go about targeting specific species, including that of the albacore and southern bluefin tuna. Over the years, we have employed various techniques into our game fishing, live baiting and cubing have been our most successful methods.

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