Tim Anderson takes a look at one of the mainstays of Tasmania's gamefishing. Albacore are not as regal as marlin, yellowfin or bluefin, but they are fun to catch and great to eat.
The build up
What smells like fish and tastes like chicken? This question has so often been asked by the likes of Cheech and Chong and although the very term conjures up images of "hedgehogs" and alley cats, rarely has the question been posed in this arena.
The answer I am looking for in this forum is obviously albacore tuna.
Tim Anderson tells the tale of an extraordinary fishing event-fishing for Southern bluefin tuna off Tasmania's south east coast.
An exciting new sport fishery has emerged and it adds another dimension to the usual bread and butter fishing that is associated with Tasmania's North Coast.
Mako sharks have always been present in Bass Strait waters but it is only in recent years that a few innovative anglers, sick of catching couta, pike, salmon and flathead, decided to target these gamefish. In doing so, becoming pioneers of Bass Strait game fishing.
Makos are a pelagic species, roaming the ocean in search of food that consists of squid and, in the case of Bass Strait, school fish like mackerel, salmon, mullet and couta. While most North Coast makos are juveniles in the 30 - 50 kg. range, there are plenty of reports of fish hooked, lost and landed over the 100 kg mark this year.
Once again it's that time of year when avid game fishermen pull out their gear and give it the once over in anticipation of the arrival of the mighty southern bluefin tuna. These powerhouse fish put both angler skill and product quality to the ultimate test each year and anglers look forward to the challenge.
Mako sharks are not a species I would normally chase, and especially not at the mouth of the Tamar River. That is until Andrew Hart off Hook Line and Sinker caught the first mako shark taken on rod and reel off Low Head last season.
There is some amazing game fishing, right on Tasmania's doorstep. The amount of albacore, yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, striped tuna and striped marlin is the envy of most areas of the mainland.
For one young Tasmanian, Anzac Day will be remembered for more than the brave and selfless acts of our men and women of the Australian Defence Forces.
April 25th, 2004, in the company of his father, Dean, 11-year-old Jake Martin together with Doug Walton and his two sons from Victoria, travelled to Pedra Branca Island, south of Tasmania.
By Jon Fox
The other week I was in St Helens onboard Saltshaker having a coffee with my old friend and ex-deckie Ronnie Smith, his skipper Rocky Carosi and TFN&B's Mike Stevens. With the anticipation of the warm waters of the East Australian Current in January and February the conversation was of the big Tuna, Sharks and Striped Marlin offshore out of St Helens and more to the point, fishing techniques used for these species in other fisheries and if they will work in Tassie.
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