Presented 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.
Presented 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.
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.
It was barely daylight, just the faintest tinge of light on the horizon heralding the start of a new day as we motored south from Eaglehawk Neck toward the infamous Hippolyte Rocks, home of our day’s target species – the mighty southern bluefin tuna.
by Daniel Paull - Presented from Issue 92
What is the ultimate shark fishing experience? Is it the action packed moment when you witness a large mako leaping clear of the water, accompanied with a series of sharp twists and turns, or is it just the peaceful relaxation you get while bobbing around on the sea, waiting for that first dorsal fin to break the surface of a well spread burley trail? For me, the very thought of encountering something large, and toothy, is enough to keep me heading out onto the ocean with an esky full of burley.
Having enjoyed early starts to the past few game seasons this season was looking ominously like it wasn’t going to shape up all that well.
Over the past two or three seasons we have had fish as early as the last weekend in November and certainly here in numbers by the end of December, however over the past two weeks fish have been reported in reasonable numbers down the entire East Coast and appear to be getting thicker by the day and also, starting to move in closer to shore where the smaller boats can get at them – time to pull the lures out at last.
The Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) is the most streamlined, spindle shaped member of the Mackerel Shark family. Along with its distinctive long and conical snout and triangular dorsal fin, this species has short pectoral fins and a crescent shaped caudal fin. Their slender teeth, which curve inward and have no cusps at their bases or serrations along their edges, are easily separate from Great White, Blue, Thresher and Porbeagle Sharks. There is evident countershading on this particular species of shark; dorsally, they are a metallic blue colour whilst ventrally, they are a snowy white. These sharks are pelagic, solitary and fast swimming and have been known to travel vast distances of water in search of breeding grounds and prey. One individual shark is known to have travelled 1322 miles in 37 days with an average of 36 miles per day.
Shortfin Mako Sharks thrive offshore in both tropical and temperate waters, from the surface down to depths of over 150 metre. These sharks are potentially dangerous and have attacked people on some occasions, most of which have occurred when a shark has jumped and landed in a boat after it has been hooked by recreational game fishing anglers. Whilst breeding, litters of 4 to 16 pups are common. Older embryos eat some of the eggs while still in the uterus. Female Mako Sharks usually reach sexual maturity once they attain a length of over 3 metre s. It is believed that large female specimens may rest for up to 18 months before the next batch of eggs are fertilized by a sexually mature male.
Overfishing of the Shortfin Mako Shark, mostly in the northern hemisphere, has seen it listed on the world’s endangered list, making this species more vulnerable than ever before.
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