Presented from Issue 110, June 2014
Tuna and offshore The tail end of May and June saw Eagle Hawk Neck firing. The school sized fish were anywhere you cared to mention and if you found them when they came on to feed you were bound to have success.

July will be no exception with the added hope the big jumbos have thickened up with the cooler weather. We are exceptionally spoilt in regard to the distance we can travel to find fish in Tasmania. You will drive over a lot of fish if you think you have to bee line to the Hippolyte rocks and Tasman Island to get fish. Areas just outside Pirates Bay have been holding good bait and in turn good numbers of Southern bluefin tuna.

110 game fishing bluefin 
 Hadley Deegan with a bluefin
at the end of May

When the fish are on all lures will work well and it is important to get the trolling speed right for the sea conditions. Keep a good eye on the spread while traveling into the conditions and get the skirts to pull a smoke trail and look active. This speed will differ when you are travelling down sea and with the wind.

Throttling the engine speed back accordingly will make a huge difference. This allows for the boat and lures to speed up and settle a touch in the wave trough. Zacatak’s range of skirts are a great starting point. Hand made in Australia and of a quality that will sit down in the waves and swell when the traditional Tassie seas are a bit angry.

Sub surface lures are a great option and you just cannot go past a Halco Max or for a deeper presentation Halco’s range of Laser Pro’s.

The fish will be about this time of year it is just a matter of where?

Where are they

The trick is finding the bait, sounding the Tuna and working the area over. Should you get a fish strike, nail a waypoint down strait away, then when you have boated the fish get back over the area again quickly? No need to get your full 4 or 5 rod spread back out again, running perfect. Once you are back over the area have the lure that caught out and be circling the area and tracking back over the waypoint as you get the other lures back in the water.

Bird, bird, bird is the word!

The Species of bird, how they are reacting and height in the sky will give you a really good indication of what is going on underneath them.

When fishing with a good crew one person needs to be designated bird spotter and take the role seriously. On a slow day when the fish are hard to come across the feathered brigade are your best friend. None more so than the Australian Gannet. If you spot 3 or four of them gaining height off into the distance, this is excuse enough to give them better attention. As soon as they start to stall in the air and try and maintain position you know they are very interested. It is amazing how the other birds in the area can spot this activity and before long a “FEED” will start.

Take it easy

It may have been a quiet day and things have been slow, but now is not the time to charge in ripping and tearing. If you have been on the ball and got to a feed as it is starting to form the worst thing you can do is motor straight over the top of them. Ideally work out which way you are going to roll around them and aim to drag your spread down one side and as you turn fairly hard around the feed you will pull your longer lures right through the middle of it and have them exit out the other side.

Deep drops

July as mentioned can have some bright, clear, still days and watching the weather forecast can pay dividends. Striped trumpeter and blue eye trevalla will be out on their usual haunts waiting for you to get a bait in front of them.

Those of you still using Alvey reels or big egg beaters to haul these tasty fish will welcome the cooler conditions. Winding up a 4 hook rig fully loaded with fish from 400m is hard work. Good weather and sea conditions and some movement either side of the tide change will have you in good stead to find some of the world’s best eating fish flesh. Fresh bait and some perseverance and there is no telling what you will pull up….

 110 game fishing broadbill
The holy grail for Tasmanian
gamefishing is surely the
broadbill swordfish. Many
have tried and failed and
occasionally one is caught
Leo Millar has put a lot of
time and effort into targeting
this species and this season
has boated two.


The big news in Tasmania in this space is Leo Millar and his crew. Leo is a local angler that has been putting in some serious time and effort into cracking the broadbill code in our waters. He and his crew have found fish consistently and have boated two, narrowly missing Tasmania and Australian game fishing records due to slight regulation issues.

New fisheries and new techniques are a great way to excite anglers and Leo’s enthusiasm is infectious. A number of keen anglers are following and trying to replicate Leo and his gang of super keen fisho’s. This is one type of fishing that needs considerable technique and planning. Very exciting stuff indeed.

So rug up, get into a tackle store for the good oil and get out in some of the most spectacular marine environments in the world.

Kelly Hunt

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