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East Coast Billfish Recaptures
NSW has experienced some exceptional marlin fishing over the summer season with anglers catching multiple numbers of striped, black and blue marlin during a good day's fishing. A number of interesting recaptures have been reported to the department as a result of this great marlin fishing. A brief summary of some of the recaptures we have received both release and recapture information for are highlighted below.
Strikezone's Striped Marlin
A striped marlin released on the 23rd of January 2016 by Bermagui Big Game Anglers Club boat Reel Weapon while fishing the 12 mile reef off Bermagui, NSW, was reported as recaptured by Al McGlashan's Strikezone while fishing east of Greenwell Point, NSW. The fish was estimated at approximately 80-90kg and travelled a straight line distance of 106 nautical miles during the 15 days prior to being re-caught and re-released. The fish was re-released in excellent condition. In less than a week Strikezone reported another recapture of a striped marlin, this time while fishing the Drum Canyon off Jervis Bay, NSW. This release information is still being followed up by the tagging program but it is likely it was a recent release from the Newcastle area.
A striped marlin released on the 19th of December 2015 by Sydney GFC boat Shakara while trolling the Bait Station has been recaptured. The estimated 70kg fish was recaptured off the 12 mile, Bermagui, NSW by Victorian boat Seachief. The striped marlin travelled a straight line distance of 175 nautical miles in a south south-westerly direction during its 46 days at liberty and was estimated at 70kg by both release and recapture anglers.
Barnacle Riddled Billfish
A striped marlin released by Broken Bay Game Fishing Club boat Load Balancer whilst fishing off Norah Head, NSW, during the Central Coast Game Fishing Club's Bluewater Classic Competition has been recaptured off Bermagui, NSW. The fish was released in excellent condition on the 10th of January 2016 and was estimated at 70kg. After 35 days at liberty, the fish was recaptured by Victorian boat Fishin Magician who caught the fish whilst fishing east of the 12 mile reef, Bermagui, NSW, on the 14th of February 2016.
The fish had travelled 201 nautical miles in south south-westerly direction and the tag was reported to have a large amount of goose neck barnacle growth. The below barnacle-riddled tag was retrieved off the striped marlin that had only been at liberty 35 days. This growth can occur very quickly and often leaves anglers speculating that the fish was at liberty for a long period time.
Fish Rock Sailfish
A sailfish released on the 26th of December 2015 by Moreton Bay GFC boat Blade Runner while fishing Cape Moreton, QLD, has been recaptured off South West Rocks, NSW. The sailfish was released in excellent condition by Blade Runner, to be caught by Victorian boat Penguin whilst fishing off Fish Rock on the 22nd of February, 2016, using wire trace for mackerel and wahoo. The sailfish had travelled approximately 238 nautical miles during its 58 days at liberty. This is the second sailfish to be recaptured in NSW waters since the Game Fish Tagging program began back in 1973. It's another interesting recapture to add to the list of exciting recaptures for the 2015-16 season.
South Australian School Shark Travels to NZ
A school shark released land based fishing off Stenhouse Bay Jetty, South Australia by GFC of South Australia member Jason D’Angleo in February 2014 was recently reported as recaptured to the tagging program. The shark, a 151cm and 16.3kg sling weighed fish was recaptured 303 days after being released in excellent condition. The fish was recaptured by a commercial fisherman fishing the Canterbury Bight on the South Island of New Zealand. It was measured at 155cm after travelling an impressive straight line distance of 1685 nautical miles in an east south-easterly direction.
Albacore Tuna Recapture
An albacore tuna tagged and released on the 19th of October 2013, by Central Coast Game Fishing Club vessel Beakaus while fishing wide off Broken Bay, NSW, was recently been reported as recaptured by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The albacore tuna was recaptured by longline vessel Ocean Wonderer on the 16th of February 2016, after having spent 850 days at liberty and travelling a straight line distance of approximately 1000 nautical miles in a North North-East direction. The fish was one of ten albacore tagged by Beakaus during the day and was released at an estimated 15kg. Upon recapture the fish was quickly estimated at 15-20kg by the longline vessel.
The NSW DPI Game Fish Tagging Program works in close association with the NSW Game Fishing Association and the Game Fishing Association of Australia. The program is run using funds from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust. More than 430,000 fish have been tagged under the program so far. If you would like to get involved in the program please phone (02) 4424 7423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org