Hillarys 13.5kg Southern Bluefin

With conditions like they have been over the last few days, we headed straight out from Hillarys again to chase some pinkies last night.  We took the bigger boat with the crew from Sunday night, plus another welcome “guest” that just wanted to watch and ask questions.

A quick trip out to be there around 5pm.  The current was still strong and the wind was light at first but did blow up a bit later on.  We noticed a baitfish ball on the bottom near our spot with what looked like a few larger fish around it, but as we were targeting pinkies we moved to our “known” spot.  It was fairly slow with a couple of undersized baldies and some nuisance fish.

Mark was fishing the front of the boat and had a floating mulie out on the baitrunner.  We could only really fish one floater as the current was opposite to the wind and any floater out off the back would just come back under the boat and make a huge mess with the other lines in the water.  After about three quarters of an hour, the baitrunner screamed off big time.  Mark let it run and then set the hooks.

What a first run this fish had on the relatively light gear!  Don’t you just love the sound of a reel screaming in protest as the fish on the end goes hard.  There was no doubt that that the fish was going to take the spool of line so “all hands on deck” to get everything up and start the chase.  This situation again showed how critical it was to have the Minn Kota so we could move off quickly – there was no anchor to pull up and no anchor rope for the fish to foul.  Off we go with the reel still screaming and Mark becoming very nervous about the amount of line he had left on the spool.  This was definitely a pelagic fish as it was at the top of the water column and wasn’t fighting like a shark or a ray.    

I think a lot of credit needs to go to the skipper for his work in following the fish.  He had clearly done this many times before and got Mark to position where he could see him so the boat could be appropriately maneuvered.  Mark was feeling a lot better with line being regained but the big runs just continued for 15 minutes or so.  We then had the fish under the boat and the “circle work” started and the tuna call went out.  Mark was going really well with the fight and the drag was backed off once we saw the fish.  A few nervous moments as it was circling under the boat at times but again the skipper did a great job in keeping it clear.  His skill with the gaff was also evident in a clean shot to the gill plate as soon as the fish broke the surface.  Let’s just say that Mark, and everyone else, was very happy to see it on board. 

I think we sacrificed our chance with the pinkies as we moved right off our spot and as we were moving back we did notice a school on the sounder.  To tell you the truth I don’t think anyone cared.  We did however pick up a 550mm dhu which added nicely to the big tuna.  The wind came up and the bite was slow so at 7.30pm we decided to call it a day.

Back home to measure, weigh and fillet the fish.  It went 13.5kg and about a metre.  We had bled it straight away and the flesh was perfect.  Consultation with the very helpful Fishwreckedapedia confirmed that it was a Southern Bluefin – couldn’t really be anything else given it had transverse lines and dots. 

On the way in we had all marveled at the fact you could catch fish like this so close to the shore off a major capital city.  How good is that!

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Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it - LH.

 


madfisher's picture

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Date Joined: 10/10/07

Awesome fish mate, bloody top

Tue, 2015-04-21 10:17

Awesome fish mate, bloody top effort

Posts: 635

Date Joined: 22/08/12

Absolute ripper Southern Blue mate well done!

Tue, 2015-04-21 10:28

should submit it for POTM

Paul H's picture

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Nice Bluefin and good effort

Tue, 2015-04-21 10:29

Nice Bluefin and good effort - what gear was it caught on??

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Mick C's picture

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Date Joined: 26/12/13

Gear

Tue, 2015-04-21 18:33

Paul, Simple Shimano Baitrunner 8000 with 30lb braid and a fibreglass snapper rod.  Fairly light for the power of the fish but Mark did well with it.  Cheers.  Mick 

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Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it - LH.

 

fishcrazy's picture

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Date Joined: 27/01/07

Awesome

Tue, 2015-04-21 11:28

top fish mate

sea-kem's picture

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Date Joined: 30/11/09

 That's a horse! Well done!

Tue, 2015-04-21 11:55

 That's a horse! Well done!

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flangies's picture

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Date Joined: 11/05/08

Great fish and out of perth

Tue, 2015-04-21 12:15

Great fish and out of perth too

claymore's picture

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Date Joined: 11/01/11

awesome fish, what rig do you

Tue, 2015-04-21 12:46

awesome fish, what rig do you use for your floating bait?

Mick C's picture

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Date Joined: 26/12/13

Rig

Tue, 2015-04-21 18:36

Hi Mate,  Snelled 5'0's with a small running sinker.  Cheers.  Mick  

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Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it - LH.

 

Fisheagle's picture

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Date Joined: 04/02/12

Great catch

Tue, 2015-04-21 20:39

......especially so close to home! 

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Fisheagle Ed

 

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good fish man....

Wed, 2015-04-22 05:35

cept it's a yellowfin..

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FEEEISH ONNN!!!

Hutch's picture

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Date Joined: 21/04/13

Sick capture in close, also

Wed, 2015-04-22 06:47

Sick capture in close, also looks a bit like a yellowfin to me 

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Rob H's picture

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Date Joined: 18/01/12

 Nice catch Mick!despite what

Wed, 2015-04-22 08:38

 Nice catch Mick!

despite what some may say, the smaller a tuna is the harder to id between bigeye YF and SBT.

We had many arguments with AFMA while longlining and they were never confident enough to go for a DNA sample to force the purchase of quota at $38 a kg

 

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 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...

 

 

The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

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Mick C's picture

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Tuna ID

Wed, 2015-04-22 09:21

From Fishwreckedapedia:

Yellowfin Tuna are dark metallic blue, changing to silver on the belly and with about 20 white vertical lines. There is a golden horizontal stripe running from eye to tail and often an iridescent blue stripe running parallel. The second dorsal and anal fin and the finlets between those fins and the tail are bright yellow, giving the fish their name. Larger Yellowfin (40kgs) are characterised by an extended second dorsal fin and anal fin giving the appearance of a sickle. The caudal keels on the wrist of the tail are dusky and never yellow as in the Southern Bluefin Tuna.

Southern Bluefin Tuna are large, streamlined silvery-white fish with a blue-black upper body and yellow tinged fins.  They have colourless transverse lines alternating with rows of colourless dots on the lower sides and are completely covered with small scales.  They can be identified by their short pectoral fins which do not extend to the second dorsal.  The second dorsal fin is yellowish, the anal fin and finlets are dusky yellow edged with black.  Keels are present near the tail and are yellow in juveniles and black in adults.

I am no fish ID expert but the fish did not have "a golden horizontal stripe running from eye to tail".  It did seem to have "colourless transverse lines alternating with rows of colourless dotson the lower sides".

Either way it was a nice fish and no one complained about the eating quality - it is all gone.

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Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it - LH.

 

Rob H's picture

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Date Joined: 18/01/12

 Na they are all very

Wed, 2015-04-22 10:06

 Na they are all very tasty!

But colour is not far from last on the list of features to use for identifying a fish especially a pelagic after a fight!

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 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...

 

 

The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.

 

Posts: 27

Date Joined: 18/04/15

Great capture

Thu, 2015-04-23 06:58

 Makes tha Dhuie look tiny.