Bluefin mania has struck Swansea. In fact it’s tuna fever, with a selection of southern blue-fin, yellow fin and albacore caught on the Shelf off Swansea last weekend.
The great news is the forecast for this weekend is good for Saturday and absolutely great for Sunday, with winds tipped to barely nudge the 10-knot mark from the west.
“I never thought the day would come that the talk of the town would be blue-fin up here,” said Jason “One For” Nunn, from Fisherman’s Warehouse at Marks Point.
“It’s always been the case off Sydney, but they are out there on the Shelf in good numbers.”
Standout catches last Sunday included the Luke Stansfield-skippered Fifi which boated three from four.
“The boys had four on at one go,” said Jason, who for reasons he’s finding hard to explain, declined the opportunity to join the team that day.
“They had four rods out with four guys on the boat, including the skipper Luke.
“Luke had to come down off the bridge to take up one of the rods.
“Casey Saddler got a 65kg fish on 37kg line. Justin Worley, who plays wing and centre for the Knights under-20 team, got a 52kg fish, and Luke ended up with a 48kg fish on 24kg line.”
The tragic tale of the tape, if that’s how you can describe hooking four bluefin at once, was that the “Marks Point Marksman”, Patrick Nunn, fought his fish for 30 minutes before it straightened the hook at the boat.
“Soul destroying,” Pat’s dad, Jason said. “Particularly for the dad who wasn’t even there.”
Jason was non-plussed when quizzed as to why that was the case.
“I was in relationship-maintenance mode, racking up brownie points at home,” Jason explained. “Regrettable yes, from a fishing point of view, but you know …
“They rang about 4.30pm, telling me they’d just boated three, lost another one and were on their way home.
“I said, ‘Is this a gee-up? It’s a gee-up, right? It’s gotta be a gee-up.’ It wasn’t a gee-up.”
Earlier in day Peter Strazmire, fishing on Curly III, hooked six, landed four, and straightened the hook on another two. The biggest fish went 50kg
Matt Webber, on Ellmad, caught a 35kg fish, and Aaron Hampo, who took out a mate’s 36ft Blackwatch, helped Warren “Wazza” Lambert land a 50kg fish.
“There were some big yellowfin caught off Port Stephens last weekend too, and a stack of albacore,” Jason said.
“So it’s a tuna fest.
“Everyone is talking it up, and looking at the forecast, they’ll be cranking out the big gear and getting ready to go this weekend.”
Jason, who has caught just about everything else but a bluefin, will be on board this weekend.
“I hesitate to say this, but brownie points can be over-rated, in certain circumstances,” he muttered.
“It’s the best fishing news I’ve heard for quite awhile and sort of unexpected.
“Guys had been thinking there might be a few out there, as they’d been active off Sydney and the currents were kind of conducive.
“But to give you an idea how low the expectation was, none of the boats took their capture books out with them.
“I had to head down to the weigh station with Lake Macquarie Game Fishing club weighmaster Neil Grieves on Sunday night and hand them out.
“It was procession of boats on Sunday night at the weigh station.”
And it’s likely there’ll be a procession of boats heading out this weekend, which is logical when you think of it.
So many guys hook their boats up and head down to Sydney to launch.
It makes for a big day.
Why would you, though, when you can leave your home port, back yourself and get results?
“Mate, we have cooked bluefin every way possible this week,” Jason said.
“Pan fried, smoked, stir fried, grilled – everyone’s been fed.
“Will it last, who knows? Maybe they’ll move even further north and the guys at Port Stephens will get some.
“Until you stop racking up brownie points at home and get out on the water to live dangerously, you won’t know.
“If ever you are going to catch one, this is the weekend.”
Lake Macquarie continues to fish really well for bream, tailor, salmon, flathead, luderick and jew, with stacks of bait about, although luderick fisho’s are finding weed in short supply.
Port Stephens is similar and producing some nice snapper.
Twin brothers Henry and Hunter O’Neill, fishing with father Michael nabbed twin snappers each off Broughton island last weekend.
Pat and Jason headed up to Broughton last Thursday and got some nice squire, some bonito and a stack of under-sized pearl perch.
“The snapper were up to 3kg, not big snapper in Port Stephens terms, but pleasant,” Jason said.
“And we would have threw back over a dozen pearl perch. They just love the soft plastics, which is great to see.
“These pearlies are as far south as Sydney, which is quite phenomenal when you read the data
“Used to be they were not found south of seal Rocks. It’s not the case anymore.
“It happened last year and they are doing it again.
“We were even catching them on floating baits.”
Peter Anderson, owner of Rock City, travels the world fishing in his spare time.
He and wife Candice are currently in Alaska chasing sockeye salmon and have been getting some monsters.
Mind you, they’ve had to compete with the local bears around noted salmon spawning spot Brooke’s Falls.
Check out the pics and video online.