Cricketers bowl over big bluefin

FOLLOWING last week’s report of Fisho writer Chris Cleaver landing a 120kg southern bluefin tuna off Sydney, the gamefishing grapevine has been buzzing with news of more frantic bluewater tuna action.

Much of the fishing off Sydney this week has been in deep water up to around the 700 fathom mark and at or near offshore hotspots such as Browns Mountain, which has produced good numbers of tuna for trailer boats and larger game boats alike.

One pair of keen Sydney anglers right amongst the action this week were noted cricketers Brett Lee and Dom Thornely.  

Thornely today told Fisho via email about a memorable day’s gamefishing the pair had offshore this week:

“Like every other fisherman in Sydney we headed out in search of the southern bluefin tuna that had arrived. We headed out on our 22 foot Edgewater with James Thackeray from Black Pete and Darren Thomas from Fishoutta water, with pretty high hopes given the reports we had from Monday.

“Plus we had two guys on board who know their stuff!

“We made a decision to run wide and avoid the boats with some clean water. The morning was slow but we continued with high hopes of finding a ‘puppy’ as the boys called it. Then as James called a fish marking high in the water we turned to see a ‘hole’ in the water and the reel screaming. Brett was on first and played the beast like a champion. James was driving and Daz and I were on the gaff. 40 minutes and a 90kg get was lifted into the boat. ‘Binga’ was more excited than winning the Ashes!

Howzat – A happy Brett Lee and his 90kg SBT. 

“We marked some more fish under the boat so I put two rods back in and whilst getting some shots of Brett’s fish I decided to drive around the area and on cue, off go the same lures … abort the photos and I’m into my fish. Having never caught a bluefin I have no idea of the size, so I am not sure how big this beast was. 30 minutes later, three gaffs and a tail rope and it was high fives all round. We bled it, gutted and filled it to keep the flesh in good condition (so we learnt!) and then headed for Sydney. He came in at 125.5kg and they tell us to add 10kg after cleaning.

“Two incredible fish that will keep us buzzing for a while.”

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Top: At the Sydney Game Fishing Club and (above) the successful lure – A 10-inch Marlin Magic “Baby Blue” Blue/White over pink skirt.

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In related news, Fisho writer Chloe Taylor landed a pending Australian, NSW and world record 49kg SBT on 10kg, and there have been reports of a 140kg-plus SBT caught yesterday off Sydney by another female angler. 

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Chloe Taylor with her pending record SBT caught this week. Image – Facebook.

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