Victoria’s first swords highlight potential new fishery off Gippsland

Lee Rayner, Richie Abela and Julian Coyne with 135kg of broadbill swordfish.

LAST Friday Julian Coyne, Richie Abela and myself fished out of Mallacoota, launching at the newly appointed Bastion Point boat ramp. This area has always featured highly on our radar as a location for both marlin and tuna, but with good underwater canyon structure, and in an accessible location, we suspected it could also be a potential spot, for daytime swordfish.

On the Friday, after several hours trolling in some cooler water produced one missed shot on a marlin, we got onto what we thought was some good structure and sent the first rigged squid to the bottom in search of a swordfish.

Having always heard how anglers hook these monsters in Tassie as soon as they get the bait to the bottom, this was no different and the rod immediately loaded up. It was my turn on the rod and so I strapped myself in for the fight. An hour and a half later we boated Victoria’s second ever swordfish. It was a solid fish that would later drag the scales down to 135kg. The first ever swordie out of Victoria was taken by Matt Porter out of Lakes Entrance a week earlier.


Saturday dawned and running on the excitement of the previous day, we were on a mission to see if we could get a second sword to hopefully put Victoria, and places like Mallacoota and Lakes Entrance, in contention for anglers to chase daytime swords on a regular basis.

Within an hour of fishing Jules Coyne was hooked up on another stubborn fish which jumped out of the water early in the fight identifying itself as another broadbill sword and proving that yesterday’s fish was no fluke.

After landing that fish, we sent yet another squid down deep and once again within an hour the squid was smashed in a violent bite! Joel Ryan, who had come up for a single day’s fishing, was locked up on a stubborn broadbill that was fighting like a much bigger fish. Having plenty of swordfish already, the plan was to tag and release it, but unfortunately it died towards the end of the fight.

Needless to say these swords weren’t quite as big as some of the monsters that have come out of Tasmania over the past few weeks, but it highlights the potential of another new fishery in Eastern Victoria for these awesome fish.


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