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Portland SBT Light Tackle Club trip offers up an exciting twist 407 days later!

Chris Baty fighting his now recaptured bluefin tun back in July 2018

Six Club members headed to Portland for a weekend of specialist light tackle game fishing for Southern Bluefin Tuna. 407 days later the trip has been brought back to life with the news of one of the tagged and released southern bluefin tuna encountered being recaptured. Current club president Chris Baty was the lucky angler. He's how he described the news on hearing of his fishes recapture advice.


"I’ve been lucky to catch quite a few tuna in my time, sometimes in very far away places and even some the size of which means stretching the truth is not required.

But here lies one of the most unique captures I have ever made. You see back on 24th June ‘18 fishing with a group of like minded anglers from the Swordfish & Tunny Club I caught, tagged and released this little Southern Bluefin Tuna.

I found out today (October 4th 2018) that in August this year it was recaptured. That’s a first for me and I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve tagged a few fish in my time but I certainly know anglers who have racked up huge numbers of tags without having a recapture.

Originally caught fishing with Matthew Hunt aboard his charter vessel ‘Regina’ trolling a Pakula Mini Sprocket in Black Betty on 6kg gear the fish was recaptured by the commercial vessel ‘Southern Condor’ off Kangaroo Island in SA. We estimated the fish at 6kg and 65cm at time of release and at recapture it was 15.7kg and 91cm. The numbers are exaggerated a little as it was being fattened in a tuna pen over it’s last days but the numbers are still interesting.

At liberty for 407 days the fish was recaptured 225nm (as the crow flies) from point of release, who knows how many nautical miles it actually travelled though. Love the fact that I’ve played a small part in the collection of usable data for science. A big shout out to all those that take the time to tag their released fish and also to Clay Hilbert and all those in the NSW DPI Tagging Program, you all do great work."


The club was very excited to hear this news and highly values the Tag and Release fishing program. We encourage all our members to tag and release fish were possible. Those interested reading the report on this trip can do so here.

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