Yellowfin at last!
  |  First Published: August 2005

A couple of months back I wrote a piece about the lack of yellowfin tuna along the NSW coast over the past decade and detailed some enormous fish taken by long-range charter vessels fishing out of San Diego in the US.

My timing was to coincide with the Autumn run of yellowfin from years past, when some excellent fishing used to be available down our way, especially in May.

It’s been a decade since yellowfin of any size or numbers have been taken by recreational anglers around here. As if by some strange coincidence, the following month saw a few yellowfin around and believe it or not, we actually got out and caught a few.

We had a couple of trips out to the Jervis Bay and Drum canyons and caught a few small yellowfin to 10kg on lures, the first yellowfin I’ve caught in Australian waters since 1989. From that you can gather that I’ve done very little yellowfin fishing over the past 15 years but the contributing factor to that was the very low numbers of fish down this way.

I’m a long way from believing that there is any sort of yellowfin comeback on the horizon but it was nice to see a few fish about. Further south, the news is even better.

I was talking to Bruce Libbis a while back and he reported some great yellowfin action from Bermagui and Merimbula. Bruce runs the boat Rathlin II out of Merimbula and had put clients onto fish up to 60 kg during May and June. And there had been a few 70kg and 80kg fish taken out from Bermagui.


Many long-time readers of Fishing Monthly will be aware that I’ve been writing fishing articles and taking images for many years. I started in 1981 with a very basic Pentax K1000 camera and a 50mm lens and about 10 years ago I changed to Canon EOS bodies and zoom lenses which have served me very well. I’d hate to think how many rolls of Kodachrome and Fuji Sensia and Velvia slide film I put through those bodies.

All magazine photography has been traditionally done with slide film over the years. The publishing and printing processes require a positive transparency so colour print film is not suitable. While compact digital cameras have become very popular with the general public, professional quality digital SLRs with interchangeable lenses are still quite expensive.

Most professional photographers use digital cameras but many freelance and part-time photojournalists have been slow to make the switch. Unless you are selling a lot of images you just cannot justify the several thousand dollars outlay for a new digital set-up.

I’ve been shooting slide film for many years now and over the past decade I’ve had a small photo studio in Nowra developing my film using the E6 process which involves chemical tanks and a dark room. Unfortunately that option is soon to be phased out so I was left with the option of continuing using 10-year-old cameras and sending my slide film to Sydney to be developed or going over to digital. After some serious consideration, I went digital.

There are many advantages to digital. You can shoot as many photos as you like without having to worry about running out of film or how much it will cost.

I can come home from a fishing trip and look at my images on a computer screen straight away. With slides I had to wait several days to see the results.

I can also preview and even email images via a laptop PC while I’m away. I can even preview the images as they’re taken and re-shoot a shot if I’m not happy with the result.

I can also store all my images on CD or DVD and don’t have to worry about slides being scratched or lost in the mail when I send them to a magazine. The only down side is the outlay.

You won’t notice any difference in my photos and I’ve got a huge library of slides which, I imagine, will still be getting some exposure in coming years. But the digital stuff will slowly start to sneak in and I’m quite looking forward to the challenge.

(Pic courtesy of Col Hunt)

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