EAGLEHAWK NECKSouth Eastern TAS
While best known in Australian and international angling circles for the superlative calibre of its trout fishing, the island state of Tasmania also offers some truly exceptional offshore, deep sea and game fishing opportunities. Eaglehawk Neck, in the State’s south east corner, boasts Tasmania’s longest and richest bluewater fishing tradition, and no doubt deserves the oft-quoted title of the Apple Isle’s game and sport fishing capital.
“For those with less lofty piscatorial ambitions, the very same (and often very rough!) southern waters are also thick with striped trumpeter, morwong, flathead, gurnard perch and big calamari ”
For those with less lofty piscatorial ambitions, the very same (and often very rough!) southern waters are also thick with striped trumpeter, morwong, flathead, gurnard perch and big calamari squid. As a bonus, the dramatic, wave-pounded coastal seascapes that frame these waters are some of the most striking you’re likely to experience anywhere on earth. I’d go so far as to say that visiting the Apple Isle and skipping the amazing Tasman Peninsula is like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower! Seriously, put it on your bucket list right now.
As already mentioned, while it has long known as the home of big (and seasonally abundant) southern bluefin tuna, albacore and mako sharks — as well as surprising numbers of striped marlin in some years — this gob-smacking south eastern corner of the Apple Isle can now also proudly list itself as one of the globe’s most consistently reliable destinations for the highest-rated of all billfish: the mighty broadbill swordfish.
Daytime “deep dropping” with big baits out beyond the edge of the continental shelf (which is relatively narrow here) has revolutionized sword-fishing all over the world, but in few other locations has this technique proven to be quite so revolutionary as on the east coast of Tasmania. Over the course of just a handful of seasons, swordfish have gone from being an almost mythical dream catch in Tassie (or anywhere else in Australia, for that matter) to a regular and achievable target, especially for more committed blue water anglers. Hundreds of these gladiators of the deep have now been hooked and scores landed (with a good number tagged and released), including a few leviathans up around and even in excess of the magic 300 kg mark. Along the way, the record books have been completely re-written. In fact, it seems only a matter of time before some lucky angler cracks a genuine broad-sworded “grander” (1,000-pound fish) in Tasmania’s cool, southern seas. Make no mistake: such giants are definitely out there, swimming in the gloomy depths!
Regardless of your personal piscatorial goals, Eaglehawk Neck is one of those places you’ll find hard to visit just once. It has a way of getting under your skin and calling you back… again and again!