Big blue-eye brings big smiles to dials. The last few months have provided some magical weather windows and January proved sensational with larger than average specimens on the chew as the Seamaster crew, all hit PB’s with 19.5kg, 13.7kg, and 14.3kg respectively.
Deep dropping is really exciting because you never really know what is going to come up but the infamous head nods of blue-eye are extra thrilling, especially of this size. It can be a nervous wait as you patiently retrieve the line. With such distance to travel to the surface, it is important to set your drag appropriately, especially when there is a bit of swell on. Too little or too much and you risk losing your catch. Drag may need to be adjusted for each hook-up depending on the weight and fight of the fish.
Blue-eye suffers badly from barotrauma. Barotrauma occurs when a fish is brought to the surface and the air within the fish’s swim bladder expands as pressure decreases causing internal damage which is usually fatal. If you are close to your bag limit, consider reducing the number of hooks to avoid over catch. Like any fish, as soon as the catch is hauled aboard, bleed and place in an ice slurry as quickly as you can. These are premium table fish and should be treated as such.
Pink ling, blue grenadier, and gemfish are all likely species of by-catch and the good news is they are all tasty. You might even find yourself hooking a frost fish (aka ribbonfish).
- Electric reels are a great option for all ages and fitness levels to join in.
- Circle hooks are fishing hooks manufactured so that the point is turned perpendicularly back to the hook shank to form a generally circular, or oval, shape. The idea is to wait for the fish to take the bait, let the fish turn, and begin to swim away before applying pressure to the drag leaver to pin the fish in the corner of the mouth. Initially, it can be hard to resist that instinct to set the hook, but once you’ve caught a few fish in circles not striking becomes second nature. These hooks are also designed to be hard to de-hook so the fish should stay on during the long wind up
- Lumo tube or lumo sleeves are also a good addition to the snoods as a visual attractant, as to are glow sticks or small diamond lights
- Sinkers ideally need to be in the 1-2kg weight range. Limit gear loss by running a breakaway sinker so that if you do get snagged you don’t lose your entire rig; hooks and all. Once your sinker hits the bottom, wind up at least 1-2m to avoid most snags in the first place
Tips on bait
- Be prepared with a few bait options.
- Ensure the bait is durable enough to last the long drop to the bottom.
- Squid is a good option. It is easy to source, durable to last the drop. Both tube pieces and baby squid work well.
In Tasmania there is no minimum size limit for Blue-eye Trevalla. A bag limit of 5 per angler applies with a boat limit of 25.