Rules changed to protect small catch

Ross ItalianoBroome Advertiser
Elle Smith and Ross Italiano show how to take a photo of a billfish without pulling it out of the water.
Camera IconElle Smith and Ross Italiano show how to take a photo of a billfish without pulling it out of the water.

The buzz this week is around the Broome Billfish Classic tournament which will see more than 40 anglers out chasing the glory of champion angler.

The billfish which have been showing up are very small and require delicate handling.

The Broome Fishing Club has introduced a new rule this year called a touch-tag because of the billfish’s small size.

This means that anglers only need to touch the leader on a caught fish, rather than tagging the fish, for it to count as a capture.

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The club has taken this measure to reduce the amount of stress placed on the fish, reduce handling time, and increase fish survival rates on release.

With the recent small run of sailfish and marlin, anglers are also asked to handle the fragile bills with extra care.

Elsewhere on the water, nice catches of bluebone, fingermark bream and blue-lined emperor have been picked up in Roebuck Bay during the past week.

Reef fishing enthusiasts have been picking up fair catches of red emperor, coral trout, saddletail seaperch and bluelined emperor in waters up to 30-40m deep west of Broome.

Disaster Rock is always worth a try during this time of the season for cobia, queenfish and big golden and giant trevally.

Mulloway to a metre have been caught quite frequently at Black Ledge while bluebone have been picked up in numbers near Gantheaume Point.

Shore-based anglers have been enjoying queenfish and trevally action near the port and at the mouth of Willie Creek.

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