A large cobia, originally tagged by Wildside Sportsfishing Charters, was recently recaptured.
This recapture was particularly exciting for the DPI tagging program because it set the record for the furthest distance travelled by a recaptured cobia since the program’s inception in 1973!
There were 1405 cobia tagged and 35 reported as recaptured in the program.
Angler Russell Cleaver caught the fish while fishing aboard charter boat Wildside on July 12, 2022. The crew were fishing offshore of South West Rocks targeting kingfish using live bait in 100m of water. After a tough 15-minute tussle, the cobia was quickly brought onboard the boat where the hook was removed and photos were taken.
Skipper Jason Bettles estimated the fish to be around the 25-30kg mark. A quality fish in anyone’s eyes! Russell and the crew decided they’d had enough reef fish for the trip, so they decided to tag and release this particular fish. Despite being caught in 100m of water, the fish powered off back to the depths.
Fast forward to November 11, 2022 – the fish was recaptured by anglers Jacob Martin and Mitch Burdekin, who were fishing offshore of Double Island Point in Queensland. Both Jacob and Mitch were surprised to see the NSW Fisheries tag on the fish. Once they got back on land, they reported the recapture to the program.
Upon recapture the fish weighed 27.8kg. The fish spent only 122 days at liberty and was caught more than 300NM from its original release location.
Each reported recapture contributes to our understanding of pelagic fish species. If you are lucky enough to recapture a tagged fish, please ensure you report it using the DPI’s online recapture form, which can be found at https://bit.ly/3qyxbfS
The Game Fish Tagging Program is a great example of your fishing fees at work.