A whopper 349-kilogram swordfish caught in Victoria on the weekend may have smashed an Australian record.
Melbourne fisherman Matthew Boyle took five hours to reel in the massive fish, which was caught about 40 kilometres off the East Gippsland coast, near Lakes Entrance in the state’s east.
The swordfish was caught on a 37kg line and — pending appraisal by Game Fishing Association Australia — could wipe out the old record by more than 70kg.
The current record for a broadbill fish, another name for swordfish, is 276kg, caught off Lakes Entrance about a year ago.
Tony Kemna from Far Out Charters at Lakes Entrance weighed the colossal catch when it came into port.
Mr Kemna, who is also vice president of the Gippsland Lakes Fishing Club, said while there was an element of luck in catching giant swordfish, it also required specialist equipment and plenty of patience.
“They are a very, very hard fish to catch,” he said.
“You are sending your bait down 500 metres deep, the baits hit the bottom and then … you have flashing lights on the end of the rods near the bait, and the lights bring the swordfish in.”
“Over the last two years catching swordfish has been increasing in popularity, there’s a lot of people going out and buying bigger boast and bigger motors … to chase these elusive swordfish.”
Mr Kemna said the details of the catch had been sent to Game Fishing Association Australia for record verification.
“Everything needs to measured, sent away and then approved … everything goes to them they check it all out and then they say if you have a record,” Mr Kemna said.
He said Mr Boyle was experienced with large catches, and that he planned to send the fish to a taxidermist so it could be mounted.
It is not the only potential record catch which has been caught near Lake Entrance last weekend.
Amy Adamo caught a 94kg swordfish on a 37kg line on Saturday, which is a potential record for a fisherwoman in Victoria.