Record-breaking swordfish caught by Eboney Westwood at St Helens

A record-breaking broadbill swordfish was reeled in by St Helens’ teenager Eboney Westwood in April. 

It took five gruelling hours for the 19-year-old to secure the fish and, with the help of her father Rick Hill, the pair gaffed the 282.2-kilogram swordfish to the side of their boat. 

“It was too big for us to get in the boat,” Ms Westwood said. 

Mr Hill quickly radioed a family friend Tubby Quinn so he could meet them at the boat ramp just after 8pm on April 30. 

“Tubby already had his boat trailer in the water ready to load the fish so we could go and weigh it,” Ms Westwood said. 

“It wasn’t until we got to the ramp that we realised it was bigger than we thought and were hoping that it would weigh enough to be eligible for an Australian and Tasmanian record application.”

Mr Hill said he was very proud of his daughter. 

“It was definitely a father and daughter fishing trip that I’ll never forget,” he said.

Under the Game Fishing Association of Australia rules and regulations the process to get a record requires several measurements to be taken including girth and length. 

All the tackle, lures and baits are also measured and checked, and an amount of line is stripped from the reel and sent to Western Australia for a line test. 

It took about two months for Ms Westwood to receive official confirmation she’d broken the record. 

Ms Westwood holds the record for the female, Australian and Tasmanian 37kg line class and the All Tackle Record

Tasmanian Game Fishing Association president John Edwards said it was an impressive catch. 

“It is a fantastic effort for a young lady to withstand holding potentially 10 to 15 kgs of drag on that rod for that amount of time,” he said. 

“She has done it in stand-up tackle, not in a game chair, so you’re in a harness which helps hold the rod but you’ve got a lot of stress on muscles in your hands, legs and arms, so it is quite a mammoth task.”

Broadbill fishing has been unlocked over the past four years, Mr Edwards said. “It is a new fishery for Tasmania and I suppose an exciting fishery because it could bring people all over the world to fish in Tasmania,” he said.

Ms Westwood has been fishing for about four years. 

“I love seeing families fish together, especially young anglers with their parents,” Mr Edwards said.