Same Fish Caught and Released Four Times in Six Years

Recreational-fishing groups point to the value of fish that can be caught again and again. One 57-pound samsonfish could be the poster child for that argument.

Amazingly, for the fourth time in six years in the same spot, the same samsonfish (a large member of the amberjack clan found in the western Pacific) has been caught and released. That's the word from Australia's Game Fish Tagging Program in New South Wales.

This suggests several conclusions. First, of particular importance to recreational fishermen, fish can and do survive after being caught and released. Repeatedly. Secondly, jacks are tough. Samsonfish, amberjacks, almacos and yellowtail (all genus Seriola) make excellent candidates for catch-and-release fishing because they are so resilient. Third, these species may be highly site-specific, at least seasonally, living around the same wreck or reef where they may indeed be caught again and again.

Samsonfish caught for the first time by Fady Dib
FIRST CAPTURE. Angler Fady Dib catches and releases the samsonfish in Marion Bay, Southern Australia, in June, 2013. He tags and releases the fish, weighing approximately 40 pounds.NSW DPI Game Fish Tagging Program
Samsonfish caught for the second time by Aaron Komaroni
SECOND CAPTURE. About three years later, in the same bay, Aaron Komaroni catches the fish which now weighs about 44 pounds. The angler retags and releases the fish.NSW DPI Game Fish Tagging Program
Darren Applebee catches the samsonfish for the third time
THIRD CAPTURE. In June, 2018, Darren Applebee catches and tags the samsonfish, estimated to weigh just over 50 pounds.NSW DPI Game Fish Tagging Program
The same samsonfish caught for the fourth time
FOURTH CAPTURE. Fishing in the same bay (Marion) this past August, Luke Donhardt catches the fish, now up to about 57 pounds in weight. The samsonfish is no doubt swimming again in Marion Bay, awaiting a fifth bout with a lucky angler.NSW DPI Game Fish Tagging Program
Marion Bay map
Marion Bay, which an oft-caught samsonfish seems to call home.Google