Top Shot Tackle Australia
Unit 1 / 42 Bacon Street, Hindmarsh South Australia 5007
Phone: +61 (8) 8346 8088, Fax: +61 (8) 8346 8166
Members of the IGFA
Major Sponsors of
Annual Lizard Island
Black Marlin Classic
Tags, Tagging & Tactics
Tags and Receptors
Fig 1 shows a picture of a tag with a single barbed nylon head with a yellow
plastic streamer. The attached streamer has a send address and ID number
written in black along its length on one side. The tag is supplied on a card
that has a corresponding ID number. The card is to be filled out at the time of
tagging and forwarded to the appropriate organisation by the angler. The
completed card lists all the relevant information required by the research
bodies. (This system applies to all the different tags available.)
The single barbed nylon tagged is designed only for use on small fish
species. ( i.e. less the 20lb) It is to be placed just below the dorsal fin under
the skin into the muscle hump of the fish. This will lodge the barbed head
securely in between the bone structure of the fish.
(These tags can be obtained through most game Fishing Glubs, GFAA or
Using your the Top Shot Tackle Australian reversible Tag receptor needle
(See Fig 2) the yellow streamer is fed down inside the bore of the receptor
needle Fig 3. (Other versions of tag receptor needles involve attaching the tag
to the tip of the needle and then fixing the streamer to the pole with a rubber
Feed the streamer down the bore until the nylon barb sits neatly against the
back of the opening. Fig 4 The tag is now ready for application.
Fig 5 shows the stainless steel bladed tag also with a yellow streamer. This
tag is designed to be used on Sharks and large pelagic fish e.g. Billfish,
Tunas, Wahoo, Sailfish. Etc)
The most common applicator for this tag is a 50mm long pin, which is slotted
on the end. The blade is placed in the slot as shown in Figs.6 and 7.
Similar to the nylon tag set up, the yellow streamer of the bladed tag is then
stretched along the outside of the pole and normally fixed in place with a
rubber band. (However, when using a Top Shot Tackle needle no rubber
bands are required as the streamer is simply loaded internally down the bore
of the Top Shot tag receptor needle making the loading process simpler,
quicker and dramatically reducing any tag release failure)
a) IGFA rules state that the legal dimensions for both the stainless steel and
nylon barb tag receptor needles are a length of no more than 50mm and a
maximum of 5mm.
b) The traditional needles for the above tags are normally supplied as
separate units e.g. a slotted pin or a sliced 5mm pipe. As shown in the
picture the Top Shot Tackle Australian receptor needle has incorporated both
set ups into one reversible combination of tag receptor needles. Other
manufacturers are following Top Shots lead to create their own multi function
tag receptor needles.
In recent months a new tag was officially introduced to Australian anglers at
the Lizard Island tagging tournament. This new tag has been specifically
designed and introduced into Australia through GFAA for use on the billfish
species only. The Bill Fish Foundation out of Florida has used this type of
tag extensively in the USA. The version that has been supplied to the
Australian market is a slightly smaller version of what has been previously
used in the USA. (Anglers need to be aware that any Bill Fish Tag receptors
they may have now will probably not fit the new tags.) This new tag is
constructed as an inert nylon bullet shaped head with two sliced wing barbs
and a 2.5mm hole through the centre. It is highly distinguishable from the
other two tags because of its bright orange colored streamer. See Fig 8
The standard tag receptor needle that has been used in the USA for this tag
has the following dimensions: a straight 60mm long, 5mm diameter stainless
steel shaft which has 20mm section machined down to 2.5mm and pointed
off on the end. This section is required fit the hole found through the center of
the nylon tag.
The process for loading this type of tag is similar to loading the S/S bladed
Tag but instead of loading into a slot it is loaded onto the solid 2.5mm
pointed pin end See Fig 9 the streamer is then laid along the outside of the
pole and fixed in place with a rubber band.
Again the Top Shot Tackle version of this needle is loaded similar to the
others but simpler and quicker to load as no rubber bands are required
around the out side of the pole. The streamer is simply loaded internally
down the bore of the receptor needle. See Fig10, 11. Again the internal
loading dramatically reduces the likelihood of any tag release failure.
The legal dimensions for this tag receptor needle are a length of no more than
76mm and a maximum diameter of 8mm. As from the 16th November 2002
these dimensions have been added to the GFAA rules and regulations.
President of the GFAA, Mr. Grahame Williams has at this stage endorsed
the Top Shot Tackle and Tailored Marine Accessories version of their
manufactured tag receptor needle. These needles are available in most
outlets throughout Australia.
Calypso Star Charter
Eyre Peninsula, SA
* Dive with Great
* Long-Range Fishing