Tony Walker is a passionate offshore fishing captain with over 35 years of experience who takes 24 trips and about 230 days at sea each year. He sails around New Zealand and Australia to target monster fish. He has owned 14 large fishing boats over the years but now skippers for Walker Seafood’s Australia and takes a full crew with him. You will often see him catching giant Albacore, Bigeye and Yellowfin Tuna, or even Moon Fish!
He has acquired quite some notoriety in the fishing world and regularly gives seminars on the topic of game fishing.
We were able to ask him a few questions about his activity and his use of TIMEZERO.
Can you tell us about your activity?
I am a 3rd generation commercial fisherman from New Zealand currently fishing for Tuna and Swordfish out of Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia.
I have been asked by Tuna Australia to undertake a research project that will determine the best mix of technologies for detecting and monitoring longline gear drift and distance in relation to closed no-fishing zones around Queensland’s Great Barrier reef.
I was selected to use TIMEZERO Professional by Tuna Australia as I have extensive knowledge of the TIMEZERO system since I use it in my day to day fishing operation.
What are your first impressions of our marine navigation software in comparison to the other programs that are available?
I am very familiar with TIMEZERO Professional. I started using TIMEZERO from the moment it was released in New Zealand and started with version 12. I have spent over 3 decades bottom longline fishing very deep seamounts and canyons. Using the PBG to bottom map the fishing grounds forever changed my fishing.
TZ Professional’s PBG Module is directly connected to the sounder and positioning system. It allows the user to record depth information in-real time, creating a personalized, accurate bathymetric database. The module also comes with advanced filters that allow you to refine your collection of data; the tidal height correction and the speed filter are just a few examples.
Why is TIMEZERO software so important for you?
I would never consider fishing without TZ Professional. It has become an integral part of my fishing operation. The 3D mapping is essential for my bottom longline fishing.
This is the first time I have used the Ocean-O module and I am very impressed. As with the PBG, the Ocean-O module will now be my plotting system preference for surface longline fishing.
The Ocean-O module uses oceanographic data to help fishermen find the best fishing spots. It is designed for pelagic species of fish as they move according to various parameters. These include altimetry, sea surface temperature, and currents, for example, check the full data list here. TZ Professional is the only software capable of offering multi-day oceanographic forecasts!
What are the most important features for you?
The key features for me are the weather information which gives me a huge amount of information on sea surface temperatures (SST), sea surface height (SSH) anomalies, chlorophyll, phytoplankton etc. which assists me in deciding where to deploy my longlines to harvest elusive Tuna and Swordfish…
The High Resolution Weather Forecasts service is very useful for fishermen as they can very precisely plan their outings according to the weather conditions. The weather is now displayed in the form of animated particles for viewing comfort. To collect wind, air temperature, nebulosity, pluviometry, pressure, and humidity data, three models are now available.
Can you tell us about your most recent navigation with TIMEZERO or any anecdote you would like to share?
My fishing grounds are hundreds of miles from port and, the tides and currents offshore of Queensland are very strong and constantly changing.
Having the ability to have the tides and currents on TIMEZERO Professional gives me the advantage of selecting a route to and from the fishing grounds where I can use the currents to my advantage saving considerable time and fuel.
To follow Tony Walker’s adventures you can follow his Facebook page: Tk offshore fishing.
He is very active and is constantly sharing content ranging from the inside of his boat to his best catches!