Full tournament report from EGFC President Jeni Gates:
What an amazing weekend we just had for the 2015 Australian Junior Billfish Tournament. The weather was a bit ordinary on Saturday morning, but it turned glass for the afternoon, and Sunday was even better.
It was perfect conditions for the all the 19 junior anglers (9 teams) that got out to fish the two days targeting billfish. Anglers came from as far as Townsville, Victoria, Dampier and Perth to fish the tag and release event.
We are pleased to say that there were a total of 14 black marlin and 1 sailfish tagged by the juniors. We are even more pleased to say that 6 juniors tagged their first-ever billfish. They were Chloe Shultze, Sophie Niikkula (aged just 7!), Jesse Sutton, Sam Ahern, and brothers Will and Tom Rintoul (both small fry’s).
The parents were probably more excited than the kids during this event at times and we are sure that this event will be growing each year as Exmouth offers such great fishing so close to shore, which is perfect for youngsters.
The winning teams were: Champion Team Junior
2nd French Maid
Champion Team Small Fry
Champion Team Mixed
1st On Strike II
2nd Nail It
3rd Pussee Galore
4th Our Time
A huge thanks goes to all those who assisted with the event and the sponsors, Home Hardware, Turbine Services Australia and Woodside.
The latest update from the IGFA has revealed that an estimated 1100lb black marlin tagged on board Kalira in the Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic leg of the Great Marlin Race on October 28 last year has popped up after the fish traveled an outstanding 5,716nm. This is the longest distance a marlin in the race has ever traveled. (Read the original tag report here.)
Our own Dr. Fish (Dr. Julian Pepperell) calculates that this means the fish covered an average of just over 30nm in a day (straight line) over the 180 days! How’s that for traveling!
Australian black marlin now occupy 4 of the 5 top placings in the event!
Interestingly that although this is the longest distance traveled in the great marlin race, its not the furthest one of our black marlin has swum. A juvenile black marlin estimated at about 15kg was tagged in Cairns and traveled 7847nm over 4 years. It still holds the record for black marlin distance. Julian tells me that it was recaptured in Costa Rica (the tag was handed to an American sport fishing guy by a local fisherman) but try as they did, they could never find out how big it was at recapture.
Very interesting! Looking forward to seeing the tracks when they are updated soon.
The Shimano Port Hacking 100 was held over the weekend with 61 teams competing. And although the weather kept the small boats in Port on Day 1, it more than made up for it on Day 2. Scroll all the way down for the official results but first, an event round-up as well as a first-hand account from the winners of the 50K prize winning heaviest fish!
With a brand format and new head sponsor the event was always going to be hotly contested as the crews vied for 20 prize categories for individuals and teams and everyone had their eye on the Jackpot Prize of $50,000 cash for Heaviest Blue Marlin over 180kg.
Day one saw some stiff conditions with a solid southerly blowing 20+ knots though the majority of the fleet braved the conditions and headed wide to find Mr Big. Fishing started slowly with an early report of PHGFC vessel The Outlaw taking two nice yellowfin tuna to get the first points on the board. And the tuna bite continued on the following skeds for the vessels out wide. Late in the day after a few missed fish reported, SGFC vessel Gale Force came across the radio to confirm a hook up, which was reported captured after a 2 hour fight! The winning fish (more below!)
Day two saw almost perfect conditions with the wind abating all vessels were able to leave port and again contest all categories. With Gale Force already having one hand on the winners cheque, crews were determined to knock them off and claim the prize for themselves. But as the call for stop fishing came through at 4pm, no other blue marlin were brought in to weigh. Botany Bay vessel Maddness recorded two blue marlin to take out Champion Boat T&R including one to Champion Lady Angler (T&R) Cara Hammond and the other to Joe Xerri. The capture side saw LMGFC vessel Vengeance win with two large sharks.
We would like to thank all competitors and of course our great sponsors and look forward to next years event in May 2016.
Thanks so VP David Joyce for the great recap! And…
The team on Gale Force took home the winners cheque with a 265.5kg blue marlin (585lb) on 24kg (50lb) – the story from Daniel Kirby:
“The marlin took the shotgun lure around late on Saturday afternoon. The first run nearly spooled us and the large marlin did the classic blue marlin thing tearing up the ocean in the distance. Dad (Michael) was on the rod and did well to regain the lost line quickly as we backed down sea at the fish. We had the double on the rod tip after 40min but spent the next 40min into a setting sun before Daniel eventually took the trace and had a really good look at the fish for the first time. The second the call was made to take the fish 3 gaffs were sunk perfectly. To say we were happy was an understatement and the cheering carried on the whole trip In.
The weigh station was very formal affair with all the officials, observers and gear checks and of-course the official weighing. There was so many people on pontoon and surrounding shore line at one stage that we thought the pontoon was going to sink. A late night and nervous wait the next day including a few late hook ups had us all on edge until the every end.
We would like to thank the Port Hacking Game Fishing Club and the excellent tournament committee for a great weekend. Gale Force and crew love fishing this competition!“
After a first juvie black marlin off Cairns for 2015 was reported to me at the start of last week, it didn’t take too long for a few more to start popping up. Capt. Darren “Biggles” Haydon at the wheel of Bounty Hunter got their season tally off to a great start releasing three from five little black marlin this week. Biggs says that they also boated 14 mackerel to 20lb – all awesome action on the light tackle.
Gold Coast blue marlin report:
We heard a little bit about Kestelle the other day but I had a catch up report from Michael Shadbolt yesterday. Michael reports that they fished on Sunday with Jan Crutch at the helm who put his guests onto 4 blue marlin from 8 bites. On Tuesday Steven “Hoggy” Haygarth took over the wheel for 2 marlin from a phenomenal 12 bites, fishing the lighter line class with Karl Heke who had never caught a marlin before catching both.
Michael reports that most fish over the two days were around 170kg with a few over 200kg.
And Capt. Matt Johnson’s Gypsy also fished Wednesday for a blue too. Talk about notching up numbers. Conor Lynch spent another few days on deck with Garry and James Holt on French Look, including for James’ most recent pending blue marlin record, and raised 20 blues, switched 19, with one on 8kg the pending Australian record. Of the others 10 were on 4kg, 6 on 8kg and 3 on 6kg!
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#morejuviestories Report from Levante off #portdouglas who went 1 from 2 and of some micro marlin spotted off Dundee Beach NT. Photo: #somethingipreparedearlier #blackmarlinblog #blackmarlin #nofilter ... See MoreSee Less
John ThorsborneFor years, I always wanted to take a photo from this angle, but damn it, I was always on the bridge driving the boat. My photos were one-handed shots from above, like this, from 1987, on No.5 Ribbon6 days ago