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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

So a week after the Sunshine Coast gave the Gold Coast a run for the annual top club boat crown (and won!), the same players are at it again this time giving North Queensland a nudge for the winter juvenile black marlin crown. While our juvies in NQ at this time of year are larger models, some of the fish the team on Chaos were encountering again yesterday on their return journey from Fraser to the Sunshine Coast, were sub-10kg.  This particular model below was measured at 750mm and estimated at about 2kg!!

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The fish was measured, photographed and tagged for Sam Williams. And I saw that Dr. Fish (Julian Pepperell) has estimated this guy at around 3 months old which supports the later/separate spawning theory, because the main season GBR fish should be several months older than that by now.

Jay Graham reports that they caught a total of 6 from 8 that switched yesterday, 3 of which he put at 10kg+ plus the little fellas. They also raised another 6 that didn’t switch properly, got tangled in daisy chain in their eagerness or rejected live bait etc.  And 5 were caught on on 4kg and 1 on 6kg.  And then they went reef fishing. Sounds terrible doesn’t it! ;-)

mwAnd after hearing that, it was quite timely to receive a report from Mick Winterton fishing off Townsville yesterday on September Blue, with the weather finally giving us a break up here.  Mick reports he went 2 from 5 (5-3-2) on the little blacks he estimated at up to 15kg on the northern grounds, all on lures.

A few more boats are fishing off Cairns over the next few days too so we look forward to hearing what they find up here!

Fishlife Mag

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Blue Marlin World Cup:

A day after the 1254lb blue was weighed in Cape Verde for Big Oh only one qualifying fish was brought in for the 2015 Blue Marlin World Cup – at 652lbs for the Pesca Grossa team in Madeira (angler Anthony Johnson angler, Captain Duart Nuno Goncalves).

Gold Coast Blue Marlin:

More boats enjoying the good weather on the weekend opened their 2015/16 club year accounts including Dimititre’s Estate who also found some qualities dollies. But overall it was a slower day with just a few reported for the number of boats fishing.

Some more season final numbers – Capt. Ross McCubbin on Lucky Strike tells me his final season tally since December 1 was 135 marlin including 29 blues with the rest being black marlin. Also Mat Stehman (Murphy’s Law) added up his numbers which was 92 tagged marlin which consisted of 32 blue marlin, 5 stripes, 1 shortbill and 54 black marlin.  Mat further broke the stat down reporting 42 of the fish were caught on baits and the rest Larva Lures.

What’s more amazing is that these numbers were caught over only “16 trips in both heavy and light tackle with an average of 3.375 light tackle fish per trip and 2.375 heavy tackle fish per trip and an overall average of 2.875 fish per trip for the year including 3 zero days”!

Meanwhile on the Sunshine Coast:

The Fraser blacks have not been neglected with Sunshine Coast GFC Club Captain Brent Higgins reporting club boat Raise A Bill going 3 from 8.

Photo at top a little “Happy Independence Day” I did over the weekend!

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Any Aussie boats fishing the Blue Marlin World Cup this year? (Yes it’s already July 4 in Aus!)  Word from Cape Verde this morning that Captain Ronnie Fields’ Big Oh weighed a 1254lb blue marlin for angler Gray Ingram on July 3, so high hopes for teams fishing over there!

More Gold Coast Blue Marlin

Back on the Gold Coast, some of local clubbies have already recorded the first blue marlin of the season. Mana (Loyal to the Game) was fishing with Ian “Rocky” Pollard on his boat Ka Ching on the 1st (Wednesday) to open their account with a fish around the 160kg mark. He then followed up with his own for Loyal to the Game on Thursday with a fish around 180kg.

Mana says that the weather is great and there’s not much current around so here’s hoping the fish keep hanging around.

The Broome Recapture-er

The sails are still running hot in Broome!  And particularly for Jeda Ellen’s Makaira Game Fishing who just recorded their third recapture of the season!

Over the last 7 days of fishing Jeda has released 39 sails including his 3 recaptures. And even more surprising two of the recaptures were their own fish that they originally tagged last season! (Photos top.)

The first recapture was made by angler Will Heath on Monday. The original tag was on 13 May 2014 for Aaron Rhodes and estimated it at 15kg. When recaptured they estimated the fish at 18kg with the recapture was roughly 15 miles from original tagging location.

The second recapture was made by Geoff Ellens yesterday. The fish was originally tagged on the 23 June 2014 for Rolf Czabayski and estimated at 17kg. When recaptured yesterday they estimated this fish at 25kg. This recapture was made on the exact GPS coordinates it was originally released last year!

Jeda’s still waiting on information from the 3rd recapture.

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Report from Captain Chad Mills’ Blue Lightning Charters in WA who have found the black marlin in the North West where they are running their live aboard charters from Dampier to the Montebello Islands.  In very windy conditions they had a great day on the little fish – all that Chad put in the 30-50kg range – ending up 5 from 6 black marlin.

They are back out and to the islands today for the first time of the season and hopefully getting into some more!

I knew there was a battle on for the end-of-club year point-scoring but but talk about going down to the wire with some absolutely crazy awesome June winter fishing.

(Warning, pun ahead!)

It’s the Sunshine Coast vs the Gold Coast in a epic SEQ battle. And the winner is… Queensland fishing!

With the end of month, out came the previously secret reports from the Gold Coast’s never ending blue marlin bite.  Mat Stehman’s Murphy’s Law tagged a total of 9 fish in their last 3 days of fishing (4 stripes and 5 blues).  Their last blue of the season went to Sunshine Coast committee member and one of the leading point-scoring anglers for the SGFC club Michael Lassen, which Mat put at an easy 180kg.

Mat tells me there were also more then 50 fish seen over the last 3 days, but the stripes played havoc with all the boats bringing in some terrible conversion rates.

We’re still expecting Murphy’s Law‘s total season tally which he expects to be around the 100 fish mark, but in the meantime, plenty of other Gold Coast-ers have been posting some awesome numbers. Jesse Hill who spent his season dividing his time between Jugs, Dimitri’s Estate and Mabuyu, tells me his end of year tally was 168-142-89 which was made up of 24 blue marlin and 65 black marlin from only 43 trips, 4 of which were donuts.  (Just to clarify, Jesse’s tally is not his as angler, but rather boat totals from when he has been on board various boats this season – a great reflection on the Gold Coast season).

And on the light tackle record hunt, Garry and James Holt and their support team on board French Look III switched (with either the fish eating the bait or hooking up) to 62 blue marlin and over 50 blacks as well as 1 sail and 1 stripe.

Then, on the Sunshine Coast…

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Sunshine Coast GFC Club Captain Brent Higgins reports that their club members have been responsible for 31 juvenile black marlin tags in June (in JUNE!!) and at the front of the pack is Jay Graham’s Chaos (which we last saw at Cape Bowling Green last year on it maiden journey home and just fresh off the ship!)

And now their secret is out too! In the last trip alone fishing off Fraser, Jay and his crew added another 19 black marlin to their season tally (4 on Wednesday, 5 on Thursday, 10 Friday last week) bringing them up to a season total of 103 billfish for the season. That’s 6 stripes, 81 blacks, 15 blues, 1 sailfish (plus another DQ black that ate two baits). And that’s on top of the previous 12 (yes the entire 31 juvie black marlin tags belong to Chaos!) from a previous trip.

Jay said although it paid off in the end, the Fraser trips also involved a fair bit of work (and play I see!) They did a total of 9.5 days fishing with it taking him a couple of days to find the fish.  They also did two days heavy for just the one raised fish that didn’t bite.

Jay also said that most of the juvies were between 3 and 9kg and that it was mostly a morning bite, averaging 8-12 bites a day.   When they found it the bait was top to bottom for a few miles consisting of yakkas, pillies and herring. Last Friday they fished just the 5 hours until the weather got really bad and went 15-12-10 switching on 6kg line!

Jay has previously found the juvies at Fraser in June (on Kamikaze in 2013) so was confident they would be there.  And they were!

Club Capt Brent reports that what makes the Sunshine Coast numbers even more impressive is what an inconsistent year it has been.  Looking back myself over the numbers on the DPI books it was back in 2012/13 that the Sunshine Coast boats last had the battle going right down to the wire (and over the 100 fish mark) between Reel Capture and Kamikaze. Updated: Last year it was Paddy Diamond’s Cat-a-pult and the 5m trailer boat Misty that ended a tight end-of-season tussle on top in the vicinity of 89 tags with only line class points separating them with Reel Capture third.  [Thanks to Rob Smith for refreshing my memory with reference to my own report! The SCGFC teams certainly do a lot of fishing and know how to make it competitive within the club with it going down to points again and again, year after year!]

Some photos above and below from Shaun Battye of the little black marlin action!

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