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It was another win for the World Offshore Championships last week with yet another tournament billfish record beaten for the second year running.

Day 2’s fishing results set a new single day tournament record of 942 with 940 sailfish, 1 black marlin and 1 striped marlin being released.  Last year the 2014 event beat the the world record of tournament billfish releases with 2,314 (mostly sails) released in just three days of fishing.

Overall, 2840 billfish were released for the event this year among 67 teams and 317 anglers.

Australia was represented by five teams.  The WA team representing the  35th Annual Blue Marlin Classic were the top placed Aussie team in 26th place with a total of 47 billfish in 4 days.  Next were the Sunshine Coast team representing the Sunshine Coast Classic in 29th place (photo from Lachlan Tuckwell of one of their double hookups).  And the Cairns BlueWater Billfish Tournament team (team Bounty Hunter) had a fantastic Day 4 which saw them in 3rd place on countback for the day, to put them in 55th place overall with 32 tags and lastly, another WA team representing the Shimano West Australian open took 56th place with 30 tags.

sunnycoast

Closer to home, the weather postponed Sydney GFC Peter Goadby Classic was held over the weekend – results to come. A significant capture on Day 1 went to Alex Nuttall fishing on Syndey GFC’s Tantrum and weighed a pending Australian Women’s Record blue marlin at 236.3kg (520lb) on 15kg (30lb).  Congrats and well done Alex and the rest of the team!

Fishlife Mag

Once again the Offshore World Championships are underway in Costa Rica and Australia is again well represented – and after only the first day’s fishing, well represented on the leaderboard as well.

On Day 1, 67 teams and 318 anglers accounted for 821 billfish (mostly sailfish with 6 blue marlin and 1 black marlin thrown into the mix). That’s an average of 12+ fish per team for the day.

Of course, many teams did better than that with the team representing the Lae Offshore Classic (PNG) in front with 39 tags (all sails) (and the other PNG team in 6th). The Aussie team (WA) representing the 35th Annual Blue Marlin Classic with Lizard Island regular Brian Lueke on the team are 2nd with 28 tags.

Also near the top 10 at Number 12, the Sunshine Coast G.F.C. Spring Shootout team with 20 tags.

The Cairns Bluewater Billfish Tournament, represented by the team on Bounty Hunter are in 42nd place after only the first day but sure to make up ground!

Live point scores are hereLet me know if there are other Australian teams competing to watch for!

Anglers on board the 38 boats competing in the 2015 Gold Coast GFC Garmin Blue Marlin Classic got rough treatment to the start of fishing with windy and rough condition though not a strong wind warning which meant the fishing could go ahead.  And the fishing was tough in the conditions with just 5 blues and 3 blacks on recorded on Day 1 (Saturday). A 19.2kg wahoo was also weighed in.

On Day 2 (Sunday) a better result with 11 marlin tagged and one weighed in at 169kg to the team on God’s Hands.  A total of 7 dollies were also weighed for the weekend up to 15.2kg.

1st place went to the team on the 40 Cabo Zeus skippered by Ben Colvin with anglers graham McCloy and Mark Bird. Mark caught a black marlin on Sunday and a striped marlin on Sunday in the Blue Marlin Classic!

2nd place went to the team on the 55 Viking Everwilling which has just moved up to the Gold Coast club from Port Hacking also with 2 fish – 1 blue and 1 black. And third place (all on countback) went to the team with Capt. Ross McCubbin on board Lucky Strike, the 34 Blackwatch, with 2 blue marlin.

The tournament was hosted out of the Southport Yacht Club and by all reports a great weekend was had by all. Congrats to everyone who competed!

Port Stephens

Congrats to young Cory Radford on Climax who has been breaking records again. This time after a long night of drifting for sharks (and just about to cook some bacon and eggs for breakfast ) Cory got a bite on a live bait on 10kg. After a long 5hr fight they got the striped marlin on the boat. Another hour long drive back to the weigh station later it 72.5kg which is a new pending Australian an NSW Small Fry record. Well done Cory!

There were just a few other fish round. Dave (Tucker) fished on Mojo and managed to tag a nice striped marlin to first time angler Trish Hann. Gunrunner also raised a few but no luck in getting a bite.

striped-blue

Bassmaster Elite Series

And completely outside of marlin fishing, but very well worth a mention this morning – Toowoomba boy, Carl Jocumsen is the first ever Australian competing in the US based Bassmaster Elite Series after qualifying last year – and more than holding his own against the best in the world.

Fishing in just his second event in the series, the first three days of fishing saw Carl break his own personal best tournament bag limit with 19lb 14oz  on Day 1 finishing in 27th place. Day 2 he bettered that with 26lb 10oz to catapult him up the leaderboard to 3rd position (and making the cut from 113 to 53 anglers in the process). On Day 3, with a weight of 18lbs the final hurdle was cleared making Carl one of only 12 anglers to fish the final day.

And with what seemed like the whole of Australia watching on overnight Carl finished 6 out of the final 12 anglers (from an original field of 113). What a great result and we can only expect bigger and better things from here. Well done to Carl and his support team!

Show your support for Carl here and follow the Bassmaster Elite Series here.

A few quick 2015 season updates: After a bumper 2014 giant black marlin season there have already been several baby black marlin sightings and encounters not only around North Queensland as expected but all the way to off Fraser and Moreton Island.

Oppositely, Port Stephens has been enjoying a late run with blue marlin on the shelf and black and striped marlin inshore over the past few days.

Meanwhile in Exmouth, the season never ends. Both Capt. Eddy Lawler’s Peak Sport Fishing (4-3-2 black marlin yesterday) and Capt. Josh Bruynzeel’s On Strike have been encountering multiple billfish over the past few days (1 sail and a black marlin yesterday).

Cairns Marlin Sculpture

marlinsculptureThe Cairns Game Fishing Commemorative Association Inc. is working tirelessly to raise funds to erect a life size 1,100 pound BLACK MARLIN sculpture on the Cairns waterfront adjacent to the Marlin Jetty. This sculpture will recognize the history and the significant contribution that the black marlin and game fishing has made to the region over the past 50 years since George Bransford and Richard Obach weighed the first 1,000 pound marlin in Cairns. The intention is to unveil the sculpture in conjunction with the Cairns Black Marlin 50th Anniversary celebrations in September 2016.

IGFA President Rob Kramer and Marine Artist Guy Harvey have come onboard in support of this project. This sculpture will be an icon of the Cairns waterfront and will be a lasting legacy to a fishery which has contributed significantly to Cairns and North Queensland in the past, and by increasing the public’s awareness, will also contribute to the conservation of the species for future generations.

Donations from individuals and companies towards this exciting project are welcome and greatly appreciated. Information on how you can assist can be requested by email or see the facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/cairnsblackmarlinsculpture