I’m a bit late on the reporting front this week as we’ve been out of phone range traveling back from three months straight fishing the Gulf. The trip home has been plagued by the usual bad weather at this time of year with the strong south-easterly trade winds. But we’re on the home stretch to Cairns now and looking forward to the start of the heavy tackle marlin session in a few short months. There is still time available for you to join one of the top crews on the reef this season. Please check the available dates here (updated).
While the billfish-fishing tends to be a bit quieter during the winter months, I have heard about the odd HT tackle fish being caught over the last week off the Sunshine Coast, and the striped marlin off Sydney and Coffs (report below). In the coming weeks, we’re expecting to hear reports of the sailfish firing off the West Australian coast around Broome before we turn our attention to the coast along Far North Queensland to see whether the juvenile black marlin and sailfish show up on the light tackle grounds. Then back we’re back to Cairns again full-time from late September for the start of the Giant Black Marlin season for 2011. Can’t wait!
- Congratulations go to Capt. Ian “Wobbles” Ford and the crew on Hot Shot who caught a potential Australian junior record for angler Thomas Right with a 70kg bluefin on 15kg yesterday. Wobbles tells me that there are plenty of fish around now from 25 to 55kgs indicating the southern bluefin run is well and truly ON! Also, I heard that they are soon to take delivery of a 55ft Viking which will replace their current vessel up at Cairns this year. Pictures to follow soon.
- A weekend fishing report from Rick who says that the Solitary Islands GFC boats who headed out off Coffs over the weekend for a look-see report that while the water’s a bit green there is acres of bait. Andrew and Tim McQuade went out from Ballina in Pheel the Bite on Saturday, and after a couple of hits from smaller fish around 100 fathoms, got a solid hookup at 300 fathoms off Broken Head which turned out to be really big stripe. They were fishing light tackle, but even on 15kg gear, they got the fish to the boat in one hour, where a missed tag shot allowed it to run away for another 40 minutes. They eventually got it back to the boat, and after tagging it, got an accurate short measure of 2.8 metres, which at an indicative 150kg makes it one of the bigger stripes to be caught on the Coffs Coast for some time – and a nice marlin in anyone’s language!
Sunday was pretty quiet but Rick says the first movement in the EAC should bring the mid-winter stripes back to town in the usual numbers.
- Lastly for those who missed it, the promo video from last year’s Port Douglas Marlin Challenge being held once again this year on November 2-7. Should be another cracker comp!