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The Australian Junior Billfish Tournament was held over the weekend out of Exmouth and its fabulous to see such your anglers getting ‘hooked’ on the sport.

The winning team on board Capt. Josh Bruynzeel’s Onstrike took the honours with 5 tags including a 4 from 4 on day one (black marlin). Congratulations to Wil and Sam.

Pictured 7 year old Sophie Niikkula hooked up to her very first marlin (with the ‘belt’ almost a vest on young Sophie!) which was successfully tagged.

sophie

kalira
Fishlife Mag

Aussie black marlin streak ahead!

As if it was ever in any doubt ;-)

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!

More on the IGFA website.

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:

gale-force-blogThe 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!

Download the full list of winners here.

kestelle

Cairns black marlin report:

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!

 

The weekend’s fishing has once again put the Gold Coast on the blue marlin map with several boats reporting memorable days on the water.

On Saturday, Capt. Ross McCubbin wrapped up his season, before jetting off to Darwin for the barra, with one from two blue marlin putting him on a final tally of 131 marlin since December 1st (made up of 109 blacks and 22 blues).

godshandsAlso on Saturday Jesse Hill and the team on Jugs found a honey hole of fish finishing up 4-4-1 blues off one bait school. Jesse tells me they unfortunately dropped 2 at the boat and had one double hookup.  They had a sat tag to deploy but elected not to, looking for a better fish.

One who did deploy a sat tag was Ryan Goding and team on Gods Hands who put the tag in a fish estimated at 150kg (pic).

Look forward to hearing about its travels in the future!

This all follows up from Friday with Garry Holt’s French Look 3 switching 6 fish record fishing. They lost 2 on the leader and weighed one, a potential Australian record for James, at 170.5kg on 8kg line. Well done James!

Ben Colvin was at the wheel of Steve Dearnlys, 40 Cabo Pisces with 1 blue marlin off Point Lookout on Saturday.

On Sunday they followed up wide of the Gold Coast Sunday for a 5-4-4, 3 of which were bigger than average fish.

Ben says that yesterday (Sunday) they also had a bunch of other well-known boats fishing around them (including Kestelle 2, Capt. Russell Guage on Too Easy, Capt. Bill Billson on Viking) and that they all had 4 or 5 bites as well. Ben estimates from the radio chatter about 50 bites from  the 7 boats fishing the area!

Bad timing with the great fishing and weather for the recent shootout, but all attention this weekend goes to Port Hacking’s Shimano 100 Tournament with teams also seeking big blues.