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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

South East Queensland

David Granville kicked off the reports from what was by all accounts, a simply amazing weekend in SEQ.  David fished Noosa Canyons in his boat Cover Shot on Saturday for 3 blacks and a blue. It was the first blue marlin for the new boat and also a first for angler Kaspar Lenigas.

Some more awesome David Granville pics above and below.

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Off the Gold Coast, the sheer numbers of fish encountered was awesome.  Capt. Casey Dent’s Zulu went 3 from 5 (Sunday) and Capt. Matt Johnson Gypsy went 3 from 4 (Saturday).

And all on Sunday: Matt Stehman’s Murphy’s Law reported a 7-6-4. Glanville Heydenrych’s Ocean Instinct a 2 from 6 (hooking all 6). Ryan Goding reported a 7-5-3 on God’s Hands (including a good one with 2.77 short length and 1.53 girth). Ben Caelli reported 2 from 8 on First Priority while Matt Caelli and Jesse Hill reported 3 from 4 on Jugs.   Jesse also said that one of their fish was around the 200kg mark (and on the other end of the scale, jumped one off about 40kg) and that they missed the good bite because they went looking for the tuna early. I think that if you can ‘miss’ the bite and still end up 3 from 4, that’s an awesome day!!

Reminders
Surfers Paradise GSFC All Tackle All Species 13-15 March
Gold Coast GFC Garmin Blue Marlin Classic 10-12 April
Gold Coast Blue Marlin Shootout  1-2 May
Have a tourney to add to the calendar?

Coffs Harbour Blue Bite

And Rick O’Ferrall tells me that the slow summer turned a corner off Coffs on Saturday as well (although Rick does point out that one good day’s hot bite does not a turnaround make!) Still, they had more action Saturday that the whole rest of the summer.

The EAC finally stopped behaving badly, and brought a big pulse of 29C water down from SE Queensland, and a lot of marlin with it. Multiple boats off Coffs raised blues, blacks and even striped marlin. Most of the blues were fairly small in the 100-150kg class with one exception. Rick heard about a big fish behind Rob Lang’s Black N Blue and attacked a lure completely airborne. The fish didn’t stay hooked up, but Rob and his crew got a good look at it in the air right behind the boat, and Rob said it was easily 800lbs.

Still, good news for the upcoming Solitary Islands GFC Heavy Tackle Challenge that’s coming up over the weekend of 28 and 29 March.

redhotPort still gold

Another good weekend fishing with the good ship Calypso finding another pot of gold yesterday recording 6 from 8 (3 blacks and 3 stripes).

And Red Hot Fishing Charters’ Simon Rinaldi tells me it’s been a solid month on the water and have just hit 50 marlin for their shorter season (Simon is on his last week at Port before heading down to Portland to start his southern blue fin tuna season) so far for the season ranging from in shore blacks to line burning blues south of the Carpark (photos).

Capt. Scotty Thorrington’s Freedom has likewise hit the 70’s – good numbers for the reliable Port!

calypso
Fishlife Mag

It was only a matter of time until Port Stephens fired with areas to both the north and south producing again and again over the season. And while it showed some of its usual brilliance during the NSW Interclub, the fishing this week has once again shown why we look to Port again and again at this time of year.

Capt. Tim Dean (Calypso) tells me that they have had some really great fishing over the last three days with Capt. Laurie Wright, Tim and Stephanie Choate notching up 13 marlin in three days on pitch baits and teasers including a 450-500lb blue marlin, a 300lb stripe and 220lbs blues among the fish. Great fun with great friends.

And on the deck, Deano Ford had some good pictures of the fishing (above). Multi tasking at its finest!

Adam Polly also fished the Carpark on Tuesday alongside Calypso on his boat Mistress. Adam tells me that they went 3 from 3 with 2 stripes and black marlin.  That was on the same day that he saw Capt. Scotty Thorrington’s Freedom get 4 and Calypso get 5.

On Wednesday they followed up with another 3 from 5 (one striped, 2 blacks and one only 20 kgs! And Freedom got another 5.

mistress-polly

Meanwhile back up in SEQ, a report via John McConkey of Dino Rosa’s Manic who fished wide of Moreton Wednesday and converted 2 from 3 blues!

peaksportfishing

100 blue marlin.  100 blue marlin in a season.  100 blue marlin.

Amazing Exmouth and the team on Capt. Eddy Lawler’s Peak Sport Fishing, fresh back from a month away in NZ I might add (and back just in time for Gamex next week!), have done it.  And with the season not over yet by a long shot, there must be several more to add onto the already impressive number.

Murry let me know overnight via a cheeky note to ask if it was worth a report. I know that these guys are proud of what they’ve achieved but I don’t know if they fully realize just how in awe the rest of us are over here on the east coast.  Love your work guys!

Exmouth Marlin Blast 8-11 March

Exmouth Gamex 14-21 March

Gold Coast Blues Too / Still

luckystrike
Master photog David Granville was on board (and obviously also not on board) Capt. Ross McCubbin’s Lucky Strike yesterday for a day out on the blues off the Gold Coast.  David reports they converted this picturesque blue and a spearfish as well. There were also plenty of big yellowfin busting up around but David said for them, they had lock jaw!

Great to hear the blue marlin are biting again and with the big yellowfin tuna around (Greg Bailey weighed one at 71.2kg yesterday), there is sure to be some big blues hanging around them as well.  Good news for some upcoming tourneys on the Gold Coast.

Update: Matt Caelli kindly sent me a photo (below) of the big yellowfin from yesterday that was caught on First Priority. Monster!

Surfers Paradise GSFC All Tackle All Species 13-15 March

Gold Coast GFC Garmin Blue Marlin Classic 10-12 April

Gold Coast Blue Marlin Shootout  1-2 May

yellowfin

I had heard whispers (!!) of a great day on the blues on the Sunshine Coast on the weekend and fortunately Matt Wallace wrote to fill us in on what was a great day of action ending in a 6-3-3.  Matt told me I could edit his words to my hearts content but I really like the way he’s written so have left it in his words entirely!

“We had a great day chasing Blues on Fish Whisperer out of the Sunny Coast on Sunday. We headed to the northern end of the Hards out from Noosa having seen some hot water sitting up there on Fishtrack. We had a billfish newbie on board so I thought we’d spend a couple of hours light tackle trying to get him a little black before making the short trip from there out to the heavy tackle grounds.

Whilst he managed a modest dollie and a striped tuna on the light tackle, we couldn’t find him a marlin in spite schools of bonito leaping from the water everywhere, in near glass out conditions.

At 10.30 we pulled in the little gear and made for the shelf to make use of the freshly rigged lures regular deckie and mate John Dwyer spent days rigging (thanks John).

Just shy of the shelf in 220m, the water temp jumped about 1 degree so we pulled up and set the spread. The newbie had just been kitted up with the harness and had a quick introduction when the long rigger went off like a rocket. How good is that sound? After a ripper run that included a turn and charge at the boat the fish went deep and our poor first time angler did well to push through the shoulder pain and encouragement from the rest of the crew and 27 minutes later the tag was in. Good day!

We weren’t exactly a well oiled machine, but managed to get the gear back in the water and start weaving our way south (55nm from home). We missed a shot on the same rigger within 30 mins and another on the short rigger 15 minutes after that before the long rigger finally went off again. This time the fish put on a cracking show that lasted a couple of minutes, exposing the last 100m or so on the spool. With plenty of work to do, Jason Warat began the unenviable task of restoring the line reserves. Fortunately this one behaved itself staying up high in the water and was duly tagged 15 minutes later. Great day!

Torn between hanging up north with the fish and getting somewhere nearer to home (crew driving back to Brisbane and GC) I reluctantly headed further south. An hour later and the long rigger was getting harassed by a bigger fish. It had 3 good cracks at it, but couldn’t find the hooks. Still a great day!

We finally found ourselves in familiar country in the middle of the Noosa Canyons and we came across the smell of fresh fish in the air. I had to come down from the helm to visit the transom and as I was about to turn for the flybridge, a blue came screaming from out to port and smashed the short corner! We were running it with the double just out of the roller tip, so the strike was sensational and the yahoo-ing was manic!

This time Nigel Rae was on strike. After a typical 200m sprint off to starboard the fish did a long sweeping turn, jumping and carrying on all the way. We hit 15 knots trying to stay ahead of it and take some loop out of the line before it finally settled down. Thank goodness Nigel is built and fit. He didn’t give the fish any rest and had it at the transom 15 minutes later where Timmy Starling promptly shook the hooks free. Awesome day!

Co-owner Adam Moore donned the belt for the next shot, but it wasn’t to be. I think Adam was relieved when the last shot of the day failed to hook up and we called it a day to start the 2 hour ride home.

Thanks to all the crew for the great company and memories. And sorry to Johnny for going without you while you were in Coffs!”

And now for today’s unrelated picture (!) another great action shot from the NSW Interclub on board Finjitsu sent to me by Matt Johnson. Thanks Matt – great shot!

finjitsu

outlaw-interclub

A great shot to go with the report (above) taken by Stephen Pitchfork of PHGFC’s Outlaw in action (5-4-4 on blacks and striped on Day 3). Stephen was fishing on Sydney GFC’s Gale Force.

From on deck with the winners (also from PHGFC!):

Grommet’s Andrew Homann so kindly send me a recap of his crew’s tournament on board that ultimately saw them on the top of the leaderboard.

1st Weekend: Capt Steve Haygarth put the team onto 1 on the Saturday and 2 on the Sunday, caught by a mixture of skip baiting the Carpark and dropping live baits on the fish marked on the Furuno 1150. That put the team on 3 fish behind the leading boat, with some work to do to catch up

Due to illness Steve couldn’t skipper the 2nd weekend so the skippering was left to Andrew himself.  With weather conditions were suitable to live baiting Saturday, and with the bait really starting to rise up, they pulled the skip baits out of the program and concentrated on just live baiting.  (Andrew said they also found with the water temperature being in the 25+ degree sin the area, the stripe marlin were quite sluggish and weren’t responding well to the skip baits.) The most productive for team Grommet were the high baits schools 40fa and above, with the boat sitting slightly up current from the school and two livies on the riggers — occasionally dropping livies to the fish they marked on the sounder.

On the 2nd Saturday they added another 5 fish putting them in touch with the leaders. And while the NE’s on Sunday from the outset made the live baiting more challenging, they managed to tag a black straight up and then a double of stripes before word spread among the fleet that they had found the fish.

So after playing lucky dip (without success) for a while, Andrew made the decision to move further north to an area where the bait had started to stacked up the previous afternoon, in hope of finding it there again. The strategy paid off and within 10 minutes of arriving they were hooked up to a nice black from the deep bait. Over the next few hours they tagged another 3 blacks from the same bait school and to put them on a total of 7 for the day and 15 for the tournament.

And I should point out that it was 15 from 16! Awesome stats!

Andrew report that while they knew we they were up at the pointy end of the results, they weren’t sure if they had taken it out. Running the deck for the entire tournament was James Thackeray from Black Pete Marine along with other crew members Brendan, Adam, Wayne and young Conner. Andrew said that he and James have fished together and against each other for over 20 years and that combination with the other guys on the weekend just cemented the result.  The team used 15kg outfits for the entire time, Moi Moi line, Eagle Claw 8/0 circle hooks and Moi Moi Neo 100lb Fluro carbon leader.

And to say boat owner Andrew Tonini (aka Grommet) was happy with the result is an understatement I’m told. Andrew has been game fishing since he was 7 years old and this is a great result for him and the rest of the crew.

Big congrats to all!