Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

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:

Fishlife Mag

Eden Open

Joel Ryan sent me a quick report from what he tells me was a great weekend at the Eden open. 37 boats entered with 48 marlin tagged as well as 7 yellowfin. The marlin were mostly stripes with some blacks mixed in. Congrats to Hardararit who won overall, and Whitewash for taking out thee Sunday shootout and winning the trailer boat section

Images from Joel on board Shake N Bake.

Hot at Jervis Bay

From Al McGlashan who spent the weekend hunting returning to Sydney Monday when he heard there were fish at JB. He drove straight down after dropping off the kids, arriving at 11:30pm and fished the next day going 4 from 6 on big stripes all 100kg plus…and then drove back to Sydney that night for meeting the next day. As Al says, keen or stupid! (But great fishing!)
Al McGlashan

More from Sydney

A couple of photos from Monday fishing out of Sydney Game fishing club with Karen and Glenn wright on their boat Tantrum (previous report). They raised 5 fish for the day and tagged a 180kg blue, a 130kg blue and a very large stripe (though as Daniel tells me the photo does not do it justice. They called at 130-140kg).  All the fish were caught on Nick Durham’s Tantrum Lures.
Tantrum Lures

Exmouth: Peak’s Hot 2015 Season

Eddy sent me this video link which is his 2015 blue marlin heavy tackle season roundup.  What an awesome season they’ve had…and its not over yet!

Some news from the newsstand

If you haven’t seen FishLife Magazine then do yourself a favour and check it out as it is now totally FREE to view online via all platforms. If you like what you see online and want a hard copy, printed versions are available at all good Aussie newsagents or via subscription.

wahooReport from Claire Jones that Sydney waters are on FIRE!

Claire tells me that almost every boat that fished over the weekend found marlin. She fished on board Wahoo Charters on Saturday for two, a stripe around 70kg and a blue around 150kg (photo of blue right).

Wahoo was following up on another great day earlier last week when they (Thursday) when they caught two more blues estimated at 230kg and 260kg.

Tantrum also got 2 blues (180kg and 130kg) and a hefty 140kg stripe on Monday in glamour conditions.

Rottnest Trench

billplayAnother from over the weekend but from the south west: Alex Kaiko and Bryan Luecke out on the  Rottnest Trench on Sunday on Bryan’s boat Billplay to try and chase some dollies and marlin.

The FAD was a boat peak hour (though they were catching with jumping dollies visible) a bit crowded for their liking so decided to troll for marlin instead. And in perfect conditions they had only been trolling for about 30 mins when the short rigger went off like a cracker.

Alex says that he looked up to see a marlin jumping and stripping his 25kg outfit quickly bringing in the gear to chase it down before it spooled him and that even while they were chasing it, it was giving them a spectacular display in front of the boat.

About 1.5 hrs of  hard work on 13kg drag later it was beside the boat and tagged – the fish they put at the 450-500 lb mark.   Score Sunday 1 from 1.

Alex says that he found out later another boat was not so lucky being spooled on a blue before they got their gear in!


Blue marlin reports came in from all the way to Sydney over the weekend. And more great inshore black marlin reports off Port Stephens. But in the meantime, the hot fishing continued for the Solitary Islands Heavy Tackle Challenge off Coffs. Official report below with thanks to the Solitary Islands GFC and big congrats to the winners and all who competed!

Solitary Islands Game Fishing Club president James McGinty reports that the club’s blue marlin-specific Heavy Tackle Challenge held over the weekend was a massive success. 22 boats fished out of Coffs Harbour under beautiful conditions, and the blues came out to play. All up, there were 134 strikes for 29 blue marlin tags, with two small blacks also putting in an appearance on Sunday afternoon. Paperwork for two blues wasn’t submitted in time, and another fish was given a short back and sides by a mako after tagging, so the grand total was 34 all up.

Champion boat was Mustang from the Port Macquarie Game Fishing Club, who were head and heels clear of the pack with five blues on day one and two on day two. Second placed was the recently repowered Seaborn from Solitary Islands with two blues on day one, and two blues on day two, with a bonus black thrown in. Third placed was Reelistic from Port Macquarie with a pair of blues on both days.

Most of the action occurred just wide of the shelf and to the north of Coffs, in a pool of slower moving water out of the main current flow. It’s nice when every boat in a tournament has a couple of marlin bites, which is how it panned out for the competitors. Unfortunately, the blues exhibited very un-blue marlin-like behaviour at times, content to just tap, push and prod at the lures, then at others they crash-tackled them like the fish we know and love.

Miss Claddagh weighed the only fish of the tournament, a solid 43.5 kilo yellowfin tuna to Glen Aylward.

All up, there was $12,000 in cash and prizes won, and the raffle and a percentage of the calcutta money raised over $1,000 for the club’s designated charity, the Leukaemia Foundation.

Coffs Harbour/Solitary Islands

With just one day until the Solitary Islands Heavy Tackle Challenge, a final leadup report via Rick from Matador. Although it was an unpleasant and sloppy day beyond the shelf, the blue marlin still wanted to play on Wednesday. Sultan Linjawi and Steve Marshall on board Matador ending up 4-2-2 blue marlin and a bonus 40kg yellowfin. Rick says that while the tuna have been largely absent most of the summer but as with the blues, the timing couldn’t be better with this weekend’s tournament!


Gold Coast Blue Marlin

And Ash Hurley sent me some information for those of you interested in taking on the Gold Coast’s run of big blue marlin at the start of May with the private Blue Marlin Shootout (ie. not club affiliated) to be held on 1-3 May. They are hoping to have final numbers around the 50 boat mark fishing which would put the prize money around $50,000 cash! You can se the full details/rules/entry form on the tournament page but Sam Williams from the Pelagic Network will taking samples of the captured fish for his research and the food bank on standby for any leftover fish.

Catch up clips:

Robert “Smithy” Smith (Smithy’s Fishing Charters) sent me a clip from his two tagged blue marlin in the MGFC Billfish Bash Tournament in December caught below. And at bottom, Amanda has sent a clip recap of the build of the brand new 54 Assegai Zulu. As Amanda says, the boat was built by Barry Martin and his team at Assegai Marine in Horizon Shores, and took 21 months to build, launching in December 2014.