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Newcastle East Coast Classic

It seems like the first Newcastle GFC East Coast Classic was a tight race indeed with the top several boats all in the mix right up to the end with less than 100 point separating them.  The full pointscore is available here.

Capt. Scotty Thorrington’s Freedom (Central Coast) has kicked off their 2015 season on a winning note taking out the Champion Boat T&R and the Highest Pointscoring Team (Marlin) in a nailbiter from Port Mac’s Rush Hour, the Curtis family’s Ningaloo (Newcastle GFC), Little Audrey (Sydney GFC) and Billistic (NPSGFC).

In an almost repeat of what happened to them in last years Lake Mac Big Fish Bonanza (where they were also (un)lucky boat #13), they almost didn’t make it. Ben “Notso” Bright tells me that they had 3 from 4 black marlin by 10:30 plus a mahi all on 10 kg on Day 1, and then blew a gearbox line.  After limping back to port (and luckily not being too far out) they ran back out two hours later with a new hose. No more bites but leading into Day 2, with Ningaloo also with 3 on 10 kg.

Day 2 they struggled and lost the lead early with Ningaloo and Little Audrey each catching early fish. But finally persistence paid off and they added two fish late (as well as a few more field goats) all on 10 kg to take the win with 5 from 6 blacks and 6 mahi mahi.

Great action shot at top of Freedom taken by Dean Ford on Calypso who are also getting into the fish outside the comp.

On the Capture side the trophy was won by NPSGFC’s Black Jack.

Overall there were 53 marlin tags in the two days (43 black marlin, 2 blue marlin, 8 striped marlin) and 6 marlin captures.

Outside of the comp again and Capt. Casey Dent’s new charge the Assegai Zulu has made it to Port and kicked off their first season and first day yesterday with 3 from 3 striped marlin in the 80-100kg range. (One each on lure, one switch baited and the other on a livey.)

Perth Bluewater Tackle Marlin Cup

Perth GFC also held their annual Marlin Cup over the weekend with a fleet of 23 boats registered and 5 marlin tagged and dozen raised. Bluewater Tackle reports that the team on Naturaliste skippered by Johnno Wroth and crewed by Nathan Sibley, Chris Fonti and Luke Gilbert put Bluewater Tackle World’s Morley’s Hon-su Chin onto a big blue marlin on the first morning. They also managed to tag a striped marlin the second day to put them at the top of the leaderboard!

small-black-marlin
Pakula Lures

It’s been another big tournament and while the tournament report is yet to come in, it was a great turnout for the inaugural Newcastle GFC East Coast Classic with 70 boats and 311 anglers competing. And it sounds like it was a tight race with mostly smaller black marlin inshore on Day 1 but more stripes and blues on the edge on Day 2.

Full report to come as everyone recovers from the preso last night today.

I heard from Andy Bagnall who was fishing the comp with the team on Seaka and had a frustrating day chasing the little blacks inshore with most of the fleet on Day 1.

On Day 2 they headed to the shelf and found some showering baitballs but not overly hungry marlin.  After a few hours they decided  to put out the heavy artillery and ran a spread for blues setting off for the edge. Immediately they raised a lit up stripe who smashed the rigger then promptly fell off again. Switching to teasers they then raised a procession of small blacks that wouldnt switch.  Finally e’agle eyes’ Steve spotted 2 tailing stripes ahead which homed in on the spread like big neon missiles. They switched one and had a bite out of the other but didn’t set.

Not long after  release they raised another stripe just before stop fishing but the hook didn’t set.  Not in the mix, the made the call to abandon the comp so they could keep fishing for club pointscore and quickly raised another fish. This one they switched onto the pitch and after a monstrous crash out of the water bite at the transom from a blue marlin they were onto a blue marlin that quickly hit the accelerator and made the 15kg tackle look like a very bad decision.  40 mins later they eventually got the tag in and released the approx130kg blue in good condition for Andy.

They finished up raising 8, pitching 6, hooking 4 and tagging 2 – not a great conversion rate but what Andy said was one of the most fun days on the water in a long time!

And all very promising for the Shootout next weekend!

And just when you thought the action on the Gold Coast had slowed…

Mat Stehman tells me that they put Murphy’s Law back in the water after a short break we and welcomed her back with an epic session going 10 from 15 on little blacks on Saturday. Fishing just the two up, angler Andrew Morley accounted for all the fish and probably welcomed an early finish getting back to the ramp by 2pm for family commitments.  Red hot fishing!

Mat said they had numerous occasions of multiple black marlin trying to steal baits right beside the boat. All fish were in the 10-30kg range which was a relief as the weather gods also made it hard fishing as it was blowing 25knots for most of the morning.

They backed up again on Sunday this time fishing 3 up, but only managed to tag 2 to John Stehmann before calling it quits just after lunch. On Sunday Mat said the bait was harder to get and the boat traffic seemed to put all the marlin to sleep.

Fishing nearby on Sunday Michael Umback also went 6-4-4 on little blacks 15-35kg. Michael said he also pitched a live bait to a larger 80-100kg model free swimming around the boat, but it didn’t want to eat.

randpAnd a first time report from Leigh Holtsbaum who tells me that Sunday was his first trip out since the Light Tackle Masters where he ran the deck for Craig Newton on Grinner. (Teacher Leigh is also decky on the 35’ Game Day and on occasion on Lucky Strike for Capt. Ross McCubbin when on school holidays.)  He was out solo on the Deep Trag ‘Car Park’ in his 4.4m tinnie with 40hp called R & P.

Leigh said that after a bumpy ride out the conditions got better – but as Mat said, the bait was hard to find. Leigh ended up with 4-4-4 black marlin all in the 30-40kg range and a mac tuna. He also saw few other boats getting fish including Gods Hands with 1 and a mahi mahi.

black-marlin-summer

Haven Charters Terrigal’s Capt. Scotty Thorrington on Freedom has up and relocated to Port for his 2015 marlin season as usual, and it wasn’t going to be long before he found the fish in numbers. Yesterday the team went five from five on small black marlin after a couple of slower days to start off.  Though its worth noting, as Ben “Notso” Bright who is on board with Scotty and Jay “Junior” Househam tells me, that the edge looks awesome and its just a matter of time before it happens there!

Further down off Sydney on Wednesday Adam Polly tells me he fished in 30 – 40fa on Mistress with Black Pete’s James Thackery. Adam report that the fishing was pretty quiet until the southerly came through at which point they started seeing and marking lots of fish. They finished the day with two from two on another double hookup. A slightly delayed double hook up.  While they were fighting the first (and towards the end of the fight) on a lure, they saw another tailing down sea so pitched a skip bait to it and got the bite. Adam also tells me that twice during the day they saw marlin feeding on dolphin fish.

It’s a summer of black marlin but the dollies have been on fire all the way down too.

And lastly, speaking of hanging in there for the season, a catch up report from Luke Amos who tells me that Sharkcat 1 and crew from Gladstone ventured wide 2 weeks ago, lost what was thought to be a good black on the first day, second day saw action in the mist of some large storms with a 80kg blue released. Like us all, Luke is interested to see how long the fish in CQ hang around for.

cazador

Lake Macquarie Big Fish Bonanza

The club has made available the point score results from the annual Big Fish Bonanza on the weekend (and so if you speak ‘points’ they are here).  While the fishing was tough overall for the 31 boat fleet, there were some teams getting in on the action. T&R Winning Boat Rackem ‘Up (Newcastle PS) also accounted for Champion Angler and Most Points T&R Marlin for angler Brent Ballenden with Brent accounting for two marlin tags and the team also taking the Champion Boat >8m.

Thanks to Claire Jones who sent me this beautiful pic above of Matt Stone’s fish on Cazador.  Claire tells me that while they only got a few dolphin fish and not big enough to weigh, it made for a very tasty BBQ!

Sunshine Coast

I put feelers out yesterday to see if any heavy tackle blues had been caught off the Sunny Coast in the leadup to the Sunshine Coast Classic this weekend (which comprises of both light and heavy tackle divisions) and then two things happened. 1. The tournament has unfortunately been postponed due to weather. The new dates are 19-22 February. Mark those in your calendar.

And #2 John Dwyer sent me some pics from a blue on Ymer on the weekend.  John reports that Ymer went wide on Sunday for 2 dollies and a little blue marlin.  The skipper was Steven Brooks with Ben Stasiak was on the rod and Matt Withers and Mark Bird sharing tracing duties (and John on the camera! Always beautiful pics thanks John.)

ymer

Gold Coast

And the catch up reports from the Gold Coast don’t stop either. There were certainly many enjoying the action before the weather moved in. Jesse Hill tells me that they went 13-13-9 on some small and some not so small black marlin fishing on Dimitri’s Estate on the weekend and lost a few more on bait jigs and the like. This great action photo below was taken by Aaron Concord who was fishing near by on Mabuyu who I heard also released 3 from 3!

dimitris