The Marketing Tacklebox
Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

Well the fish may have had a day off on Wednesday, they were back to biting yesterday off Port Stephens for the Zulu team who released 7 from 11 (5 stripes and 2 blacks).

But it seems like there are plenty of fish around. Doing it tougher on the swish swish (fly) this week was the team on Freedom who have been raising plenty. Finally yesterday after teasing 18 fish up over the past 4 days (and actually casting at 6 fish) they put angler Gordon Dunlop onto a strip on fly.

Good luck to all who are tournament fishing this weekend.

Meanwhile down on the south coast, it was a harder day on the water for Richie and crew following up from their hot day Tuesday. On Wednesday they added another 4 from 5 stripies. Richies says that the fish seem to be on all the way from Batemans Bay to as far south as Eden.  This is backed up by Gamefish Merimbula’s Nathan Brown who gave me an update on how other boats fared down that way earlier in the week. On Nathan’s Head Hunter went 3-3-3 for Andrew. Nathan also reports that the same day Peter Haar onboard Spooky II recorded a 7-5-3 solo while a couple of other boats fishing nearby got three a piece also.

And speaking of solo – here’s a video from Leigh Holtsbaum’s solo day on the black marlin on the Gold Coast to go with his report from the other day (4-4-4 solo!)

Fishlife Mag

If you’re social on Fishbook, you may of heard about some really hot fishing that happened yesterday.  If you haven’t, here are the full details:

Richie Abela has done it again.  Last year he enjoyed some great fishing off JB with stats like 17-17-10. This year he’s upped the ante again with 17 marlin from 24 strikes yesterday.  That’s 16 striped marlin and one black marlin which Richie tells me is, by all accounts, the new daily catch benchmark for the far south coast.

Fishing with Brad Dennet, Keven Agius, Chris Christou and Geoff Verity on Brad’s 2700 Noosa Cat it was definitely the best day marlin fishing all on board had seen.  Richie said that all the fish were in the 80 to 120kg and they enjoyed double and triple hookups all day. At one stage they had 12 striped marlin feeding on a baitball beside the boat, all the while they were already hooked up to multiple fish.

The day before the fished also off Narooma for 7 from 9 despite not starting the day until 11am due to the rough weather.

And as Sam tells me (not there himself until next week!) they had previously been fishing off JB again for good numbers (including a 7 from 7 4 days ago) but moved south when the current started smoking.

That’s just awesome fishing!

And the fishing is starting to fire elsewhere as well.

Nathan Brown on Head Hunter tells me the fishing is also really good to the south from Bermi down to Merrimbula. He fished yesterday for three. Expect an update soon.

Also Port Stephens is turning it on in the leadup to another tournament weekend.  Amanda is reporting another fantastic day on Zulu yesterday with a quadruple hook up, 2 x triple hook ups and 2 double hook ups of striped marlin in the 80-120kg resulting in 5 marlin tags mostly caught on 10kg line. Raffie even let Amanda have her turn on the leader (photo below).



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!


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.


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.