The Fish Spread

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Today, some learned best guessing from Capt. Jim as to why the fish have not shown up in numbers as yet: The fish turn up on the Ribbon Reefs thanks to the south equatorial current which historically hits the north coast in the Lizard Island area. The main body of the current turns south and eventually heads all the way along the east coast of Australia to Bermagui in the south. The small northern eddy swings around the gulf of Papua and back onto the south equatorial to complete the loop. For some reason, this current is extremely important to the spawning aggregation of the giant black marlin. At the moment, the current appears all wrong, and is hitting the coast just north of Port Douglas and the majority of the water is looping around the gulf of Papua. Hopefully the current will adopt its normal proportions and the bulk of the fish will again swim into the Ribbon Reefs. Because the main congregation of fish don’t seem to have arrived just yet, the fishing is best described as patchy. This picture shows some of the recent catches, spread right along the entire reef system. Some reports from yesterday though indicate with the last quarter moon phase now approaching, and the legacy of the full moon disappearing out of the system, the fishing may be turning around…At Linden Bank, WatchDog tagged two from three, 200 and 600lb and lost the third at the boat. At the bottom of Number 4, Shaka continues to deliver for their virgin black marlin anglers with the first for Ed (and in 30 + knots and 3 metre seas no less!) At Number 8, Capt. Laurie on Ningaloo released one in the first hour of fishing. And back at Number 10, on 2nd corner, Capt. Dean on Castille took advantage of a late bite to release number two for the day at an estimated 700lbs and Capt. Tim on Tradition released another smaller fish there as well.The weather is certainly making conditions trying. With the forecast all red (20 knots + category) for the next 7, we certainly hope the fishing will be making up for it. This year is shaping up to be worse than 2006 on the weather front. But its got to end some time….!