Sounds like there were plenty of fish around again for boats participating in the 2012 Lurhs Billfish Shootout – 96 boats with 443 anglers competed. Gunrunner capitalized on their lead from Day 1 to bring home (total 13 tags) from the team on The Force (10 tags). I heard that Calypso had a red hot start to the second day’s fishing to finish with 9 and brought it home for third place from Diversion, Pelagic, Anarchy, Shakara, Born Free, Tonlu 2 and Smart Bill rounding out the top 10.
On Fritto 1, Andy, Steve and team went 3-3-3 on Saturday and then a 4-2-1 Sunday. Andy says there were a great heap of marlin tagged on Sunday compared to the huge number of boats fishing although he saw more free swimmers this weekend that he ever has marlin fishing. Once again the weather conditions were perfect. Other reports I have so far are that Amokura tagged 5 for the tournament including 3 for Jacinta, Gale Force got 4, and Flying Fisher tagged 2 and are still looking for the bananas!
And Baja weighed a 236kg blue to win the Heaviest Marlin 10k prize.
Updated: Anthony tells me he and Team Okuma on board Tonlu II placed ninth with an impressive 6 tags all up (6-6-5 on Saturday and 6-4-1 on Sunday). Thanks Anthony and congrats! And Capt. Daniel Carlson on Everwilling tagged 4, two each day, including 2 for 10 year old Ethan that gave him Champion Junior Male. Champion Junior Female was Amy McAndrew. The final breakdown was 19 black marlin, 17 blue marlin and 153 striped marlin from 189 marlin tagged all together.
Darren Buttigieg has wound up his Port Stephens ‘season’ (although he hopes to get back for a few days next month) with a very impressive 57 tags in 14 days in his trailerboat Happy Hour.
Paul tells me that he fished the Banks on the the trailer boat Frigate and got 2 stripies and a black from 3 drifts along on Saturday. He likened it to the PS Carpark because of the number of boats fishing and Paul says that most were getting bites from a mix of stripies and blacks.
It was red hot off Coffs Saturday with Kestelle and Secret Men’s Business raising 11 blues between them before lunch. Secret Men’s Business went 2 from 7, and Kestelle had a rubber hooks day with 0 from 4. Rick says the blue have been doing their usual routine, smashing the lures hard, and not always staying around after the first crash tackle – but that’s blue marlin fishing!
On Sunday it all switched around and the early bite became a late bite of the Solitary Coast. And the later it got, the closer in the fish were, with the last two coming at 55 and 60 fathoms, well inside the usual blue marlin comfort zone. It was also a great day for first-time marlin anglers. Glen Booth found two nice blues on Wicked Weasel after 3:00pm – both for first time marlin angler Jared Flynn, and both around 140kg, the last coming in 60 fathoms on the way home. Kestelle managed a nice 120kg black marlin for Elise Currey, also a first-timer.
Foreign Exchange had a turn at the rubber hook rig, raising 4, but not getting a solid hookup on any, eventually going 4-2-0. The two that at least got their mouths around the lures were big fish, and again, late in the afternoon.
The real story was Triton however, who hooked up a couple of nice blues mid-morning, but got hammered late in the afternoon in just as they were trolling past the 50 fathom mark at 6:00pm. Experienced angler Cameron Sweeting was on the 37kg rig for 90 minutes with that fish, and it never gave up, giving them a great aerial display for all of that time against the setting sun. In the end, Triton ended up 5-444 on blues between anglers Terry Dunphy and Cameron Sweeting – a fantastic day’s fishing.
So far, all the earlier predictions about the Coffs blue marlin season being late, big, and busy as soon as the midsummer rains went away are coming true, and the new Heavy Tackle Challenge tournament being run over the weekend of 14 & 15 April should be a blinder if this keeps up as expected.
The blues are still there. Mistress tagged one from two blue marlin while Vince on Barco is cursing his weekend conversion rate with 1 from 7 – and missed another opportunity in 94 metres trolling home.
That’s all I have fore today!