I had heard whispers (!!) of a great day on the blues on the Sunshine Coast on the weekend and fortunately Matt Wallace wrote to fill us in on what was a great day of action ending in a 6-3-3. Matt told me I could edit his words to my hearts content but I really like the way he’s written so have left it in his words entirely!
“We had a great day chasing Blues on Fish Whisperer out of the Sunny Coast on Sunday. We headed to the northern end of the Hards out from Noosa having seen some hot water sitting up there on Fishtrack. We had a billfish newbie on board so I thought we’d spend a couple of hours light tackle trying to get him a little black before making the short trip from there out to the heavy tackle grounds.
Whilst he managed a modest dollie and a striped tuna on the light tackle, we couldn’t find him a marlin in spite schools of bonito leaping from the water everywhere, in near glass out conditions.
At 10.30 we pulled in the little gear and made for the shelf to make use of the freshly rigged lures regular deckie and mate John Dwyer spent days rigging (thanks John).
Just shy of the shelf in 220m, the water temp jumped about 1 degree so we pulled up and set the spread. The newbie had just been kitted up with the harness and had a quick introduction when the long rigger went off like a rocket. How good is that sound? After a ripper run that included a turn and charge at the boat the fish went deep and our poor first time angler did well to push through the shoulder pain and encouragement from the rest of the crew and 27 minutes later the tag was in. Good day!
We weren’t exactly a well oiled machine, but managed to get the gear back in the water and start weaving our way south (55nm from home). We missed a shot on the same rigger within 30 mins and another on the short rigger 15 minutes after that before the long rigger finally went off again. This time the fish put on a cracking show that lasted a couple of minutes, exposing the last 100m or so on the spool. With plenty of work to do, Jason Warat began the unenviable task of restoring the line reserves. Fortunately this one behaved itself staying up high in the water and was duly tagged 15 minutes later. Great day!
Torn between hanging up north with the fish and getting somewhere nearer to home (crew driving back to Brisbane and GC) I reluctantly headed further south. An hour later and the long rigger was getting harassed by a bigger fish. It had 3 good cracks at it, but couldn’t find the hooks. Still a great day!
We finally found ourselves in familiar country in the middle of the Noosa Canyons and we came across the smell of fresh fish in the air. I had to come down from the helm to visit the transom and as I was about to turn for the flybridge, a blue came screaming from out to port and smashed the short corner! We were running it with the double just out of the roller tip, so the strike was sensational and the yahoo-ing was manic!
This time Nigel Rae was on strike. After a typical 200m sprint off to starboard the fish did a long sweeping turn, jumping and carrying on all the way. We hit 15 knots trying to stay ahead of it and take some loop out of the line before it finally settled down. Thank goodness Nigel is built and fit. He didn’t give the fish any rest and had it at the transom 15 minutes later where Timmy Starling promptly shook the hooks free. Awesome day!
Co-owner Adam Moore donned the belt for the next shot, but it wasn’t to be. I think Adam was relieved when the last shot of the day failed to hook up and we called it a day to start the 2 hour ride home.
Thanks to all the crew for the great company and memories. And sorry to Johnny for going without you while you were in Coffs!”
And now for today’s unrelated picture (!) another great action shot from the NSW Interclub on board Finjitsu sent to me by Matt Johnson. Thanks Matt – great shot!