Firing down the NSW Coast over the Australia Day long weekend. To wrap up (more to come as the reports filter in!):
Coffs Harbour / Solitary Islands
They thought it wouldn’t happen but finally some good numbers off Coffs. Rick O’Ferrall reports that finally after a summer of frustrating winds and a total cutoff of the EAC on the north coast fishing returned to ‘normal’ on Saturday with several boats from the Solitary Islands GFC out for a competition day. After finding bait balls being smashed by dozens of dolphins and sharks with juvenile black marlin cruising around the melee, Clayton Livingston’s crew on Seaborn started catching black marlin in rapid succession, mixed with the occasional shark. Alcatraz soon joined the action, and immediately started raising backs as well. By the end of the day, the bait balls had produced multiple hookups and tags of both black marlin and sharks, and the radio traffic was full of comments about how this was like the good old days.
Further out towards the edge of the continental shelf, Foreign Exchange was trying to put new game angler Pip Marshall onto a juvenile black for her first billfish, and instead found a big blue marlin that hit a small lure but stayed hookup up for the ensuing 1 hour and 50 minute fight on 24kg tackle. The fish measured 273cm short, which put it squarely on the 400+ pound mark, and was a hell of an effort for a newbie. Congrats Pip!
Coffs anglers are hoping this is a back to the future moment continues now for the rest of the summer!
Luke Bell and his crew on Asalt Weapon fished off Port in sporty conditions on Saturday for 5 from 7, a mix of blacks and stripes. Luke tells me the bait is starting to stack up so the season is looking good. Below is a montage of shots Luke put together from the day and also shows how nice the weather was :-)
The Bermagui Big Game Anglers Club (BBGAC) Bluewater Classic was held over the weekend and the jackpotted $17,00 cash prize for Heaviest Marlin has been won by the team on Panlicker with a 193 kg blue for angler Joel Spilsbury on Saturday.
Thanks to Brett “Crusty” O’Donnell for the report! Brett says that while overall the fishing was slower due to the fact that the main run of striped marlin having swum further south already and are holding off the Eden – Vic border area, a lot of boats put in the effort on the shelf for a blue due the jackpot. Results were:
Day 1 – 13 marlin, 7 dolphin fish, 3 yellowfin tags, 1 shark tagged, 1 shark weighed
Day 2 – 7 marlin tagged, 8 dolphin fish tagged
Day 3 – 3 marlin and 4 dollies tagged
Significant fights and captures included Panlicker’s blue at 193.2kg blue for owner Gary Capp son Ryan Capp and longtime crew members Mark Trew, Jack Spilsbury and Jack’s son Joel who was the angler – well done all! Crusty tells me that to say these guys were rapt was an understatement – they even took the cheque to have framed – was going ‘straight to the pool room’! The crew has been fishing comps down there forever and it was a popular win because of that!
Childs Play, who are dedicated shark fishos and who tagged a whaler early in the day but hooked up again at 3pm to a tiger on 15kg and unfortunately lost it at 11pm estimated at 300-400kg!
Darren Buttigieg fished as team Backn’ Up who took out the Most Marlin Tagged award. Darren said likewise it was a little slow but despite 3 knots of current running down the coast there is loads of bait holding in some areas and the colour of the water is really nice with water temp fluctuating between 21.5 to 24. He says that when and if the current backs off the fishing should be really good! They tagged 3 from 5 which won the Most Marlin Tagged as well as Highest Point Scoring Male Angler and Highest Point Scoring Team.Big congrats!
Catching Up – Gold Coast
The final stats from last week’s Garmin Light Tackle Master’s are now available (see this post for a report from the winners on Mufasa).
25 boats competed (19 in the Over 8m category and 9 in the Under 8m) for a total of 50 black marlin and 1 sailfish over the three days (as well as 30 dollies (!), 2 wahoo and 2 yellowfin tuna). Congrats to all who competed!
See the stats here.
Mufasa was back on the water on Thursday for 4 from 5 black marlin. Glanville said it was a little slow in the morning, and while they marked a few fish on a ball of bait, they couldn’t get them to bite so went for a lunchtime stroll around and got one sneaky one on a lure. They returned to the bait with the fish still marking but took them an hour to bite but they did they added 3 more quick ones in the last hour of fishing as well as a dolly for the table!