We now come into the slow time of year for billfish anglers in South East Queensland. The options this time of year are sailfish off the Sunshine Coast, black marlin on the deep snapper reefs and striped marlin off the Gold Coast on any of the reefs deeper than 36 fathoms.
Blue marlin are an option any month of the year off either coast as well. Many gamefishers hang up their hats and go snapper fishing over winter but you’ll never never know, if you never never go!
Two tournaments were run during the past month. The second one being the Mooloolaba Gamefishing Club Billfish Bonanza. It was won by Noel Jones, Bob Forbes and the MGFC crew on the Dick Ward built Kajiki with two tagged sailfish and some weighed line class wahoo.
The action was good in the lead up to the tournament with some good weather on the ANZAC Day public holiday immediately beforehand. This continued into Saturday of the tournament but it went very quiet on Sunday.
The SCGFC fleet has been into these fish with over 440 black marlin and 30 sailfish tagged for the club and two boats over 100 each for the season. Most of the action was light tackle during the tournament but there were quite a few heavy tackle fish seen, which was a good change from how quiet it has been on the shelf in recent times.
Over a five day period Dave Trask and crew from Redcliffe on his 51’ Riv Big Business managed three blues; one during the tournament to win them the heavy tackle trophy. The bonus for them was some great deep dropping on the way home on the Monday.
Another boat into the blues was Nigel Spork’s new 54GT Hatteras, Liberty 4, seeing at least three a day at the moment other than the tournament Sunday. On the Saturday nine light tackle fish were tagged and one blue marlin as well as ten wahoo weighed. On the Sunday there were two blue marlin and one black marlin tagged.
SCGFC trailerboat Reel Hunter the 5.2m Haines Hunter kept up his form in the under 7m section with two wins in a row for Sunshine Coast based tournaments. On my boat we could only scratch up three line class wahoo for Tom, Karl, Mitch and Rob on the Saturday and a skipjack and mac tuna on the Sunday.
The weekend before the Gold Coast Gamefishing Club conducted their Cabo Hatteras Shootout. There were 13 billfish tagged between the fleet of 23 boats. Three boats got two each being the 35’ Carribean Game Day the eventual winners, 47’ Obrien Castille III and the 25’ Huntsman Addixion.
CastilleIII also tagged their marlin for Katie Ripper with a satellite tag and it is now entered in the world wide Great Marlin Race. Chad Holmes from Addixion continued his form in the weeks following having a 3-3-3 day on blues on Larva Lures, bringing one in to weigh for junior Jarrod Jones for a record.
Comocean a Cresta 32’ from the Gold Coast also recently weighed a ladies record striped marlin. Lure manufacturers team Larva on the Carolina Classic Larva also had a three fish day heavy tackle.
On charter I have been getting into the mackerel, mostly spotties and schoolies but the Spanish are way overdue. The early season reef fishing has been very good as well; only one big snapper over 85cm so far but quite a few nice 65-72cm models. The pearlies have been very good as well with lots of 50cm+ ones so far. With the inshore 4.55m Seajay, bream and GT have been the main catch. Big pilot bream should be about this month and if the rain holds off and the Mooloolah River is clear, the gar will come in.
Give me a call at Smithys Fishing Charters on 0407 574 868 or check out my website, www.smithysfishingcharters.com.au to get out there and get into some fish!Reads: 2022