Bonus Sailfish On Sunshine Coast
  |  First Published: June 2011

Since last month the Sunshine Coast experienced another bonus sailfish bite that had gamefishers scrambling for the light tackle outfits again.

Like the bite at the Little Ship ground the month before, the sailfish were mostly 18-25kg and feeding on pilchard schools at the local ten mile area. Mixed in were a couple of very big black marlin keeping everyone fishing for them on their toes. The two gun boats of this bite, Ymer, Steve Brooks’ 34’ Black Watch and Sailfisher, BJ Tompkins’ 5.8m Fisher centre console. Both had seven hour fights on 240kg and 150kg estimated fish respectively on 8kg line for anglers Channon Arbuthnot and Conor Lynch. Days either side they did rack up three tagged fish days a piece on the smaller sails as well as some days of ones and two tagged.

On the blue marlin front the Gold Coast was its usual consistent self with a few tagged down that way. The plate trailerboat Sportfisher had a ripper of a day getting a couple of blue marlin then deep dropping for a couple of great bar cod and bass grouper. On the last full moon off Cape Moreton Megumi, the towered Assegai skippered by legendary captain and TV weatherman Ken Brown, had a two from three day with the third being lost late in the afternoon and it was another 800lb donkey.

Only two tournaments were conducted during this period. Mooloolaba Gamefish Club had their Billfish Bonanza Tournament on the Easter weekend. Liberty III, Nigel Spork’s towered 43’ Riviera Express shot off to a great start tagging a 90kg blue marlin early for Troy Tinslay, which held on to win in the end. 35’ Caribbean Luna had their chances losing one in the same area but it was the veterans on Kokomo, the petrol powered 28’ Bertram, who caught the only other billfish of the tournament with a tagged sailfish on 8kg line down at Caloundra. Bev Fennell fishing on Jim McKinnon’s 680 Haines Hunter Patriot Aquasition captured a 15kg mahi mahi which is a new pending Queensland and Australian record fish on 8kg line. This gave Jim the win in the small boat section and Bev the champion female trophy.

Earlier in the month the Gold Coast Gamefish Club conducted their heavy tackle tournament. Conditions were challenging with quite a few of the fleet not fishing the first day. The second day was a bit better but the fish were not about in any real numbers for the small fleet with only three blues tagged during tournament time. The hard luck story went to Time Out the 40’ Caribbean that hooked a blue as they were winding their lines in after cease fishing on the first day. New boat on the scene Kiwi, a 65’ Salthouse, took the event out with one tagged blue from Lava a 35’ Carolina Classic.

On charter I managed to slip out with 85 years young Edwin Martin for a couple of days while the sails were on and we managed to hook one each day. We tagged a 20kg one the first day for him on 8kg line on a skipping garfish then we had a 40kg sail circle back on the main line, popping us off on the second day.

In between times the reef fishing has been going well with some action on the soft plastics on grass emperor and snapper. On dead bait there has been some nice parrot and on live baits I have been getting some good kingfish and amberjack.

It is currently wahoo and Spanish mackerel time of year so hopefully I have some good pictures for my report next month. Give me a call at South Queensland Charter Services on 0407 574 868 or check out my website, (www.sqcs.com.au) to come out on the new boat.

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