Game on for Summer
  |  First Published: November 2011

The Australian summer comes just a little earlier than in New Zealand so I’m picking that the gamefishos out there are already re-crimping their lures, re-tying their doubles and getting their hook points razor sharp.

If the start of your season is anything like ours then some smart-ass will have already ‘spotted’ the first marlin; normally about six to eight weeks before one actually gets caught. I don't know if that call comes from an overzealous tackle shop owner or some hapless cry for attention, but I’m picking the habit is universal.

All that aside, a very exciting and productive time in our fishing calendar is upon us, and I encourage everyone to have a crack at it, I hear all too often that ‘game fishing isn’t for me’ from people who have never given it a decent go. This has come about from the belief that you need special fishing skills and lots of money to catch a marlin or big tuna.

On The Ultimate Fishing Show you’ve seen me tackle gamefish from all manner of craft including jet skis, dingies and trailer boats, and that’s all come about from my first attempt to dispel the myth that big game fishing is an elitist sport. I set out with a budget of $25.00 to catch a marlin; I used a ballpoint pen to catch my bait, and a hand line to land the 110kg marlin.

It all went ‘basically’ to plan, I’d proved my point, but that wasn’t the end of it. In fact it was the hand line marlin that earned us our first headline and got people asking ‘what’s next?’ Thus stunt fishing was born and, in the constant effort to up the ante, lead to marlin fishing from a surfboard and mako fishing from a child’s inflatable raft. Not something I’d expect any sane person to go and do, but it might just inspire some one to try a new form of fishing or even give fishing a go for the first time.

Most fishos have ready access to trailer boats, and as long as they are well serviced and maintained, and you have good safety gear and communications, then going wide is a real option.

As for catching some fish to eat, while I’m an advocate for tagging and releasing billfish, I have no problem with some one taking one if the whole thing gets eaten. But what is more likely is that you’ll get your share of mahi mahi, mackerel, tuna and wahoo that will make great eating.

Remember by catching your own fish via hook and line, rather than buying it or even sharing your catch with some one that would have gone and brought some fish, you are guaranteeing a sustainable method was used; rather than supporting destructive and wasteful fishing methods often employed by the commercial sector.

So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a crack, once you get that first glimpse of a marlin all lit up behind your teaser, lure or bait you’ll never go back.

My final parting advice is, get your boat serviced or score yourself a spot on a mates boat. Get the best gear you can afford and keep it maintained. Buy a small and proven selection of lures (the choice is phenomenal so go for proven patterns). Get a bait-rigging set and practice rigging up.

Join a club and listen and learn from those who have gone before you and take an open mind with you. The craziest things I’ve ever seen have been on the water so an open mind allows you to change it up when you need to and maximise your chances.

Keep ‘em tight and make sure you jump into our Facebook page to let us know how you’re getting on…

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