Pelagics to Join in on the Action
  |  First Published: December 2011

There is still not a lot going on light tackle wise in southeast Queensland for gamefishers. Sporadically there has been blue marlin action on the shelf, more so for Gold Coast boats but there was no spring showing of sailfish off Mooloolaba.

Cairns however has been fishing extremely well, both for numbers and size of big blacks and there has been some reasonable weather instead of howling South East trade winds for months solid.

Boats getting in on the action down at the Gold Coast included Chad Holmes’ 24’ Hunstman Addixion, Vince’s 35’ Caribbean Barco, the 35’ Carolina Classic Larva and the Surfers Paradise Game and Sportfishing Club (SPGSFC) trailer boats Murphys Law, Trophy, Seapace, Gods Hands and Ramjet.

Mixed in with the blue marlin have been some good yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi. This good by-catch seems to have passed the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane grounds. Roderick Walmsley on the Steber charter boat RU4Reel was one boat to take advantage of their presence. One boat off Brisbane that did manage to see a bit of action was TV and radio weatherman Ken Brown’s charge, the 47’ Assegai Megumi. In the one day Ken and crew got a blue marlin and a pretty rare shortbill sportfish. Shortbills are not that common north of the Gold Coast.

One tournament recently run off the Sunshine Coast was the The Sunshine Coast Gamefishing Club (SCGFC) Telstra Shop Kawana Waters Spring Shootout, which attracted a field of 22 boats. A shocking weather forecast in the lead up as well as poor fishing reports scared a few away but the weather ended up very fishable except for the Saturday morning storm.

Things were pretty quiet on the billfish front - a few were seen, mostly blue marlin - but it was Brent Higgins’ crew of Peter Bain and Barry Higgins who took their chance and made it count tagging the first and only billfish of the tournament. Barry was the angler on Brent’s trailer boat centre console Walk the Line. The team cleaned up winning first billfish, overall angler for Barry, heavy tackle angler, champion heavy tackle boat and champion boat under 7m. Brett Barton’s Grady White Spot On took out the runner up category with three longtail tuna better than the 8kg line class for his crew of sponsors from the Telstra shop. They took out champion boat over 7m, champion light tackle boat and Cameron George, who was aboard, took out light tackle angler, angler of other species and runner-up angler overall.

On my boat Capricorn we caught a 8.9kg Spanish mackerel on 8kg line for our junior angler Ryan McKinnon and a 5.6kg mulloway which wasn’t quite line class but a nice fish all the same. This put us into third overall, runner-up boat over 7m and Ryan the champion junior angler. Not a bad result for sitting it out in the storm for an hour or so when most boats headed for home. The Bullfish trophy went to the boys on Yahoo II for their trailer boat Mustang that fell off the towball on their way up from Brisbane and Meritorious Effort went to Clare off Addixion who fought a fish for a couple of hours on 8kg line only for it to part company.

In my next report I should have the results for the Hervey Bay Tournament and the Mooloolaba Gamefish Club Billfish Bonanza. After Christmas will be the Gold Coast Gamefish Club Light Tackle Masters from the January 19-22, then shortly after will be the Sunshine Coast Gamefish Classic on the weekend of February 2-5.

Private boats doing the Cairns season this year produced some good results with SCGFC boat Kamikaze, Heath Irvine’s Obrien ’33 and Andrew Yeh who did a flying visit with Craig McCulloch and Owen Hancox aboard Andrew’s 6.5m Kevlacat trailer boat Inside Edge. All of the Cairns charter boats were going well this season and the Lizard Tournament was won by Askari skippered by Corey Hard on 17 tags. Barry Alty’s 52’ Don Senior Mistress took out the Makaira Bullfight Tournament for the second time in three years a couple of weeks after.

On charter I’ve had a great run of snapper on soft plastics recently. These fish have mostly been between 60-70cm with a couple of 71-73cm ones thrown in. If these fish hang around they may get in under the schools of bonito, mac tuna and spotted mackerel, which should be present this time of year and make for good fishing.

Pelagic season will be well and truly underway this month and I’ll be getting right into these. A few wahoo have already been caught by anglers and seen by spearfishos here.

Give me a call at South Queensland Charter Services on 0407 574 868 or check out my website, www.sqcs.com.au to get into some late season snapper action, some mackerel and hopefully a few marlin.

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