Promising signs already
  |  First Published: November 2013

The game season hasn’t quite fired up just yet but it is definitely building, hopefully into something quite special over the next eight months or so.

Following one of the worst Winter snapper seasons in many a long year, it will be good to get out and chase a few fast fish for a change. Perversely, not catching anything while game fishing is easier to stomach than not catching anything while bottom fishing.

The Solitary Islands Game Fishing Club boat Better than Vegas has been putting in the hours over late Winter/early Spring and is at least seeing marlin, if not catching them.

Having lost a couple of stripes and a blue, they finally came good out in 3000 fathoms a few miles south of the Red Rock Canyons, with Brendan Herdan catching a very nice blue over 200kg on 24kg line in just over an hour. That’s some pretty good angling, and the first marlin for the season for the Coffs coast.

Seeing blues this early, while certainly not unusual, should augur well for the rest of the season and Gold Coast boats have been reporting their fair share of early fish, too.

There have been a couple of yellowfin tuna kicking about, with Vegas getting a 12kg model as a consolation prize after losing a blue, and George Blackwell scoring a 39kg fish aboard Foreign Exchange out in 700 fathoms.

Boats that have pushed wide have reported marking schools of yellowfin down deep, but they’ve been reluctant to rise to a lure spread. As has been the case in recent years, much of the tuna activity is well wide, out as far as the E154° line. Unfortunately, this puts it roughly 45NM out, which is just a bit too far for many of us.

The water has been a patchy blue/green, although warm enough at just under 23°. The secret, it seems, is to find the patches of bluer stuff, which needs more boats on the water looking around on any given day or access to sea satellite charts.

With a couple of marlin seen and caught, enthusiasm to push wide will grow over the next few weeks.

South Solitary has been running hot/cold, depending on the vagaries of the current, with the kings biting/not biting based on its strength and direction.

Hard-fighting whaler sharks have been present in plague numbers at the known kingie marks and the Wide Bait Ground at times, although most offshore anglers regard them as little more than pests and something best avoided.

Finally, the Coffs Harbour Game Fishing Club will host its annual Hot Currents Tournament from November 9-12.

It’s a good time to be fishing the Coffs coast, with blue and striped marlin, yellowfin tuna, mahi mahi and various shark species all on the cards.

For further details, contact club president Troy Boulton on 0428 174 007 or go to www.deepseafishingclub.com.au to download an entry form.

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