And still the weather continues to mess with our heads! One of these days I’ll write a column that doesn’t contain a single whinge about the wind, but don’t hold your breath waiting for it.
The ‘6 days of wind, 1 day of calm’ cycle continues to dog the Coffs coast, making it hard to get out for a marlin fish — especially when the weekend rolls around, as that’s when the breeze seems to be at its malicious worst.
The Coffs Harbour Game Fishing Club’s Hot Currents tournament was held back in November and it copped 3 and a half days of fresh to frightening conditions. It was a shame, as there were certainly nice fish to be had. Just half a day of good weather made it tough on the competitors, especially those fishing from smaller boats. Monday afternoon’s thunderstorm was an absolute cracker, reminiscent of the Deadliest Catch conditions that competitors faced on the first day last year, but fortunately without any associated wind.
Still, you couldn’t complain about the quality of the fish, with most of the warm water species in attendance. There was an incredibly stocky 211kg blue weighed, yellowfin to 48kg, mahi mahi to a shade over 24kg, and an Australian record 16kg wahoo caught on 8kg line by junior angler Kaysie Fancett.
The ultimate champion tag and release boat Out of Radius snared a double hook-up on spearfish. These highly prized mini billfish are rare enough at the best of times, with many experienced anglers never having caught one, so to pull off a double header is quite a gamefishing achievement. A blue successfully tagged after a short fight on 15kg tackle rounded out a great comp for them.
Hot on their heels was Solitary Islands Game Fishing Club boat Better Than Vegas. A 60kg black, a 140kg blue, and a pair of solid yellowfin all tagged accumulated a mass of points, and they also weighed one tuna of 44kg.
Since then, the blue marlin fishing has been steady, steady. The water has been patchy at times, and then at its brilliant best. This is very much the result of what the current is doing, and for a few days there it had stopped flowing altogether. The best fish to date was estimated at around about 230kg, which is certainly nothing to be sneezed at.
After a couple of years’ absence, there’s been an encouraging mix of by-catch in the form of sizeable mahi mahi. These fish take the sting out of missing out on the billfish front, and if you can return home with some prime fillets, it certainly assists in accumulating domestic credits for when the weather eventually does settle down. The FAD and the wave recorder buoy should start producing at any time now — we just need the bluer water to push inshore a bit.
Aside from Better Than Vegas’ somewhat lost black, the little ’uns are yet to put in an appearance, but reports from the Gold Coast and ports further north will soon tell us when to prepare for the onslaught.
Little blacks inshore or blues out wide — what a pleasant dilemma to be faced with over the coming months! The good thing about the former is that you can still chase them when the seas are up, but this summer is going to be one of light and variable winds, blue water and epic bites, because you just know I’ve been good all year — haven’t I, Santa?Reads: 551