The Coffs Harbour Game Fishing Club’s Hot Current Tournament was very well supported, with 25 boats and 102 anglers turning out for the three-day event.
The striped marlin that made spring fishing on the Coffs coast such a delight, were still in residence, with five tagged on Day One and plenty more lost. There was only one blue weighed — a 134kg fish to Rhys Nixon aboard Spread Em.
Day Two was pretty untidy, and most entrants deciding to call it a lay day, as did the fish, and just a single mahimahi was tagged.
Day Three was slightly better though, and everyone got out there, with one marlin tagged to Gerard Billing on Black N Blue, and a few yellowfin tuna to other boats.
While Coffs undoubtedly has plenty of sharks of all species, they aren’t really targeted, but the Hot Current usually turns up a few beauties. The No Excuse boys found some hefty makos, with Joel Radnidge capturing a 201kg fish on Day One, and then topped it with a 217kg specimen on Day Three. Needless to say they blitzed the capture section.
The tournament briefing and presentation dinner was held at the Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club, possibly for the last time, with the main supporter of the bail out doing precisely that and letting everyone down. The future of the club remains up in the air, but the board are talking to a number of suitors.
Since the tournament, there have been very few offshore fishing opportunities. It’s just been a succession of harsh north-easterlies punctuated by harsh southerlies, with maybe a half-day window of stable weather before it turns nasty again. Of course, the nice patches of weather never coincide with a weekend. Hopefully by the time you read this the weather will have settled down, the current will be meandering south at a gentle pace, and local game fishers will have nothing but nice things to say about the middle of the season.
Reports from Cairns boats returning to southern ports at the end of their heavy tackle season speak of the odd blue, plenty of mahimahi, and masses of flying fish out over the edge, so it’s really only a matter of getting the weather to play the game.
Inshore, there is bait in the form of pilchards, slimies and yellowtail everywhere you care to look, which promises a summer black marlin bite if they choose to stop here. If not, it could kick-start the mackerel season nice and early.
There have been some small marlin sighted tailing inshore, but nobody has been able to confirm the actual species as yet. Let’s hope they’re blacks, as they are easily accessible over the summer months, and a viable target even on rough days.
Champion Boat CaptureNo Excuse
Champion Boat Tag and Release Hot One
|Champion Male Capture||Joel Radnidge|
|Champion Male Tag and Release||Gerard Billing|
|Champion Female Tag and Release||Caron Collins|
|Champion Junior Tag and Release||Zac Danby|