The Moreton Bay Boat Club Game & Sportfish Section hosted its annual 8kg Billfish Challenge over the Australia Day long weekend. The weather made the going tough for smaller boats. The strong south-easterly winds blew hard and the usually abundant small black marlin and sailfish were scarce.
The Challenge attracted 36 boats with 145 anglers, including 15 females and 12 juniors. We had an impressive 308 strikes, 165 hook-ups and 110 cap/tags.
The first day of the competition started at 7am and by 7.05am, Peter Warne on “Black Pearl” was hooked up to a fiery little black marlin and at 7.15 am the tag went in. Game on!
Soon after, Michelle Fastabland on board Hey Mate tagged a good-sized black marlin while trolling the 100m line east of the Cape. Just before lunch, one of our juniors, Hayley Longhurst, fishing on Tenacious, hooked and fought a black marlin for 30 minutes only to lose it at the back of the boat. For this effort Hayley received our Hard Luck Award.
Husband and wife, Steve and Kellie Jensen, fishing on their boat Animal were doing it tough punching into the strong south easterly wind all the way from Mooloolaba. There was even rumour that Steve had thoughts of pulling out and going home, however by 3pm Kellie had hooked, fought and tagged two healthy black marlin putting them in the lead for the first day.
The second day saw weather conditions improve slightly, however the fishing slowed with no billfish tagged. Dolphinfish, cobia, yellowfin and wahoo were still quite abundant and kept most boats busy. There were some notable captures with Matt Fox on Big Business weighing an 18kg wahoo to take heaviest “Other Species” category. Junior Luke Carstens on Marksman tagged four yellowfin to take Champion Junior Male, with Jessica Smoothy on taking out Champion Junior Female. Ryan McKinnon took second Junior Male and Matt Turnbull on came third.
Kellie Jensen, with two marlin and one tuna, took out Champion Female with Peter Warne Champion Male.Champion boat and team over 7m went to Steve and Kellie Jensen on Animal, with father and son team Jim and Ryan McKinnon on Acquisition taking out under 7m.
The Moreton Bay Boat Club Game & S’fish Section always hold a “Last Man Standing” competition. Many fabulous prizes kindly donated by our friendly sponsors were up for grabs. All the juniors received a prize and thirty of the adults were in the running. When lucks on your side, it’s on your side, as who ended up being the last man standing? Yes – Steve Jensen.
The Moreton Bay Boat Club Game & S’fish Section would like to thank all participating boats and anglers but most of all a big thank you to all our sponsors for their generous contributions.Reads: 1211