Marlin hit their straps
  |  First Published: March 2006

In the last issue I spoke about how easy it can be for owners of smaller trailer boats to take advantage of the marlin season at minimal expense.

I’m glad to see that some of you took advantage because during February our waters were alive with small blacks, striped and even blue marlin.

Michael Guest and I ventured up to South West Rocks and tagged eight marlin and lost two others at the boat in a day, all hooked on live baits. Two weeks later the action had heated up at home and at Port Stephens.

Marlin from 60kg to 90kg were caught on The Farm Reef and along the coast on with live bait and lures. Mahi-mahi up to 15kg were also were also abundant.

All this action will continue through March and well into April. To monitor the sea surface water temperature, log on to www.mhl.nsw.gov.au .


The artificial reef balls were positioned in Lake Macquarie in mid December. DPI Fisheries, who will monitor the reefs, say full growth and biodiversity should be achieved in two years. Results are coming already and many fish are congregating at the site. Not many fishos have tried their luck yet but here are their co-ordinates: S33°05.617 E 151°36.638; S33°05.670, E151°76.743; S33°05.745, E151°36.804; S33°05.801, E151°36.876; S33°05.969, E151°36.942.


There is a huge gap between those who catch fish and those who ‘feed the fish’ many fishos complaining that they can’t catch any. I guess you can call it an apprenticeship and you have come through the basics before you’re well on your way to having the ‘touch’ and know-how of what gear to use and where to fish.

I know we have all read the beginners’ bits or have been told what to do but there are three basics that can be applied to enhance your catch.

• Think like a fish – where the fish will be looking for food or seeking shelter. For example, different fish like different structures to frequent for food.

Let’s take the bream, which will hang around just about any piers, oyster racks, weed beds in estuaries or rock walls and the like. Sometimes when you are land-based, you might be casting over and away from the fish.

Tailor like to frequent any whitewater area where they hunt for smaller baitfish such as garfish or whitebait, so casting and retrieving unweighted pilchards will work wonders. Tailor also travel mostly on top of the water.

• Present the bait as if you would eat it. I see so many people putting huge flesh baits on their hooks or sometimes just leaving the skin hanging from the exposed hook, or squishing a prawn on the hook with the barb totally concealed – wrong!

Present all your baits as neatly as you can and ensure the barb is always exposed so when you get a run and try to hook the fish this pointy bit will stay in the fish’s mouth. Don’t strike too early. When you get a bite, feed a little line back towards the fish and let it take the bait, then strike.

• Fish as light as possible. Experienced fishos will tell you that more fish are caught on light line. Some use 2kg to 4kg monofilament when fishing for bream or whiting because the fish can’t feel as much resistance. This is where your reel’s drag setting and your fun come into play.

The same applies with your rods, reels and sinker set-up.

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