Good Bites still Remain
  |  First Published: August 2008

The Moreton Bay Club’s Ladies Tournament was held out of Scarborough on the Redcliffe Peninsula recently. Dave Trask’s Riviera Big Business showed everyone how to do it by tagging and landing four blue marlin over the course of the weekend to scoop most of the prizes.

As we are now going into the quietest period on the year for gamefishing, it will give everyone hope to know that Barry Alty’s custom 49’ Mistress tangled with striped marlin on the blue marlin grounds off the Gold Coast. If you stick with it you can get in on some good bites.

I fondly remember in the past fishing late June off the Gold Coast chasing the last fish of the year trophies and doing quite well. We even tagged striped marlin in August, when the presentations were held.

Anglers should also take heart from Port Stephens where Tim Dean, the skipper of charter boat Calypso, tagged six stripers recently when driving the custom Assegai The Force for the day. And Chad Holmes from Addixion got a marlin to the boat off the Gold Coast. Chad cast into a school of feeding bonito with a chrome slug and hooked and fought a small black marlin on spin gear. Gold Coasters that haven’t managed to track any marlin are taking comfort in fishing inshore, which has rewarded them with massive cobia to 38kg.

The Sunshine Coast proved consistent once again with the odd fish being tagged. Steve Brooks fishing aboard the 16’ Mustang Billistic II skippered by Jeff Oates tagged the last fish of the year on June 30. This sailfish was tail wrapped early on in the fight and had the boys tied up for three hours before they managed to tag it.

The bait are everywhere off the Sunshine Coast at the moment and their location is easily signposted by the numerous gannets dive-bombing the schools from above. It is only a matter of time before some fish find it and hopefully this La Nina weather pattern takes us back to the good old days of the late ‘90s.

Most of the big charter boats are now in preparation mode for heading north to fish the Cairns giant black marlin season. These boats will start the season fishing the grounds of Bowling Green Bay off Townsville in August with the Gilbert Group NQ Mining Industry Billfish Challenge kicking off the tournament calendar from September 5-11.

IGFA World Championships

I mentioned in the my last report of the achievements of the Gold Coast based 29’ Blackfin Reel Kool crew who were sent to the IGFA World Championships held at Cabo San Lucas in Mexico after winning the SCGFC Sailfish Shootout. I think the wrap up of their time over there in their own words is worth a read:

First Day

Arrived in Cabo at 5.30pm local time after 28 hours of travelling. A quick shower and a shave then down to El Squid Roe for a quiet beer and team talk. Six hours later two team members were missing phones, wallets and skin off arms and legs – never go down dark alleyways by your-self and don’t sleep in middle of road. So much for team talk!

Day Two

It was a slow start with Pacifico Cerveza for breakfast, but made the most important purchase of the trip, a 145L esky nicknamed Big Mama. Filled Big Mama with Pacifico Cerveza, lots of ice and token food.

Registration and briefing began in the afternoon, and did everything to avoid El Squid Roe.

Day Three

First day fishing on a 37’ Bertram flybridge called Falcon. It was a quiet day, but we did see lots of free jumpers with Darren Malaquin tagging one marlin. The leaders lead the board on 2,100 points, we were on 300 points with approximately 25 boats on zero (out of 64 boat field). Consumed two cartons of Pacifico Cerveza.

Day Four

On the second day of fishing we were on a 31’ Bertram called Rebecca. We saw a lot of tailing marlin and free jumpers, but only had one hook up that ended with a broken hook and the leader 6ft from rod tip.

We gained zero points and remained on 300 points total. Leaders now on 2,700 points, but several boats still on zero (Kiwi team one of them). Consumed two cartons of Pacifico Cerveza.

Day Five

The third day fishing we landed on the 31’ Cabo Express called Bill Collector. One hour into the start of our fishing and we have a sailfish hook up and released. At 9am, just one hour later, Darren Spackman caught a striped marlin. At 9.47am another strike and one striped marlin released to Scott MacDonald, two minutes later we see a bait ball near the boat and chaos erupts. By 11.20am another nine striped marlin (dropped six).

Reel Kool caught 11 striped marlin and one sailfish for 3,400 points, which was a tournament record for most marlin in one day, for a total of 3,700 points. We were now second place after the leader’s score of 3,900 points, and several boats still remained on zero (Kiwi team one of the them). Only nine stubbies of Pacifico Cervaza.

Day Six

Fourth and final day fishing, using a 35’ Cabo flybridge called Karma. Fishing very quiet. We pitched a bit of bait to a few tailor, but caught no marlin for the day. We were nervous waiting for the results, consumed 12 bottles of Pacifico Cervaza. Kiwi team had managed two marlin and one team remained on zero.

Day Seven

The results were posted in the morning: 1st place 4,025.6 points; 2nd place 3,900 points; 3rd place 3,900 points; and, Reel Kool 4th place 3,700 points – only one fish separating from top spot!

After presentation and awards night tonight, we are heading to Las Vegas to work on a hangover. – Reel Kool Cabo San Lucas 2008.

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