Funny Season for Gamefishers
  |  First Published: January 2010

The 2009-2010 season continues to be a funny one for gamefish anglers of South East Queensland.

The week before Christmas didn’t see the juvenile black marlin turn up in numbers like usual and the current has been all over the place. The juvenile black marlin are being caught off the Sunshine Coast and off Cape Moreton but have yet to go further south in any real numbers. As suspected they are a nice class of two and three year old fish with the ones being tagged in the 30-80kg range rather than the 20-25kg one year old fish we are used to.

Off the Sunshine Coast the 50m line has been the place to be with at least a fish a day being tagged by the fleet there and some days up to half a dozen boats getting one each. A few boats, including my boat, have recorded multiple days but Sunday 3 January saw the best bite for one boat with Steve Dahl’s 43’er Bring it On going three from four on marlin as well as getting a few food fish on the troll. Craig McCulloch’s 7.2m Kevlacat Reel Capture has virtually tagged a fish a day since being relaunched and they had a two tagged marlin day during late December. Jeff Oate’s 4.5m centre console Simple Plan is tagging one a day and seeing a couple a day on most trips out chasing bills.

On the Cape Moreton grounds the wahoo have finally turned up in numbers as well as the usual other gamefish species. Reasonable numbers of mahi mahi are mixed in with them also, which is great for fun and food. The black marlin that have been hanging around the Sunshine Coast may have found their way down there by February but certainly not as far south as the South Passage Bar in any numbers. Boats to be consistently raising fish off the Cape include the 25’ Bertram Midnight and the sterndrive powered trailerboat Eleanor. Cruise Crafts Reel Blue and Rediculous were also having a good run on the other gamefish species and tangling with the odd black marlin.

The heavy tackle action died off at Cape Moreton during this period but stepped up on the Gold Coast about the same time. The Cape Moreton Canyons were proving very productive with boats tagging up to two blue marlin a day and seeing up to three or four while the Gold Coast boats were only getting one for a day.

In early January there was no sign of any juvenile black marlin action in any numbers off the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast was fishing much more consistent than further north for heavy tackle action though. The mahi mahi on the shelf had started to thin out with only ones and two reported, not the big multiples of a month earlier down there. Chad Holmes’ Signature trailer-boat Addixion continued its good heavy tackle form tagging yet another blue marlin.

So far this season I have caught 5 black marlin on my boat and a whole pile of other gamefish species including unusual captures like a small dogtooth tuna. The mackerel have finally turned up and I am yet to have a big hit on them only getting ones and twos so far but my time is coming. I did have a five wahoo morning so that was pretty exciting for the English tourists that were aboard.

To experience some of this fishing action give me a call at South Queensland Charter Services on 0407 574 868 or check out my website, www.sqcs.com.au.

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