This season continues to be a weird one for the gamefishers of South East Queensland. The black marlin bite continued at full throttle for Sunshine Coast anglers but the action totally stopped off the Gold Coast. As I write this it has only just started again on the Gold Coast and it looks like the wahoo and other gamefish species have finally turned up on their usual haunts for this time of year like the Tweed 9 mile reef and Hutchison Shoal. The weather has also been exceptionally good for this time of year and only one game comp has been postponed being the Little Ship Gamefish Club one. Every other tournament has been run on their original dates.
On the Sunshine Coast Reel Capture had the best day of the season so far tagging ten black marlin in a day. They have now tagged 41 black marlin and a blue marlin so far this season. Snapping on their heels for champion boat of the SCGFC is the 34’ Black Watch Ymer who had a seven fish day in this period and lots of multiple fish days the past couple of months. In trailerboat land, the half cab Misty has made a big charge tagging a lot of fish on 6kg breaking strain line to haul in and overtake the centre console Simple Plan. Jeff Oates when he is not on Simple Plan is fishing on Reel Capture quite a bit and is way out in front as far as anglers go within the SCGFC. Non-club trailerboat Fish Fingers also had a seven fish day during this period and have been pretty consistent all season. Over at the Mooloolaba Gamefish Club I can see it being a two horse race between the 30’ Black Watch Animal owned by Steve and Kelly Jensen and the 35’ Caribbean Luna owned by Wayne Douglas. Both crews have been doing a lot of fishing recently. The Jensen’s have actually been doing a lot of live baiting with just Steve and Kel aboard making for interesting times trying to tag their fish.
The run of fish on the Sunshine Coast lined up nicely with the 2010 Telstra Shop Kawana Waters Gamefish Classic conducted by the SCGFC. This proved to be the biggest roll-up of the season so far with 41 boats in attendance. The eventual winners were the crew from Peter Mathews’ 32’ Cabo Express Shamwari. They finished on nine black marlin tagged over two days from Reel Capture who ended up on eight black marlin tagged as well as a line class wahoo. Two other boats ended up on eight as well with Scalded a 26’ Grady White Tigercat coming in third from Roger Bayzand’s 28’ Black Watch Blu Reela. Ronan Lynch on Scalded took out the angler trophy and Ryan McKinnon on Aquasition took out the junior category. Carmen McCloy fishing on Graeme McCloy’s 38’ Cabo flybridge Caboom took out the ladies prize with a tagged blue marlin. Winner of the major reverse angler draw was SCGFC lad Lachlan Tuckwell who walked away with a $15,000 boat, motor, trailer combination courtesy of Sir Walter Turf and Caboolture Turf after a redraw due to someone not being present at the presentation breakfast. Re-draw will be an appropriate name for this vessel!
76 black marlin, 3 blue marlin and a striped marlin were tagged by the 41 boats over the two days of fishing so it was a very good result. It was like a tournament of old with the top four boats all going fish for fish and ending up on six each after day one. The action was widespread with the top four boats fishing as far afield as the Little Ships grounds at the Hards, the Gold Coast, the Mooloolaba 10 mile and Coolum 12 mile areas and there was a hot bite at Chardons Reef off Noosa the same weekend. Next edition I should be reporting on the Surfers Paradise, Back to Tangalooma and Little Ships tournaments and coming up after them will be the Billfish Bonanza, Gold Coast Heavy Tackle and Bribie Island’s May tournament.
At the Gold Coast, once the action at Spot X died off it was the SPGSFC boats Saltshaker, Murphys Law, Trophy and In Deep who were back into the fish, both blue marlin in the normal spots and black marlin at the southern end of the coast. Mixed in were lots of mackerel and wahoo and when targetted the other gamefish species were proving quite plentiful. At some stage all the fish at the Sunshine Coast must pass Cape Moreton, Point Lookout and the Gold Coast grounds so it is only a question of time. March has seen good bites before and the bait is loaded at the wide 36-42-50 fathom reefs. One Surfers Paradise tournament in March a boat even got seven tagged black marlin off Jumpinpin a couple of years ago.
I must put out a condolence message for fellow QFM scribe Russell Bowman who writes the Cooktown report. Russ lost his wife Donna and father-in-law John in a double tragedy motor vehicle accident as Russell, Donna and John were travelling between Cairns and Cooktown on their way home during the past month. My thoughts and the thoughts of the whole game and sportfish communities who knew Russell or Donna are with Russ and family at this terrible time.
I have now done 100 hours the past month on the new motor so I dropped the Stabicraft off with Aaron and team from Brisbane Yamaha to do the first service of the 150hp Yamaha 4 stroke. The boys fitted me in one morning so I didn’t have to wait around too long which was greatly appreciated and this new motor certainly is a power improvement on the 140. I am up 600cc in capacity and am yet to fall off the back of a big swell as when I ask for more power by putting the throttle forward it always makes some for me. With a bit load I could fall off the back of big swells with the previous 140. It is raising the marlin like you wouldn’t believe and since fitting the new motor I have caught 30 black marlin and a sailfish this past month. The mackerel are about in big numbers as well when customers have not been keen on gamefishing. When gamefishing we have been going home with full eskies anyway with one day of five wahoo, wahoo up to 19.2kg and days where we are getting dolphinfish in with the wahoo and marlin. 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).