December should see the gamefishing action in South East Queensland heat up and extend into January. Some years the mahi mahi and wahoo invade the waters before the run of juvenile black marlin. No run of October sailfish turned up off Mooloolaba but the odd mahi mahi was hooked or seen and the odd black was hooked by bottom fishermen. It can also be a good time to try heavy tackle fishing with blues being available pretty much any month of the year but big blacks who may have finished the spawning thing off Cairns can be swept south with the East Australian Current this time of year. I can remember some late November/early December tournaments held off the Gold Coast where blue, black and striped marlin where tagged and boats achieved grand slams.
On the heavy tackle side of things the only fish I have heard about from local waters was a blue marlin tagged on Wayne Finlay’s 40’ White Cap Keneka with Wayne in the chair and AJ Wright on the pegs. That day the crew consisted of a full compliment of owner/skippers of their own twin engine game boats so it was always going to prove interesting as to who would jump on the sticks once they were hooked up. Slightly further afield in the Capricorn Bunker group and off the top of Fraser Island, Gold Coast 49’er Mistress did three days off Musgrave Island for one blue marlin tagged and a day off Breaksea Spit for two blue marlin tagged and one good size black marlin lost as well as a couple of good size yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi and a few other bites which didn’t connect. The very next day in the same piece of water they only got two mahi mahi. The very next day the SCGFC 5.2m Kevlacat Shikaree, owned by Ian Eberhardt, tagged a 120kg blue marlin right beside me in my Stabicraft also off Breaksea. Earlier in the day I got the monkey off my back for the season tagging a 12-15kg black marlin for Lachlan Tuckwell in 17-18m of water right on the spit.
Light tackle in local South East Queensland waters has been a bit of a non event the past month and I have only heard about mack tuna and yellowtail kingfish being caught on the troll. One boat did get a couple of wahoo and get snipped a couple of times so that is good sign and on my bottom fishing trips I did notice the current pick up overnight through the month which should bring the pelagics on.
This year looks like being a great year for the Cairns heavy tackle black marlin fleet. They are not only experiencing good weather for a change instead of constant SE trade winds but the fishing has gone bananas in comparison to past years. One SCGFC trailerboat did an overnighter on the reef and saw seven fish for an afternoon, hooking six and getting five which included a sailfish. It must have followed them up there from the Sunshine Coast! All the big name boats are getting a slice of the action and the best way to keep up to date with the going ons of the Cairns fleet is to follow Kelly Dalling’s black marlin fishing blog on the internet (www.blackmarlinfishingblog.com). I know this is essential reading first thing in the morning for many of my friends.
In South East Queensland the first tournament of the year should have been run and I will be able to report on it next month. That will have the been the Hervey Bay Tournament and I am sure Rob Wod and Scott Bradley will dedicate a bit of space to it. I should be able to report on the Mooloolaba Billfish Bash Tournament by then as well. Early in the new year the Gold Coast Gamefish Club will be conducting their Light Tackle Masters Tournament. It will be held from the 14th to 17th of January. (www.goldcoastgamefish.com)
This past month on charter I was still into the cobia and yellowtail kingfish though the current did move in on me during the month and I expect it to turn the fish off or make things unfishable out wide. In the past I have had good soft plastic fishing in December but November will also see the run of summer black marlin which I am looking forward to and the Stabicraft accounted for 27 marlin last season. The mackerel, tuna, mahi mahi and wahoo should also crank up this month To check out the action on the seriola family, cobes, marlin or for some soft plastics action, jigging or even a deep sea fishing trip give me a call at South Queensland Charter Services on 0407 574 868 or check out my website, (www.sqcs.com.au).