Expectations are still low for this year’s season after the disappointing showing at the Gold Coast Tournament plus failures at Cairns and Townsville for the juvenile blacks. That said, we were all doom and gloom up to Christmas last year too but it turned it on when the bait turned up. We still have potential March or May bites to come as those months have had their moments the last few years.
Already the weather is the bigger talk of the town with the flooding all over Queensland during Christmas now the cyclones including Yasi. Two tournaments have been post-poned thus far, (Bribie Island and Moreton Bay). Moreton Bay went ahead with their random draw though and young Mikey Johnston was the lucky winner of the Suzuki Jimny 4WD.
During the Gold Coast Tournament a lot of boats fished wide hoping to stumble on a random big black or blue. Cabelero found a 145kg blue on 8kg for their junior angler, tagged it after 3 hours then decked it as a potential record but unfortunately it was knicked by the prop boating it which DQed it. A good effort all the same. Amigo won with a tagged striped on day 1 and a tagged black on day 3. Mistress came second with a weighed pending ladies record spearfish of 15kg on 8kg for Alisa the secretary down there and she also got a pending ladies record mahi mahi. Ocean Dream came third with some big weighed other species.
The black marlin were just starting to show up at the Mooloolaba 8mile grounds before the Brisbane River floods dirtied up the water. At one stage the brown water pushed east of the Barwon Banks. Most days the dirty water is hovering around the 12mile billfish grounds. Mixed in with them are some sailfish. Just goes to prove, find the bait, find the billfish, you just never know what species. Boats to get in on the sails included Thunderbird, Bite Me, Never Home and Simple Plan while Reel Capture and Ymer got a black each during this time. On the edge of the dirty water there have been mahi mahi and wahoo and I know of one sail tagged off the same edge by some Brisbane Sportfishing Club members as well.
Heavy tackle is reasonably consistent this year. Most boats at the very least if they aren’t finding blue marlin are finding nice mahi mahi. Boats to score heavy tackle billfish off Noosa and Cape Moreton include Megumi, Ymer who had a 2 from 3 day plus lots of mahi mahi and also the Tuckwells in their 2400 Kevlacat who tagged a nice 250lber. The bite has been a bit better on the Gold Coast with the best day by visiting US Garlington Dreamin’ On going 4 from 6. The usual boats down there including Mistress, Barco and Lucky Strike are also getting amongst them as well as visiting Cairns boat Kekoa.
On charter I am getting out a little bit. I had a good run on the spotty mackerel by casting slugs and trolling pillies up to Christmas mixed in with a bit of general trolling for wahoo, mahi mahi and Spanish mackerel. Post Christmas and on the dirty water edge I haven’t found the spotties but the same species listed above are present as well as good numbers of football size yellowfin tuna when you find them. I am now up and running with the bigger boat Capricorn after steaming it down from 1770 in one continuous leg of 12 hours and 185Nm. I am now working off the Kawana Waters Hotel pontoon. This is a great venue with plenty of parking and the boat is tied up about 70m at the most from the parking bays unlike some other boats that live on the water. Give me a call at South Queensland Charter Services on 0407 574 868 or check out my website, (www.sqcs.com.au) to have a peek at the boat.