After reporting on a bit of action in my last report it seems that was only the thin edge of the wedge and local South East Queensland anglers saw an unusually good burst of action for August and September. At the forefront of all this action was the immediate past president of the Sunshine Coast Gamefishing Club, Jeff Oates and his 4.5m centre console Simple Plan. Jeff and his boss Grant had a day where they tagged an estimated 80kg black marlin as well as an estimated 110kg one on the local Mooloolaba baitfish grounds. A couple of weeks after that he tagged a 70kg black solo then had a day where he couldn’t find any bait to livebait and trolled around till he saw some sailfish pop up and pitch baited to two of them for the one tagged fish. Jeff is up there as far as an angler goes and once again he featured in the Gamefish Association of Australia’s Sir Garrick Agnew trophy awarded to the angler tagging and releasing the most billfish in Australian waters where he came third with
23 billfish tagged. Barry Alty from the Gold Coast came second with 27 billfish tagged and congratulations to Sunshine Coast Gamefishing Club member Jay Graham who won the trophy with 38 billfish tagged for the 2008-2009 season.
On the GFAA awards, congratulations also to the SCGFC who won the John Obrien Trophy for the highest tag & release point scoring club with 367 tagged fish. In the boat section congratulations to two SCGFC boats, both 5m outboard powered catamarans, Tanjian and Askari who each tagged 38 fish to come third in Australian waters in the Tailored Marine trophy.
Back to the fishing action and while Jeff was racking up the fish a SCGFC 6.2m Kevlacat called Free Time and a black 5m Quintrex bowrider each had a couple of days where they racked up a big black marlin by usual local standards a day and lots were missed. I was in the missed category. Having a private day out with usual deckie Conor Lynch, we hooked a 60-80kg fish that had us tied up in knots for 2 hours before we lost it on the 8kg tackle which most people use in the club or tournament scene. Conor was not having much luck when he did a day on BJ’s new 5.8m Fisher centre console Sailfisher and the boys hooked an estimated 130kg striped marlin on 8kg breaking strain line which they played for 5 hours before losing. That was on a Sunday but on the following Wednesday the bite reached its peak. I was on Ymer for the day at 34’ Black Watch and we were the second boat on the scene behind Dan Smith’s 4.75m tinny, Ace High. Ace High were away and fighting a sailfish after about their third drift with Conor on the rod which they successfully tagged changing his luck around. Late morning they hooked up to a sailfish again and this one was part of a pack with five or six other fish swimming around the back of the boat looking to eat. They called us up on the radio and we idled over with the result of missing the bite on one fish but coming up tight on a second. Our fish and Ace High’s fish decided on doing a bit of macramé and in the pandemonium we had to disqualify our catch due to a technical breach but we did tag it. Patto also got his from the smaller boat. Later that day we jumped off a big black on the bite and also saw a plate boat nearby miss a few as well.
On the Gold Coast I think the action kept trickling along with a run of striped marlin as well as some more yellowfin tuna. Boats like Saltshaker, Mistress & Tsunami would have been leading the charge for sure.
The North Queensland light tackle circuit of tournaments didn’t set the world on fire so it is not looking so good for the South East Queensland summer run of juvenile black marlin. The good news is the heavy tackle season in the north looks on fire and they are actually getting some good weather in September and October and not getting hit by the South East trade winds. The action is widespread from Myrmidon Reef off Townsville to Ribbon Reef #10 near Lizard Island. Townsville 30’ Deep V Envee got more than they bargained for when a genuine 750 pound plus black marlin jumped on their junior’s 24kg rods at Myrmidon. He fought it for 3 hours before dad Sam battled it for another 30mins just out of tagging reach. All of the famous Cairns charter boats are now in the north and with the Global Financial Crisis on, or as I have also heard it called, the Global Fishing Crisis, there should be plenty of days available for chartering if you wanted to get to Cairns and get on a boat to experience some of the best fishing in the world.
In South East Queensland the first tournament of the year will be Hervey Bays from the 12th to 15th of November. Check out www.hbgfc.org.au for all the details. That is followed by the Mooloolaba Billfish Bash Tournament put on by the MGFC around the last weekend in November. I plan to be aboard the 34’ Black Watch Ymer for both of these so come over and say g’day.
On charter I am still into the cobia and yellowtail kingfish though we might have a late run of snapper with a few nice pink fish featuring in my captures over recent weeks on both floated baits on the Baitrunners and soft plastics. November will also see the run of summer black marlin. 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).