Now the season is officially over and all of the trophies have been presented to winners we can look back on what was a very quiet year. The Sunshine Coast was lucky to get an October bite of sailfish, a bite of black marline and sailfish at the Little Ships ground and another during April on the local eight and ten miles. There were some good days on the blue marlin but no massive bite like in years past. We are well overdue in that regard. TV and radio weatherman Ken Brown skippering the 47’ Assegai Megumi experienced the best of the blue marlin this year but then he put in the hours, out on the shelf nearly every good weather day. All indications are that North Queensland is having a bite of juvenile blacks this year so hopefully they get down this way. Be ready November on. The Hervey Bay tournament in November will be a good litmus test and then Mooloolaba’s Billfish Bash will be a couple of weeks after. Also don’t forget the SCGFC’s Spring Shootout on the 6-9 October.
At the SCGFC end of year presentations recently it was no surprise to see Craig McCulloch’s 7.2m Kevlacat Reel Capture take out most of the boat awards and Conor Lynch take out most of the angler categories for the club and the QGFA. Steve Brooks’ 34’ Black Watch Ymer was bridesmaid once again in overall boat, light tackle boat, boat over 6.5m and heavy tackle boat. Adrian Wright’s 35’ Caribbean Bangalee pipped them at the post for heavy tackle boat with a late heavy tackle black marlin to Steve Dahl on stand up tackle. BJ Tompkins’ 5.8m Fisher centre console Sailfisher topped off a top year winning the small boat category. Gun angler Jeff Oates didn’t scoop the pool this year but picked up a few categories along with his boss and new member Grant Cooper. Jeff and Grant fish on Reel Capture but also out of Jeff’s Haines Hunter 445F centre console Simple Plan which was runner-up small boat. Daniel Brooks off Ymer was champion junior once again and Kayla Honnery took out the female prizes.
Things are still quiet except for every second angler floating a pilly for a snapper hooking billfish at the moment it seems. Chad Holmes from the Gold Coast club tagged a striped marlin from his Hunstman Addixion. Chad had just set up a new business called Addixion Sportsfishing down on the Gold Coast to give boat owners the skills to take on all sorts of offshore fishing. Check out his site at www.addixionsportsfishing.com.au or give him a ring on 0414 472 435. Gavin Woodbury of Sea Probe Charters on his 36′ BW Watch Tower caught one the same week. Gold Coast club anglers are on a good run of 25-35kg yellowfin with up to 10 shots a day being experienced. Two to four landed are not uncommon at the moment for them and they are all going out reasonably expecting to get some. Rodderick Walmsley on the Steber charter boat RU4Reel out of Tweed Heads has even been getting them on jigs and poppers for his clients and he has been getting the most shots per day out of anyone. The Surfers Paradise Club trailer boats (Tweed chapter) are also doing real good deep dropping on the Tweed Canyons for blue eye trevalla, bar cod and bass grouper.
I haven’t heard of anyone going heavy tackle off the Sunshine Coast or Brisbane other than Dreamcatcher from Redcliffe who got a shortbill spearfish and a mahi mahi on the same day on the Ekka holiday Wednesday for Brisbane people. It would certainly be worth a look. Maybe even the Noosa Canyons for a yellowfin. Setting up a cube trail like the southerners do is certainly worth a go but no-one seems to do that here. Off Sydney at the moment they are even getting southern bluefin tuna cubing plus there is a good possibility of tangling with a mako shark when on the shelf off winter. Other places to try will be Fraser Island and 1770 the next couple of months for a chance at an early season black or especially Fraser, a big school of sails. Good luck to any boats travelling away to fish places further north.
This is also the time of year when any boat heading north to fish the Cairns season are prepping or slowly heading north in legs. At this stage one SCGFC club boat, Heath Irvine’s Obrien ’33 Kamikaze is heading up for the whole season with club members flying in and out for stints. Young SCGFC members Lachlan Tuckwell and Conor Lynch will be decking for the season on Russell Caporn’s 52’er Kaizen out of Mooloolaba.
Bottom bashing and soft plastics fishing since I have come back from my honeymoon have been a bit tough though I have had a couple of bag outs on soft plastic snapper. The next couple of months are cobia season and I will be chasing them a fair bit. Mixed in with them will be teraglin if past years are any indication. Interesting are all the schools of tuna absolutely everywhere on the surface for this time of year. I don’t know what that means. There is certainly a big band of bait in 20-25m from Mudjimba to Currimundi that you can’t jig that must be white bait and hopefully it hangs in for the current run of school mackerel and also the run of spotted mackerel in summer. The yakkas and slimeys may very well eat this stuff too. Certainly you get the odd yakka on the plastics. I have also had good soft plastics fishing up to December with weeks of bag outs. Those snapper were feeding in under the bonito and jellybean mack tuna on all the scraps. They were even disgorging white bait all over the floor like tuna do and must have been in a real feeding frenzy with the big meat balls and whaler sharks going through it all mouths open and all that carry on.
Give me a call at South Queensland Charter Services on 0407 574 868 or check out my website, (www.sqcs.com.au) to get onto some of this cobia action.