As I write this, amazingly the Sunshine Coast is in the middle of a hot light tackle bite.  We have not seen action this good for May or June since probably the super hot years of ‘90s. The negative is the blue marlin have been very hit and miss when everyone was expecting a good year.  We are well overdue for a big run of blue marlin on the shelf.


One of the last tournaments of each season is the Mooloolaba Gamefish Club’s Billfish Bonanza Tournament which is always held around Anzac Day.  This year it was a blue bite and not a sailfish bite that determined the winners.  There were quite a few light tackle fish about but not everyone took their chances.  Dave Trask and his 51’ Riviera out of Redcliffe called Big Business did make the most of his chances heavy tackle and went on to win with two tagged blue marlin.  Champion boat under 7m was Troy Proctor’s 6.85m Cruise Craft Dragon Lady.  Troy is showing up on the podium a bit lately and will be one to watch next season.


The Gold Coast club also conducted their Garmin Heavy Tackle Tournament and it was the Sunshine Coast team from the 34’ Black Watch Outside Edge who held on to win with three tagged blue marlin.  They actually tagged four but reloading the tag pole at one stage they realised the tag didn’t come off the applicator and had the fish boat-side on the leader.  Rules are rules so they didn’t count that fish but they got their on count-back.  Surfers Paradise boat Ripples, Lance Ripley’s Haines Hunter also tagged three to take out the small boat section and they did well fishing two up in the small boat over the course of the weekend where the weather was not totally favourable.  The blues luckily turned up for the Gold Coast Club that weekend with 31 heavy tackle fish being tagged.


Boats tagging blues at the Gold Coast during this bite period were usual suspects, Mistress, Murphys Law, Jugs, Gods Hands, Lucky Strike, Unreel, Ocean Instinct and Gemma IIIMurphys Law the Stehman family trailer boat made the most of it with a nine strike, eight hook-ups and five fish tagged day on the blues around that time.


Across the other side of the earth a host of Australian teams were competing in the Offshore World Championships at Quepos Costa Rica.  Unfortunately no Aussies finished on the podium this time but some epic fishing was experienced all the same.  2,314 billfish were released over the course of the tournament.  The winning Angolan team released 76 billfish in just four days to win.  The team representing the Sunshine Coast had a prefish day and were able to release 14 in a day on one of the gun boats which was their highlight.  The boat draw is the biggest factor in those types of tournaments and then you have to take all of your chances.


Up at the Sunshine Coast the light tackle fish kept coming.  The battle for end of year trophies developed into a two horse race for quite a while with Catapult and Misty duking it out, fish for fish but after a seven week lay off due to a faulty exhaust manifold, Reel Capture are back in the mix.  14 fish over one weekend which included an eight fish day certainly put them back in the mix.  Things will go down to the wire over the next three weeks at this rate.  Catapult had close to 80 tagged billfish and it is only the points differential due to line class separating the boats.


Other boats getting in on the action up the coast include Mick Lassen and his red centre console Jim Bob and 575 Cruise Craft Never Home skippered by Alex Fenwick.   Mick will be one to watch next season if he fishes as hard all season as he did at the latter part of the year.     Alex put his fiance Kourtney onto her first blue marlin recently that was truly up there over 500lb.  Kourt had been working out to take on a blue and knocked it over in around 40 minutes.  The day before Dan Smith and his 530 Cruise Craft Game Plan weighed a 540lb blue marlin that died on them after only taking 300m of line and Megumi the charter boat out of Manly Harbour released one at 400lb the day before that so there were some definite big fish getting around that week.  Special mention also has to be made of Mick and Nicki Reeves from their Trailcraft runabout Dunno who on Easter Monday christened their boat after a few false starts.  They went on to tag three for the day.  Another 530 Cruise Craft newly launched for photo journalist David Granville and now called Cover Shot captured seven billfish on his first outing chasing them which was a great way to christen it.


With these billfish hanging in so late, so to have the mackerel and on charter we have been getting quite a few a day.  The snapper are yet to show up with the warm water about but I did have one good afternoon chasing them with five after dark and three of the five true snapper size, not squire.  During the billfish action I snuck out one Wednesday getting the first for Chris with the hot action only every second day then steady fishing the days in between.  That fish bought up my 40th for the season.  Give me a call at Smithys Fishing Charters on 0407 574 868 or check out my website, ( if you were wanting to go out on charter, either offshore in my 7.7m vessel or inshore on my 4.55m Seajay Nomad barra punt.


Weather is dominating most offshore fishos conversations at the moment.  Good weather is not lining up with weekends at all and it is only the guys getting out mid week who can get to the fish.  The fish are there though when you can get out.   Three tournaments were held during this time.  MooloolabaContinue Reading

We now come to that time of the year where the main conversation is about the weather and not the fishing.  Small weather windows a day or two at a time will allow anglers to get out and the fish should be plentiful.  The rough conditions give them a rest and time for new stocksContinue Reading

The juvenile blacks have finally hit town and everyone is rejoicing.  If you venture further out blues are still on the shelf and some little blacks and the odd striped marlin are with them.  This year has seen a massive run of mahi mahi compared to normal.  There was no run of early ones inContinue Reading

At the time of writing the light tackle season is yet to fully kick off.  The odd black has been caught in with some wahoo and mahi mahi but there has been no consistency.  Things have been all over the place with regard water quality, temperature and bait.  As things settle down into a normalContinue Reading

Gamefishers in South East Queensland are looking forward to another good season based on the fishing in North Queensland during their winter light tackle season.  It may not be as good as last year but it won’t be a non-event either.  The bonus may be a mix of year classes with the juvenile black marlin. Continue Reading

Lately the weather has been atrocious and the fishing reports very few and far between.  A lot of people give up on the game fishing over winter and go reef fishing instead.  The best options for the hard core game fishers is blue marlin fishing on the shelf where you are a chance of successContinue Reading

We now come into the slow time of year for billfish anglers in South East Queensland.  The options this time of year are sailfish off the Sunshine Coast, black marlin on the deep snapper reefs and striped marlin off the Gold Coast on any of the reefs deeper than 36 fathoms.  Blue marlin are anContinue Reading

The run of juvenile black marlin has continued for anglers off the Sunshine Coast but has slackened off for all other ports.  North Queensland is still getting them off Airlie Beach so they may well go into May.  The interesting thing has been the run of 3-5kg micro ones.  These may well be September –OctoberContinue Reading

All indications are we are looking at a one in ten year event, a bit like the floods, as far as the run of black marlin are concerned this year.  As an example, the Sunshine Coast Gamefishing Club has tagged over 400 billfish already this season.  Their best year was 800 though.  We realistically haveContinue Reading