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blue marlin on First Priority

By all reports, another great tournament was hosted by the Gold Coast GFC with fishing on the two days over the weekend. Entrants joined from as far away as the Perth Game Fish Club as well from club closer up the Queensland coast including the Sunshine Coast GFC, Mooloolaba GFC and Hervey Bay GFC as well as many from the two local GC clubs – 30 boats participated.  There were 22 marlin tags recorded on day 1 (20 blue marlin and 2 spearfish) and 9 marlin on day 2.

The winning boat was Outside Edge from the Sunshine Coast with 3 blue marlin tags, taking home a prize pool of over $36,000.  In the Under 8m category, Surfers Paradise GSFC’s Ripples won also with 3 tags (giving them second place overall) as well as a host of other prizes including Champion Male Angler (Lance Ripley), Best Tag Person, Last Billfish Day 2 and Heaviest Other Species Over 15kg (26.2kg yellowfin).

Castille III’s Katie Ripper took out the Champion Female Angler award with her two blue marlin tags. Skipper for the comp, Matty Johsnon (Gypsy) says that she showed ‘her vast experience in the chair especially with one of the blues showing why they are so well respected’.

Meanwhile on board Molakai, Jai Tooley took out Champion Junior Angler with a pending Junior Queensland Record for his 126.6kg blue marlin on 60kg line.

The photos above and below from the Caeli’s on board First Priority with Ben telling me that they ended up an unlucky 6-5-1 on the weekend, going to show just how many fish there were around!

Congratulations to all who participated!firstpriority2

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Pakula Lures

Tournament report to come but I hear there were 29 blue marlin tagged for the two days fishing. Stay tuned!

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The Gold Coast GFC’s Garmin Blue Marlin Classic start fishing is today. There have been a few fish around in the leadup. Scott Watson’s as yet un-named 48 Viking released a solid blue on Thursday while Capt. Ross McCubbin’s Lucky Strike found them as well seeing 4 for 3 bites yesterday, releasing one about 180kg. GCGFC’s Alisa Schofield reports that there are over 100 entrants, including six female and two junior anglers registered. Good luck to all competing!

At Port Stephen, Capt. Tim Dean shared the IGFA’s news with Mark Davis confirming daughter Katie’s first black marlin on board Calypso at Port this year completes here Billfish Royal Slam. At just 12 years old, she will be the youngest female to have achieved the feat. Congratulations Katie!

And results from the World Offshore Championships in Costa Rica this week – where the world record for billfish  releases was broken in the first three days of fishing (2,314 releases). The event was won by the Luanda Sailfish Classic with 76 fish.

Australian team placings – The Perth Game Fishing Club (2013 Bertram Marlin Cup Winning Team) came a very respectable 9th place with 58 tags for the week while the Cairns Bluewater Billfish Tournament winners (Hellraiser’s Sue & Steve Ahlers) came in 13th with 55 tags.

The team from the Sunshine Coast Game Fishing Club placed 40th with 38 tags and team winners from the Blue Marlin Classic placed 53 with 33 tags.

And lastly, I received this video from Simon Fisher of a blue marlin they caught on the NSW north coast. Very well done Simon – great video – nice swim there at the end (screen grab at top!)

North NSW Blue Marlin from Simon Fisher on Vimeo.

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Townsville black marlin

Cape Bowling Green

Townsville is a regular stopover for the professional marlin fleet moving north towards Cairns to target light tackle black marlin in August and September. Moreover, a small locally based charter fleet and very active game fishing club members are targeting these juvenile fish from as early as June. Weighing approximately 10kg early in the season and growing to as much and in excess of 30kg by September, the voracious eaters feed on the huge bait schools that congregate in Cape Bowling Green Bay, attracted by the nutrients draining out of the mighty Burdekin River.

Where to fish: 8 miles north of Cape Bowling Green in the shipping channel around 27-30m is a good place to start. Look for the bait schools.

Myrmidon Reef

When September rolls around, Myrmidon Reef on the outer Great Barrier Reef, comes on the radar for local boats who regularly enjoy social weekends rafting up overnight in the protected anchorage within the reef itself and fishing just 5 minutes from the anchorage. Again, Myrmidon is a regular stop for the professional fleet targeting giant black marlin and blue marlin, usually on the return trip home to the south after the Cairns season.

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