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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

A busy weekend of tournaments, but far too early for reports so those will come later. In the meantime, it was a very successful and enjoyable long weekend on the water for Australia’s national holiday and first long weekend of the year. Three days of fishing fun and the marlin presented themselves all the way along the coast.

Read on for reports from the Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Sydney.

Gold Coast

On the Gold Coast, as if it were ever in doubt, but Capt. Ross McCubbin added his 100th marlin of the summer season yesterday on board Lucky Strike, quite fittingly on Australia Day.  Hitting 99 the day before (Sunday) with 4 for the day, he well and truly hit the mark yesterday making no mistakes by adding another 6 from 6. The final fish lucky number 105!

Anglers David and Adrian Wright were treated to some great fishing with a total of 10 from 12 blacks for their two days of fishing.

I heard that there were plenty more among the Gold Coast fleet getting in on the action. Representing the small boats in his 20ft centre console Ocean Instinct, Glanville Heydenrich also had some great holiday weekend fishing. He got off to a good start on Sunday a first fish straight up successfully released.  Then they got waylaid for 2hrs on a beast on 8kg that was eventually lost due to something swimming into the line. But finished the day with 5 from 6. Glanville says they were pretty quality fish too at 10 (yes a rat!), 80, 60, 80, 70kg before finishing up at 2pm.

Yesterday he followed up with an Australia Day that we should all be envious of.  Some spanner crab pots out first thing on the way out, started marlin fishing at 8am, 3 from 4 by 10:30 and in and pulled the pots by 12:30 in time for big afternoon BBQ!

And likewise for Michael Umback on the water on Sunday with a 4-4-3 black marlin estimated at 60kg, 80kg and a bigger one that Michael said would be pushing 300lb!

Coffs Coast

Luke Azzopardi who is crew on deck with Capt. Rob Wood on Black n Blue have been having some good tourney fishing of late but enjoyed a fun day out on Saturday with just the two of them on board and a final tally of 8-4-4 – 2 little blacks and 2 sailfish tagged (the other 4 bites bites didn’t hook up and they also had another 2 in the spread without biting!) Luke said that the sails were a double hookup which was interesting with just the two of them on board and Rob showed some handing one handed tagging to keep both fish point scoring legal! (And they got photos too!)

Luke said they headed out again yesterday hoping for another fish or two but the current had moved in and they didn’t see a fish. That’s fishing!


Port Macquarie

And another big report from Scott Baker from Rush Hour who fished yesterday out of Port Mac and went 12-10-6 on black marlin after starting the day targeting Spanish. Scotty said that after losing 3 blacks on the mackerel gear they switched over and ended the day with the 6 tags.

Looks quite a bit fresh!


Sydney – Broken Bay GFC

Broken Bay GFC club boat Murrifin’s Rod Findlay tells me that Sydney fishers have likewise not been missing out on the southern migration of the ‘little’ black marlin (or stripes!) or the bull dollies either for that matter!  A top Australia day on board Murrifin for Rod and crew as well going 4-4-3 with a 70kg striped marlin on 15, a 50kg striped on 10 and 50kg black on 10 as well.  This followed up from Rod on Tuesday with a 2-2-2 of a black and a striped in a half day and the nice dolphin fish above all only 10 miles off Barrenjoey!


Pakula Lures

Another hot report from Capt. Ross McCubbin on Lucky Strke came in last night after he put solo charter Vic onto 8 from 10 yesterday in the 50 to 120 kg (adding another 2 from 4 the day before).  This puts Ross on 95 marlin since he began his summer season on December 1.

Its been a long time that since we’ve heard of someone getting a 100 black marlin in a season off the Gold Coast, especially considering the Gold Coast season for the juvenile blacks is generally so short. And not wanting to jinx him at all (did anyone catch how the news media jinxed Leyton mid-way through his match last night?!;-), I’m sure Ross will get the tonne, a great achievement considering his particularly short season as well only just having returned to the Goldy from the Cairns season!

Typically, the Gold Coast doesn’t tend to hold marlin like for example Cape Bowling Green (Townsville), and they tend to move through quickly like they do in other areas like Port Stephens – and so the fact that so many are still being caught lends to the sheer number of fish moving through!

There are a lot of factors that go into how the Gold Coast fishes from day to day and the current speed does play a part (and we heard that during the recent tournament it was running hard).

When it’s running hard, the fishing is definitely a lot harder as the bait stays down and its harder to stay on top of the bait and the fish keep moving with the current.

The weather and wind direction will also play a part. This time of year when we get an extended run of northerlies, that’s what really gets the current running and pushes the dirty water out wider offshore. When we get the south-easterlies against the current, it pushes that cleaner water back in (which is generally the warmer water) and concentrates the bait.

I came across a report I wrote for Bluewater back in 2008 about the Light Tackle Master’s that year (12 marlin tags) and this year’s event certainly trumped that (five fold?) even though the current was roaring.

It seems like there are a lot of larger fish mixed in this year as well which may also be a reason why it’s fishing so well. At the top is a fish that Nick Currey’s team on Moreton Bay GFC‘s Aluhra fought during the tournament that they estimated at 100kgs and took 4.5 hours to catch on the light tackle (8kg). They lost another that they put at larger again just before lines out on the same day.

Anyways, it’s great to hear such great fishing on the Goldy an it will be very interesting to see how long the fish hold in there!

Tournaments this weekend:

Another big weekend of tournament is ahead and we look forward to hearing the results as they filter through.

Gold Coast Light Tackle Masters

Well the results are in! You can download the full winners list here.

By all reports, another fabulous event. The final stats were 53 black marlin tagged from a fleet of 36 boats.  Long-time Gold Coast GFC Club member Craig “Grinner” Newton and his team on Grinner was able to convert a fish on the final day to take the across the line in front with 6 tags from Ocean Instinct (who took out the Under 8m class) and Aluhra (Moreton Bay GFC) both with 5.

Several of the fish were larger models that gave anglers a tough going on the 8kg line class.  On Day 2, Hook Me Up fought an estimated 300lb-er into the night only to lose it at the back of the boat after 4 hours!

Bateman’s Bay Tollgate Islands Classic

Craig Murphy was kind enough to give me an update from the comp with very good fishing not unlike what Craig remembers from 10 years ago with lots of striped marlin playing havoc with boats towing big lures and plenty to talk about at the bar in the evening! evening! While the last few years have been won by 2 or 3 fish by one boat over three days this year the Champion Boat won with 7 marlin.

Overall there were 106 billfish tagged or captured over the three days from the tournament fleet of 48 boats.  Dennis Lucardi’s 40′ Caribbean Hardaraddit won champion boat T&R with 7 marlin, most of which were caught by Dennis’ daughter Tegan Lucardi who won champion Female Angler. Runner up boat was Stewart Wensing’s Frigate with 6 marlin who also took out Most Marlin Tagged by a Trailer Boat.

Heaviest Marlin was a Blue caught on Fearless and weighed in at 167.8kg.

Craig’s boat, Dadsboat, took out Champion Boat Capture weighing a 90.7kg striped marlin on 15kg to Dr Paul Allin on the Friday (also winning them the Friday Cash Shoot Out with this fish). And they also weighed a pending Junior 15kg record 19.3kg spearfish to Craig’s son Jakob on the Saturday. On top of the two captures, they tagged another 5 striped marlin, the fishing was really good!!

The winner of the T&R section of the Friday Cash Shootout was Matt Xiberras’ boat X-Factor.


Port Macquarie Golden Lure

And following up from yesterday’s Golden Lure report, Steve has kindly sent me the full list of winners. There was a total of 45 black marlin, 6 blue marlin and 1 spearfish tagged.

Read on for full details:

Read the rest of the report…