I was down at the Marlin Marina today and noticed that the line of towers is growing. Great to see all the familiar faces, some of whom start fishing this week!
The Sunshine Coast fishing is hotting up in the leadup to another big event on the tournament calendar. With the SCGFC Spring Shootout fast approaching (3-6th October) the last two Thursdays Chaos has ventured wide for a look around. And they’ve found that the fishing has been great with 1 from 2 on striped marlin each trip and a heap of solid yellowfin tuna and dollies.
On Thursday this week the ocean was alive and it should be only a matter of time before the blue marlin join the mix and start to chew. On the inshore grounds there is plentiful bait, and we look forward to hearing that the sails have likewise shown up in numbers.
Back up and on his way to Cairns, Capt. Brad Craft’s Castille had a mad encounter with sails while bait fishing. They released 3 from a quadruple hook up and then another soon after making it 4 from 5! Not a bad diversion from bait!!
We returned to Cairns yesterday from fishing in Townsville and it was great to see that many of the boats are already in the marina and ready to go for the season. While Capt. Darren “Biggles” Haydon’s Bounty Hunter reverted to light tackle on Wednesday (1 from 1 for half a day before focusing on the eating fish), a few more have been journeying out for a hit out on heavy. Capt. Brett Goetze’s Amokura reported their first HT fish of the season yesterday with a 200lb-er released at Linden Bank. Good timing as I have an interview with one of Capt. Brett’s anglers, Brent Murray below!
(Photo below is not THE fish, just one of my shots of a similar sized fish.)
Angler Brent Murray
Can you give us a brief description of angling history?
I have been fishing for the past 40+ years and primarily in inland lakes and rivers in the US. I have made several trips to the coastal regions of the US from California to Florida with a majority done off the Texas coast.
When was the last time the you fished in Cairns?
I fished in late October 2013 aboard Reel Chase with Captain Brett Goetze and crew
What was your best memory of any Cairns trip to date?
It was without a doubt catching 6 black marlin in a single day up to 650 lbs!
What are your hopes/bucket lists items/goals for your next trip to Cairns?
Well I achieved the top spot on my bucket list by fishing the Great Barrier Reef last year…..but my new bucket list item would have to be catching a grander.
When can we expect to see you here this and how long are you staying who are you fishing with?
Unfortunately I will not be back this year but I hope to be back again at some point in the not too distant future. When I am back it will be for 5-7 days and I will be back aboard Reel Chase with Brett and the crew.
Well it was just a matter of time until the first report came through which I heard yesterday, with Capt. Darren “Biggles” Haydon on Bounty Hunter reporting the first big black of the 2014 Cairns black marlin season – a 550lb-er released at Linden Bank.
Biggs has been fishing US couple Dick and June for the past four days and spent the first two days light tackle fishing and mixing it up with heavy tackle on the last two days. June, who has fished allover the world was seeking a black marlin to complete her Royal Billfish Slam (all 9 species of billfish), a task she achieved straight up on Saturday with one from one on the juvie fish. Congratulations June!
On Sunday they followed up with another 3 from 4 on the little guys before switching their attention to the larger models. While Monday was a slow day, Tuesday delivered in the form of a 550lb-er. They also raised one about 300lbs that wouldn’t eat. Bigg reports that the Bank is looking good – the water is good and while there wasn’t a lot of bird life or bust ups they also accounted for some yellowfin and a nice wahoo while on the edge. Great news as more of the fleet put their first ‘lines in’ for the heavy tackle over the coming weeks!
Also fishing off Cairns yesterday, Capt. Damian Colette’s Saltaire. Damien reports two from two on the small (but not so small!) models within 50 meters of the edge of an inshore reef yesterday using 10kg line. Photo at top of one of the fish – top fish on 10kg!
And a reminder from Yorkey’s Knob GFC that their reschedules (due to weather) Light Tackle Billfish Slam is coming up on 26th through to the 28th of September. The event is in the calendar and you can download the entry form and brochure here.
I also had some pics from Dax Linden who missed the Townsville comp due to work committments but joined the tourney fleet on Saturday with Roy, Scott and Dax heading out in Roy’s boat Blue Bell. Hitting the Northern Grounds, it wasn’t long after setting the spread before a few tuna hit the deck. After a slow morning by most in the area we finally heard the shot gun scream off and after a few winds a Black Marlin off around 20kg jumped and hit the surface. Once landed and after a quick photo, it was released to fight another day.
I don’t have the full list of winners (so this is coming from my own notes from the competition) but big congratulations to all the winners and grinners at the Townsville Mike Carney Billfish Challenge that wound up yesterday. In the Over 8m Category on a quieter day fishing again (only 8 tags for the final day), the Mackay based Emma Kate put their win out of reach in the fishing conditions with an early tag on the first sked to bring it home with a total of 6 (and taking out Champion Skipper, Male and Female anglers as well). On KEKOA we also snuck in a quick tag (literally a 3 minute fight for Mike Carney on a particularly small juvie) to put us into the Runner Up slot with 5 tags.
In a very popular result, in the small boat category (Under 8m), Anthony Florence’s 575 Cruisecraft Flotation took out the win with three tags from another Mackay team on Hardline with two. Anthony is always out regardless of conditions so it was great to see all his (and team’s) hard work pay off.
President Tom Hatrick’s Utopia was third overall with 4 tags and also won a host of daily and first billfish prizes. On three each was Game On, Levante, Deja Vu and Silverback, while The Chapel, Reel Crazy and Castille III were on two a piece – and another tournament veteren Eddie Shi on Castille very happy to take the gong for the last day, with the first fish of the day on the first sked!
In the Under 8m Category, also on two tags on countback were the team on Maximus and Ruffian and Pina Colada, Screamer, Tomcat and Slayer on one each.