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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

The stats continue to be outstanding. This is what I have so far (billfish tags only) – Day 1, 96 tags; Day 2, 91 tags; Day 3, 103 tags; Day 4, 78 tags and Day 5, 126 tags (made up of blacks 104, blue 6, stripes 2, 14 sailfish).

I received a great mid-Gamex tournament report from Bernie Kaaks while we were out of phone range and have included the full report below (although its a couple of days behind current standings so keep that in mind when you are reading). Also at top is a shot of the scoreboard as at the end of Day 4′s fishing so you can see the diversity of the action (it’s not all about billfish!) Thanks so much to Scott Forbes for keeping us updated with the stats and the pic in Jeni’s absence (and big congrats to Jeni and Matt on the new bub!)

Scott says where else can you do this type of fishing?! And the best thing is that, so many new anglers getting their first billfish.  He also sent word of another Small Fry Pending Record, with a great capture by Will Roche (more details to come).

Mid-Gamex Report
“Gamex 2014 is away to a brisk and warm start.

While top temperature in Exmouth has hovered around 40 degrees every day, a light breeze made conditions bearable.  Flat seas have made for comfortable game fishing and returns over the first three days have been excellent.

The Sunday total was 102 billfish tags, Monday saw 90 and so did Tuesday.

Wet Dreams is top scoring boat at present with 5 species on 10 line classes for a total of 5451.6 points.

Bernie Vale’s Mahi Mahi III heads the tag & release leaderboard at this stage with 16 tags for tag & release marlin, while in the under 7 metre boats, Sea Eagle is doing well with 13 tag & release.

Individual honours for juniors goes to Hayden Michaels with 1400 points.  Top Female is Helen Levy, also on 1400 points and the leading male is Jason Hornhart who has amassed 3676.6 points on 5 line classes.

Non fishing people have been well looked after too.  A family fun day on Sunday attracted many mums and children, with a bouncy castle and other activities, all being entertained by Tod Johnston’s Peace, Love and All That Stuff.  The band also played at a lively opening gig on Friday.

Australia’s Melbourne based master chef Bart Beek conducted classes for ladies on Monday and Tuesday at the Exmouth Escape Resort, followed by a formal ladies’ lunch at the Novotel on Wednesday – a superb three-course meal.

As expected, there have been some disappointments, but the boys on On Strike II had to cop it sweet on Monday after hooking up a big blue marlin, estimated at well over 200kgs, on a spin outfit carrying a 15kilo line. After a three hour battle that took the boat 8.6 nautical miles out to sea from the hookup point, the marlin made one final lunge and broke free.”

Thanks Bernie – I think we all have Exmouth on our bucket list now if it wasn’t already there!

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Pakula Lures


Catch up report from Sam Owen skipper of Spread ‘Em fishing from the past few weeks – and these great photos in the slideshow above – scroll through the slideshow at top to see the other two shots. Sam reports that he fished solo earlier this month chasing blues out of Port Kembla on his 5.8 centre console Spread ‘Em and went 4-4-1 boating the one weighing 153kg on 24kg. The first fish of the day he lost after half hour he estimated at an easy 250kg+. The weekend before last he was fishing north of Jervis Bay and went 3-2-2 stripes on the Saturday followed by 3-3-3 on blacks on the Sunday. Friday they fished alongside Richie’s Dream Catcher and we ended the day with another 3-2-2 blacks. Fishing with Sam was Ian Osterloh (photos – great shots Ian) and Mark Doyle (angler).

Bermagui - Murray Stoddart sent me a report from a couple of days fishing last week on Bill Dunkely’s Bill Collector out of Bermagui with Paul Nemes, Bobby Weight, Brett. Murray said the fishing started slow with bait a little hard to find on the 12 mile and out to the edge and Day 1 ended with all zeros made even more frustrating upon hearing of the bite up at JB and Ulladulla. Day 2 they fished north of the “Kink” in 120 fathoms where the water was a lot better around 24c with nice cobalt blue tinge to it and went 2-1-1 on a small striped of about 50kg. Murray says although it was a little fella it was one of the prettiest little fish he’d seen in a long time, it swam away with a nice little steamer in its shoulder (pic)!


Exmouth - Despite the full moon another 91 billfish were tagged yesterday (Gamex day 2). Great fishing! By all accounts everyone is enjoying the tournament thus far with the fun and games set to continue with a ‘Bling’ themed dress-up Reef and Beef BBQ tonight!

Port Stephens -  I heard from Capt. Scotty Thorrington on Freedom that the inshore bite continues steady steady with most recording a couple of bites a day.  They are fishing light tackle mostly 8-10kg for the blacks up to around 50kg. Scotty says that the water is moving around a lot during the day and so if you’re out in the morning and its not that special, it can change in the afternoon as good water moves in.

Cardwell – And I heard from Brett Ward who is usually a regular on the light tackle blacks off Cardwell a bit later in the year. Brett says that he’s been interested to read the reports of the teeny ones in the north over the last few weeks.  Although he hasn’t see any himself he was out Sunday tolling 30metre line off Cardwell and hooked up to a bigger than usual sized model about (and PB) black about 40kg that kept him busy for an hour or so on 10kg tackle. Brett says the fish took a mini hothead sprocket in custom colours and he hopes to find more fish of this quality!

We are currently traveling on the boat in and out of phone range over the next few days so my apologies in advance if any email/text reports are delayed until we get back in service!

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Exmouth Gamex

After the great fishing over the three days of the AIBT (303 billfish tags for 40 boats – read on below for the section results), Gamex kicked off yesterdaywith some more great fishing. Jeni Gates tells me that there were a total of 102 billfish tagged on the first day – with 96 tag cards brought to the Gantry by close and unfortunately 6 tag cards disqualified due to not making it for the 8pm cut off!

While unlike the AIBT, Gamex is across species and not all anglers and boats are chasing billfish, among the significant gamefish catches was a 10.5kg Chinaman Cod caught and weighed on 3kg Line Class which is a pending record.

There are 62 boats competing. Thanks Jeni for the details!

The Broken Bay Invitational was held over the weekend as well and we look forward to hearing how that went soon!

JB-Ulladulla Magic!

Catch up report from George Lirantzis who has had a great week on the water! Starting on Tuesday when the fish fired north of Jervis Bay with most boats seen multiple fish, George, fishing solo ended the day with a 2-2-2! On Wednesday the fish had moved to the south and were in good numbers off the Ulladulla Canyons and they converted three from three (2 stripes and a black). Thursday the fish were on the bite again – 3-2-2. But that was nothing compared to the bite on Friday when they tagged 6 fish from 12 bites, 3 of which were double hookups. George says that one of the doubles were stripes that were both over 100kg mark that took off in different direction and they had no chance a getting to the boat! Mayhem went 3 from 6 with Chloe and Tom going 3-3-3 (no doubt Chloe will have an update for us on She Fishes soon).

While Saturday saw only two boat back out due to weather, they converted another 3 from 9 tagged with a couple more on the leader but unable to tag in time due to being two-up. Mayhem ended the day with 4 from 6.

Lets hope the bite continues as we they get back out over the next few days! Hope so George – thanks so much for the report!

More Gold Coast Blues

The week after the tournament (always the way) some more good blue marlin reports are coming in off the Gold Coast. Capt. Brett Alty’s Mistress released 2 from 4 blues on Saturday. They have some footage from the fish on their facebook page if you are on FB. Capt. Ross McCubbin got one for blue marlin novice Dave on Lucky Strike and reported a few others including another couple for Jugs.

Teeny Tiny Townsville Black Marlin

meadAnd back up north, Townsville GFC Clubbies enjoyed some absolutely ideal conditions for their social Horseshoe Bay (Magnetic Island) club points weekend. Keeping in mind this is very early season for the juvenile black marlin (typically the light tackle season fires from July/August), there are good numbers of the extremely small models going around. The Nicolosi family’s Zuri got on the board with this little fella (top) and raised another that Alex said they would have put at 70-80cm long max!

(Don’t mind the foggy GoPro pic – that’s what happens in the tropics on days like these!) Alex also said despite having the tag pole ready, they didn’t tag this little fella deciding that he was way too small!

They also dropped a big sail in the 30-40kg range on Saturday and saw another free jumper on Sunday. Alex said there was plenty of little bait fish on the surface and marking down deep, although no one knew what it was with the jig only bringing up pinkies, grinners and trevally.

Alex also reported the Gough/Davidson/Kane Silverback went 3-2-1 on Saturday in close on the northern grounds with a similar sized fish. And Andrew Mead also got one on the board on his long boat (above)! And also that there were plenty of mackerel and cobia around too!

AIBT Results

Section 1 – Champion Team T&R Billfish TEAM ‘OUR TIME’ Prize – GFAA replica trophy & 4 Engraved Shimano Tiagra 50W reels.
Section 2 – Runner Up Champion Team T&R Billfish TEAM ‘ON STRIKE II’ Prize – GFAA replica trophy & Craig Smith Marine Art print.
Section 3 – Champion Angler T&R Billfish: MURRAY TEASDALE Prize – GFAA replica trophy & Engraved Shimano Tiagra 50W.
Section 4 – Champion Team T&R Marlin: TEAM ‘OUR TIME’ Prize – 2 Shimano Stella reels.
Section 5 – Champion Team T&R Sailfish: TEAM ‘LIVE ACTION’ Prize – 2 Shimano Stella reels.
Section 6 – Champion Junior Angler T&R Billfish: ZAC BYFIELD Prize – Engraved Shimano Tiagra 30W reel.
Section 7 – Champion Master Angler (60+ years) T&R Billfish: MICHAEL CALLAN Prize – Shimano Tanacom Bull electric reel.

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Albino (leucistic) Blue Marlin

spanishflyThis estimated 300lb albino blue marlin was caught Wednesday off Costa Rica on the Spanish Fly. What a sight!

Although according to the IGFA, the eye color – black, rather than red or pink – indicates that this marlin is leucistic (which is a reduction in pigmentation) rather than albino.

Wouldn’t you like to see one like this coming up under your spread!

More photos on Maverick Yachts facebook page here.

AIBT Exmouth Final Stats

Three days of hot fishing out of Exmouth for the 2014 Australian International Billfish International (AIBT) wound up Wednesday. And what an event!

Day 1 saw 90 tags recorded, Day 2 102 tags and Day 3 110 tags among the 40 competing boats. According to EGFC, the final stats were 780 raised, 575 hooked and 303 tagged made up of 19 sailfish, 17 blue marlin, 267 black marlin!

The final report and list of ‘winners and grinners’ hasn’t been released yet – and I think it was a pretty tight race – so we’ll look forward to reading that soon. In the meantime, many of the teams have a quick turnover for Gamex which starts with festivities at the clubhouse from today, and fishing from Sunday.

Marlin from an Inflatable Thundercat

Port Hacking GFC mates Tim Heather and Matt Shine set off from Kurnell early Sunday morning the 9th March in a 10 foot inflatable Thundercat with the goal of a marlin from the inflatable. Crazy kids!

Several hours later they were hooked up and fighting (on an egg beater with 24 kg line seated on an esky no less!)


The end result, a 60kg striped marlin.

The boys had previously spent a great couple of weekends in Port Stephens for the 2014 Interclub Tournament but hadn’t completely scratched the itch. With the weather and SST charts looking favourable, Sunday was the day. Although the ‘fragility’ of the thundercat might not seem a great path to some, the boys felt their experience and knowledge of game fishing would see them through if they did hook something large and feisty.

They started trolling around 7 am and had a hook up by 10.30am on a new Zacatak lure only purchased the weekend prior in Port Stephens. Caution dictated the fight as the boys did not want a frisky an encounter close to the rubber sided vessel. As they gained line, they had to be sure they wouldn’t end up in strife as the marlin was only a few feet shorter than the boat.

Well done Tim and Matt!

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