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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

And from Port Douglas of course!

I have had several requests for Cairns fishing reports of late with most curious to know whether the juvenile black marlin had shown up. And finally we have an answer. Two of the Cairns fleet fished yesterday and both reported good number of the baby blacks on what was a great weather day after plenty more weeks of blow.

levante

Capt. Casey Dent’s Levante fished the day out from Port Douglas.  It was one of their last trips of the year before Casey will be handing the reigns over to Capt. Chris “Sharky” Miles who will be running the boat for the big marlin season, while Casey takes the helm of the new 54 Assegai Zulu. Amanda tells me they were out for a bit of a fun day and test some lures with local maker Ross (Revolver Game Fishing). Their final tally for the day was a fantastic 12-9-5. Amanda said that the bait schools of yakkas were the winning ticket and though it would have been nice to covert a few of the losses, they had a day consistent activity!

Meanwhile off Cairns, Capt. Darren “Biggles” Haydon and owner Greg Sims on Bounty Hunter took some keen youngsters out for a few days going two from three.   This fish (below) is  young Matty Sims first black marlin at only 7 years of age, while the other was caught by 15 year old niece Morgan.  A great effort from the youngsters!

bountyhunter

Pakula Lures

Blue Marlin World Cup – Lady Angler Wins!

Another July 4th Blue Marlin World Cup has come and gone with team after team fishing across the globe striking out until the final minutes in the final time zone of Hawaii.  Bermuda’s hopes of a three-in-a-row victory were quashed when cease fishing arrived with no qualifying fish (over 500lbs) caught.

Then, as the 45 strong Hawaiian fleet reached midday with fishing generally quite slow, the possibility of no qualifying fish being weighed for the entire event world-wide, something that has not happened since 1997, became real.  But thankfully there was some late good fishing with less than two hours to go. Firstly, Capt. Dennis Cintas on Tropical Sun put Japanese angler Kenichi Shionoya onto a fish that was later weighed at 597 pounds.  But it wasn’t to be as they were pipped at the wire by Capt. Steve Epstein and angler Stephanie Choate on board Huntress with a winning 656 pound blue to take out the prize pool totalling $561,600!

It has already been a BIG 12 months for Stephanie who caught her first grander black marlin in Mozambique late last year. Stephanie, who is the daughter of Tim Choate, co-founder of The Billfish Foundation (TBF), released 6 blues on board Ambush with Tradition’s Capt. Tim Richardson in March during the Casa de Campo International Blue Marlin Classic to give her the Champion Female and Runner-Up Angler overall awards, and is now one of only two women to win the Blue Marlin World Cup in its 30 year history. Sue Vermillion of Kona, won the event in 1994 also from Kona aboard Pacific Blue.

Local Weekend Marlin Fishing

While the cooler months are better known for producing some of the great winter eating fish such as snapper (and word is that the bluefin have shown up in good numbers on the NSW south coast as well), there’s always the possibility of marlin! Capt. Ross McCubbin fishing on Lucky Strike on the weekend fishing for snapper and the like proving such when marlin started to hit his snapper rigs.  They released one 70kg black on a light spin outfish and dropped another est. 80kg striped on the flathead gear! Love winter fishing on the Gold Coast!

More juvenile black marlin were reported off Townsville as well with one local boat releasing 5.

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carol-libby-552-blue-marlin

 

Last week the Carol Libby team, with Capt. Josh Temple at the wheel, broke the world record for the highest number of blue marlin in a single season with a total of 430 releases exceeding the total of the previous record (422 releases) on June 22.
Not content to leave it there, the team is fresh back to port over the weekend after another 5 day trip. And, not only have they added considerably to their world record tally which now stands at 522, but they have once again smashed all expectations when it comes to blue marlin fishing.
World Record Blue Marlin Release Stats as of last week:

Days fished: 61 as of June 26, 2014
Location: Offshore, Los Sueños, Costa Rica
Total Fish Raised: 754
Bites: 614
Official Releases: 430

One week later, after another trip that saw an amazing 122 blue marlin released in 5 days (including 34 from 46 in a single day when they didn’t start fishing until 9am!), the new world record total is 522!

Josh says that the blues are generally up to 500lbs with most are 250-300lb range and that they are catching mostly straight blues with the odd black, stripe, sail, sword here and there. In addition to the most releases, some of the other records they have smashed in the process include the:

  • most ever released in a day;
  • most ever caught by one angler in a day;
  • most ever tagged in a day;
  • most ever tagged in a year;
  • most ever caught in a year by one angler; and,
  • most ever caught in a year by a boat.

Huge congratulations to the whole team including Josh, his crew Tony Carpenter, Andrea McQuade, James Brown as well as owner anglers Greg and Keith Brandner.


Los Suenos has long been a top billfish destination. It’s also where Spanish Fly released their albino (actually leucistic) blue marlin in March of this year and like our own Port Stephens, it is one of the few destinations where a marlin grand slam (black, blue and striped marlin in a single day) is very possible. It’s also a hot spot for sailfsh – in this year’s Los Suenos Signature Triple Crown tournament, 42 boats released 692 sailfish and four marlin on the first day of fishing alone!

By pushing some boundaries and fishing what Josh tells me is “a little farther offshore than where everyone usually fishes” (and laying their own FADs!) the team has been absolutely smashing record after record since last season. Read about some of the great fishing the Carol Libby team experienced back in 2013 on the blog here which saw them hit a high of 155 blues raised, 94 bites and 68 fish successfully released in 3.5 days fishing

I’ve had a reasonably long association with Josh and his team both being part of the Pelagic Pro Team fraternity since 2008, and have followed his fishing religiously since then. Back in those days he was best known for his fishing in Puerto Vallarta “Cow Town” (Mexico) and was instrumental for putting PV on the map as a hot spot for giant yellowfin tuna. Never one to rest on his laurels he’s been pushing the boundaries ever since.

Since 2012 with partner and deck-ess extraordinaire Andrea by his side, Josh has been working with the Brandner family (owner/father/angler Greg and son/angler/record-chaser Keith) on board the 60ft Carol Libby and although they have met with some challenges along the way (it’s not fishing without boat issues), it’s been record after record.

Josh tells me that next on the horizon is Panama a little later in the year where they will explore the offshore banks and sea mounts.

Follow Josh and the Carol Libby Team via facebook or Pelagic’s Pro Team page The Waterman’s Journal.

 

The fourth of July in Australian dawns as the day we watch the Blue Marlin World Cup unfold as one of the first countries fishing.  The rules see crews from all over the world fishing for 8 hours on July 4 in their own timezone, each vying for the biggest blue which is the grand prize.  Last year, the trophy returned to Bermuda for the second year running…where will it go this year?

Follow the Blue Marlin World Cup on Facebook here.

For some blue marlin action a bit closer to home, some great blue marlin action on board Peak Sportfishing at Exmouth with a wrap up of their 2013/2014 season.