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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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AIBT Day 2

The Exmouth hosted AIBT continued on day 2 in much the same way it started – except it got even better. With 90 tags on Day 1 for the 40 boat fleet, they improved on that on Day 2 with a total of 102 tags!

The stats for the day were 269 raised, 189 hooked and 102 tagged made up of 11 sailfish, 5 blue marlin and 86 black marlin.

In the lead is the Diversity Charters Exmouth team on Diversity follow closely by visiting Perth team on Simrad and Our Time, a visiting Perth boat with Matt Gates as skipper are tied in second place.

Today is the final day of fishing for the AIBT while Gamex activities start Friday, the briefing on Saturday and fishing starting on Sunday.

The lovely Jeni Gates (who is missing out on being a part of all the action this year herself) tells me that the majority of fish so far have been small blacks with Team Azura tagging an estimated 350kg blue and several blacks over 100kg reported as well.

More from JB


Sam tells me it not stopped at Jervis Bay either with both boats continuing to record good numbers. Yesterday Jamie on Samara Lee recorded another 12-12-8 while Richie on Dream Catcher went 10-10-5. Apparently several more boats have been getting in on the action as well.

Surfers Paradise All Tackle All Species

The Simrad All Tackle All Species (Surfers Paradise GSFC) tournament report is out. Full report below with thanks to Peter Hargreaves. Congratulations to Capt. Brett Alty and his team on Mistress who took out Champion Overall with two black marlin for Champion Angler Barry Alty and to the team on Jugs who took out the Heavy Tackle category with a black and a blue marlin.

Simrad SPGSFC All Tackle All Species Results

The event was held at Southport Yacht Club March 7 to 9 with 85 participants including 3 small fry anglers in total fishing on 21 boats. The final stats were – 92 strikes, 75 hookups 60 fish tagged or captured including 8 marlin (3 blues and 5 blacks), striped tuna 6; yellofin tuna 4; Spanish mackeral 8; kawa kawa 6; mahi mahi 14; spotted mackeral 11; and wahoo 3.

The 1st Billfish was tagged for Deb Munster on Outer Limits – a blue marlin and her first ever!
Last Billfish: Todd Hayden Ocean Dream Black Marlin
Champion Boat: Mistress, 2nd Jugs, 3rd Outer Limits.

Light Tackle
Champ Male Barry Alty 2 black marlin
Champ Female Ceri Nicoll 1 kawa kawa, 1 mahi mahi
Champ Boat over 7m Mistress 2 black marlin
Champ Boat under 7m Ripples

Heavy Tackle
Champ Male Matt Caelli 1 black marlin
Champ Female Deb Munster 1 blue marlin
Champ Boat over 7m Jugs 1 blue marlin 1 black marlin

Other Species
Champ Male Dave McCullum
Champ Female Ceri Nicoll
Champ Boat Lucky Strike

Team Small Fry 3 young Bailey brothers fishing with Dad and Grandad, caught 2 whiting and a bream. and took home an estuary outfit each for the Junior/Small Fry Encouragement Award. A top effort considering the weather!

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Exmouth just blew the entire east coast out of the water!

Monday was Day 1 fishing for the annual AIBT hosted again out of Exmouth, and also a prelude to the annual Gamex Tournament event which starts later this week. There are 40 boats competing, and by stop fishing yesterday at the end of the first day, they had collectively tagged 90 billfish! The breakdown was 3 sailfish, 5 blue marlin and 83 black marlin.

On the leaderboard X T Sea and Diversity are in front with 6 tags a piece closely followed by On Strike II and Pelagic Hooker each with 5 tags.

With thanks to EGFC and Jeni Gates for the update. Can’t wait to hear more!

Back down off Sydney itself the bite has slowed a little from the big fish days of last week but there’s still plenty of life in it yet (and fish in close) for the Simrad Broken Bay Invitational Tournament on this weekend. (More information here.)

A couple of unusual sailfish catches in these southern waters with Doug Robinson reporting a sail off Newcastle on Finjitsu on the weekend on 15kg, with another caught off the rocks at Jervis Bay!  And also stripes in close with Fritto 1 going 3 from 3 off Port for Troy and Steve – both 80kg stripes in close off the reefs in 40m!


Off Coffs Harbour, the big downwelling eddy off the coast has started to weaken after weeks of suppressing all marlin activity. On Saturday during the Solitary Islands GFC regular club comp day, the blues came surging back into town as the deep edge of the continental shelf came alive just 15 miles off Coffs. 15 marlin were raised with 13 of those being blue marlin, and 11 of them were shared between just two boats, Black N Blue and Matador. The hookup rate was lower than usual for blues, and in the end, only 4 of them were tagged, plus one black marlin that got into the mix late in the day.

Hopefully this late season bite is a sign of things to come for the next couple of months and the upcoming Heavy Tackle Challenge tournament.

Likewise, the Sunshine Coast summer bite continues with Sunshine Coast GFC Club Captain Brent Higgins also reporting a good bite on Saturday up their way. Reel Capture was the only boat to brave the weather, but they made the most of it tagging 9, all to Channon Arbuthnot. Brent reports that Craig said there would have been more except their baits were under attack all day by hoards of wahoo!

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