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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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slThe hot fishing is spreading!  This photo was doing the rounds on FB yesterday – a great action shot from Richard Abela’s Dream Catcher of a marlin coming aboard (everyone’s okay!) But the story behind it is just as exciting.

After fishing the week off Jervis Bay, south of Sydney (it’s great spot to fish for those of you not familiar, between Sydney and Bermagui where the shelf comes in close to the coast and is also a hot spot for land based gamefishing – including marlin off the rocks!) for 1 or 2 a day, the fishing fired on the weekend.

Both Richie’s Dream Catcher and Jamie Peel’s Samara Lee recorded big numbers on Saturday (6 and 7 respectively – a mix of blacks and stripes.)  They were back out and amongst them again yesterday finishing up with a 17-17-10 for Dreamcatcher, while Jamie, Kevin and Andrew fishing together on Samara Lee went 14-14-8!

Richie is the author behind the recent run of ‘Big Fish, Small Boats’ features in BlueWater magazine and has a lot of experience fishing off the NSW coast including Jervis Bay. Read on here for a recap of a mad day on the water in 2011 for him fishing off JB for 7 solo!

Thanks Sam for the report and the great photos!

Meanwhile Capt. Tim Dean’s Calypso was still picking away at Port with another three tags yesterday and the annual Simrad All Tackle, All Species tournament has been run and won off the Gold Coast. While the fishing wasn’t red hot (and the weather not terribly cooperative) there were a few marlin around with a couple of light tackle blacks for Capt. Brett Alty’s Mistress (who I believe were overall winners?) and some heavy tackle blues out wide.  Looking forward to a report soon!

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tarmacThe black marlin bite at Port Stephens fired yesterday with Capt. Tim Dean’s Calypso reporting 6 from 7. If you want to get in on this good fishing, Tim still has a couple of weekends opening between now and the end of the month, contact via the website. Tackleworld Port Stephens’ Brent Hancock also got in on the action going three from three solo!

Message from Capt. Ian “Wobbles” Ford at the helm of private boat Tarmac with two on Thursday including this 120kg striped for Stacey Fowler off Bermagui.

And back up in the north, there are more of the little (and not so little) fellas around very early. Ashley Cotter told me of two off Townsville in the past week including a 20kg black caught just wide of the Palms. And another caught by a visiting boat from NZ caught a 86kg black 10nm off the back of Magnetic Island.

And good luck to all competing in the SPGSFC All Tackle All Species this weekend!

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