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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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I had a quick catchup chat with Rod Findlay this morning who filled me in a little on the hot Sydney bite of the last week or so (thanks Rod!) as we’ve been busy with boat prep ourselves this week and so I’m playing catch up. (Would love to hear any reports you may have – if you’re not too busy fishing that is!)

Vic Levett’s Mojo has been in the thick of the action with Vic getting onto the fish last week while many boats where otherwise occupied at the Interclub. Converting one or two a day, he had a hot day fishing with a 6-6-6 on Sunday. Rod said he joined him on board on Tuesday for 4 from 7 and estimates they saw another 15 or so free feeders (all stripes in 35 to 60 fathoms), then slipped out solo in Murriweeni after work on Sunday for 1-1-1 on a 50kg stripe on 10kg line!

Back at Port, Capt. Scotty and team on Freedom have had Bonze Lures’ Bonze Fleet on board this week testing new products and have been getting into some fish.  They had a few blue marlin encounters out wide Tuesday, fished the blacks for 3 to 80kg on 8kg on Wednesday, with another black on 10 yesterday (and one for Rarely In fishing nearby). Scotty says there hasn’t been too many fishing off Port for the last few days with the conditions looking great inshore – clean water at 23/24 dgrees, lots of bait and birds. Offshore its still raging, 25degrees+ and current pushing hard to the south.

The Surfers Paradise GSFC’s All Tackle All Species tournament begins with the briefing and calcutta tonight. While the weather does not look ideal, hopefully they’ll get some fishing in. The tournament has both light and heavy tackle sections and while the big run of little black marlin seems to have slowed a little, the heavy tackle blues remain relatively consistent.  Capt. Jared Weir’s Shaka was among the boats on the water yesterday and had no luck on the light before heading out wider for the blues, releasing one that Jared put at 200lbs+ on the 50lb standup.

Good luck to all the teams competing!

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