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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

Capt. Dean Beech had a year away from the reef, but it didn’t take him much time to get back into the swing on Onsite this year notching up two big fish at the upper Ribbons yesterday.  The first for Grant Murphy that he put at 950lbs+ and then less than two hours later, another big one for Graham Whitaker that he put at 1100lbs!  This caps off a busy few days for the boys who are now on 5 for their first three days of the season (with the other 3 in the 200-300lb range). Photos above and below.


reeleasyLikewise: he may be in a ‘small’ boat but Sea Fever’s Capt. Ashley Matthew on Reel Easy just finished a top four days for his guests from Airlie Beach with another fish that he put at 800lbs (photo right) nearby.



Down the bottom, Brett “Changa” Chain is back on the GBR and yesterday fishing with Leon Akritidis on his 28ft Carolina Classic Defiant for bait up to Cooktown for the tournament. At 2:30 they decided to switch to heavy tackle and fishing into the anchorage at Opal. Less than an hour into it and they had the massive bite on our Zacatak Cracker lure from the big girl. Changa says it’s definitely the biggest fish he has caught whilst privateering. With only 3 on board, it was fitting that Leon was the angler (on standup 80!) for his biggest fish and Mario Zac was on the leader. When she was released she had a couple of smaller male fishing tailing with her. Great way to start their couple of weeks up here for Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic! Photo below.


Back up off Cooktown, with Capt. Luke Fallon on KEKOA, we headed out for the first day of our overnighter with PNG fisher’s Niki and James Collins who were keen to get onto a big black marlin after some good years fishing for the smaller blues off PNG.  Niki was first in the chair and after a false start with the big girl stealing the scad, she came back for another go and another scad. This time she stayed connected and hooked firmly in the corner of the mouth, gave Niki a tough 50min fight before release.  Capt. Luke put her at 850lbs, photo below.


Iona II’s Capt. Adam Jordan also went two from two on the first day of a new trip with Peter Cardilini and Roger Gentle at 400lbs.


And catching up: Little Audrey’s Capt. Daniel Carlson finished up another 5 day trip with 6 from 11 all between 300 and 450lbs.

And Capt. Steve Ahlers on Hellraiser likewise, after I told you about his big fish from Monday, has  finished 4 four days with Russell and Monique, notching up 6 fish, a  350, 800lb+, and 900lb + for Russell and 1000+, 350 and 400lb for Monique. 800lb + picture below.


Late report from Glanville on Capt. Bill Billson’s Viking II who released one from two smaller fish.

Pakula Lures

At the top of the Ribbons yesterday I heard from Glanville again who is on deck for Capt. Bill Bilson on Viking II. Glanville said they did a bunch of bait fishing in the morning before putting the lines in for an unreal bite going 3 from 3 in 30 mins – so hot they couldn’t get the spread out.  It slowed a little after that and they managed another 3 bites but unfortunately could not convert jumping two off and pulled the hooks on the third which was a nice one.

Capt. Dean Beech on Onsite fished a little further down the track for 2 from 2 at 250 and 300lbs.  Nearby Capt. Ashley Matthews on Reel Easy caught one he called at 750lbs for Zac and dropped a bigger fish earlier that he said would have been right up there.  I also had a catch up report from Ashley with a 200 and 800lb-er also at Number 8 Ribbon the day before for Airlie Beach boys Zac and Matty.

hellraiser-1000Speaking of catch up reports, I had a big one from Capt. Steve Ahler’s Hellraiser from Monday.  Steve was fishing Cooktown locals, Russell Bowman and his wife Monique, and with Monique in the chair for the first time caught a marlin that Steve called over the 1000 lb mark. Russell followed up after with a 350lb-er, both late in the afternoon on Monday, 2 from 3 bites.

Congratulations Monique!

And another catch up report from Tuesday from Capt. Brett Goetze on Amokura who went 1 from 2 on the first day of his new trip at 500lbs.

Fraser Island Blue Marlin

And a report from Capt. Russell Guage on Too Easy who has spent a couple of days fishing off Lady Elliott and Fraser (via Capt. Ross McCubbin – thanks Ross!)  In the 2.5 days they saw 15 blues, had 10 bites and caught 4 and saw one big fish that he put at over 700lbs!

Sunshine Coast Tourney Report

With thanks to Rob Smith for passing along:

24 teams competed and Day 1 saw the majority start on the light tackle grounds which looked full of promise and although strikes were recorded it was a slow day over all resulting in 1 blue marlin tag to Privateer. (Unfortunately an over length leader lead to nil points for Privateer, however they had found the fish, raising 4 blue marlin including a double header and had every chance to get amongst them on Day 2).

Day 2 saw the majority of the fleet head wide from the Northern Noosa Canyons to the Circle and the bite was consistent throughout the day with around 20 blue, black & striped marlin hook-ups reported. By cease fishing 6 boats, Cat A Pult, Never Home, Whitehorse, Privateer, Reel Capture, Sea Star and Capricorn had all tagged heavy tackle fish resulting in a count back win to Team Catapult.

Final standings:
Champion Team – Cat A Pult 1500 points
Champion Angler Overall – Mark Holland 1500 Points
Champion Angler Runner Up – Kourtney Kersnovske 1500 points
Champion Male Angler – Light Tackle – Brad Skinner 352.5 Points (pending Qld Record Wahoo on 8kg)
Champion Male Angler – Heavy Tackle – Mark Holland 1500 points
Champion Female Angler – Heavy Tackle – Kourney Kersnovske 1500 points
Champion Angler Other Species – Brad Skinner
Champion Boat U/7m – Never Home 1500 Points
Champion Boat O/7m – Cat A Pult 1500 points
Runner Up Boat O/7m – Whitehorse 1500 points

Congratulations to all!

And a quick Weipa follow up

And lastly just a quick follow up from yesterday’s Weipa tournament report – there were 18 boats with 54 anglers including 4 juniors competing. What a great result for the tournament only in its third year. And I heard so many great things from the competitors fishing for the first time as well who are keen to return. Congratulations to all involved!


Cairns Giant Black Marlin Season

A report from Surfers Paradise GFC’s Peter Hargreaves who is working the deck on private boat Serendipity, a 73 Maritimo with Capt. Nick Thonemann. They have been fishing the Bank and Opal Ridge for the past several days with the owner Balfour Irving with his friends and sons and finishing the trip with a total of 2 from 5. The 2 were from a double hookup with one 400lbs and the other 800 plus. Peter tells me that first time angler Eddie Mallen got the 400, and Mikey Irving got the 800, his second marlin ever. Well done guys!

Nearby and staying close to town for the hospital shift ( ;-)) Capt. Bobby Jones’ Iceman also released one about 450.

Heading north a little quieter for boats in the Middle. Capt. Dean Beech is at the wheel of Onsite this year and got out late on his first day to release a smaller one  before heading into the anchorage.  Nearby he tells me Capt. Brad Craft on Castille got one as well.

Up the top, not the same success experienced as the day before for boats fishing 7 and 8. Many reporting soft bites but a few fish around there and up higher. We released another on KEKOA on 10 and raised a few more.

Weipa Tournament Results

While I don’t have full details, I received these great pics from Rhys Moore who was fishing on Duyfken with Capt. Kim Andersen at the wheel who stormed home with 6 tags on the final day to steal the win.  Overall there were 64 billfish tagged (3 black marlin and 61 sailfish) from 128 strikes and 90 hookups over the three days of fishing.  Duyfken won with 13 tags overall with Reg Moore (5tags) winning the senior male division from Stav Bogiatzis (3). Andrea Kennedy was Champion Female Angler (5) from Nicky Perriman (3).

And junior angler Lewis French on board Wine Down blitzed them all to take out Champion Junior Angler and Champion Angler Overall with 8 of his teams 9 tags. Wine Down also took out the Runner Up trophy.

The most black marlin tagged was won by Reid Benson on countback with his fish on the first day. The Heaviest Other Gamefish was a 13.0kg Spanish mackerel caught by Jay Edwards.

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WA, Montebello Island

Blue Lightning Charters Capt. Chad Mills has been a busy bee over in the west fishing back to back weekly trips around the Montebello Islands and out for another 8 days at the moment. The lovely Leah who is also working on board tells me that they have been focusing on billfish on the last day of each trip with the last group releasing a black. And they also had a 3 day game fishing trip on the Reely Black over the weekend for guest Adam’s 30th. The guys from Perth were stoked to go 1-1-1 marlin 6-4-3 sailfish and it was the first time for all to see a billfish, let alone catch one and was well the biggest fish ever caught for each as well!

blue lightning fishing charters

Sunshine Coast Blues

And while I’m still waiting for the Sunshine Coast tournament report (hint, hint – haha), I received these pics from the Sunny Coast Rob “Smithy” Smith who released this 250lb blue on Sunday afternoon for angler Darryl Lund.  Darryl is a long time ANSA member and just joined the SCGFC this season and its his first heavy tackle fish on his own new 80W and his own Top Gun ball bearing Nightmare lure.  Rob says they also decked a 16kg mahi mahi. Well done Darryl!



Cairns/Cooktown/Lizard Island Black Marlin Season

There are plenty of fish showing up in good time in the lead up to next week’s Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic. And there were a few more big fish – giant black marlin – reported yesterday as well (more to come).

One was on board Capt. Chris “Sharky” Miles’ Levante who has been keeping a low profile so far ;-) with Bevan and Jason on deck. Bevan tells me the fish was caught Number 8 from a 4 o’clock bite on mac tuna in short. The angler was Gary Primm, who at 74 years old, has been coming to the reef for ten years trying to weigh a grander.  And it took him only 10 minutes in the end weighing 1,016lbs (11foot 9 long, 6 foot 4 girth and 20 inch tail). Well done Gary and the crew!

Update 2: A report from Glanville who is spending the next couple of weeks on deck on board Capt. Bill Billson’s Viking II and who has hit the deck running with two granders in the last two days of fishing. Glanville tells that the first one was one of three fish and Bill called it over 1000lb on Sunday. The other from yesterday that he called knocking on 1200lb. Its been a great trip for them so far, slaying the reds in the morning and the marlin in the afternoon! Awesome fishing! A shot of the 1200 at top and the 1000lb-er below with a shot from my angle as well fishing nearby.


Update: Report just in from Capt. Damian Colette on Saltaire on a day trip out of Port Douglas yesterday and caught an 800lb-er on the Bank. Damian says that he also saw Live Wire catch one next him and reports that he saw 3 smaller male marlin free swimming together and was lucky enough to raise the female and get her to bite! And also a report from Capt. Tim Dean’s Calypso who went 2 from 3 at 10 to 500lb.

Capt. Brett Goetze’s Amokura finished their trip with one fish on the last day to put them on 10 from 11 for the entire trip. On Capt. Luke’s KEKOA, we release two from three bites and saw a few more. And Capt. Tim Richardson’s Tradition released one from three as well for Lydie.

Catching up from the day before, Capt. Steve Ahlers’ Hellraiser released a nice fish that Steve put at 800lbs for Sarah Jackson before heading into Cooktown on changeover.

And another catch up – I have a photo and video from Capt. Adam Jordan on Iona’s grander black marlin for Alicia from Saturday. The photo is a video still. Click on the still to watch the video on Youtube.


Yeppoon Little Blacks

A report from Scotty from Bite Me Marlin Charters in Yeppoon who christened their new Blackwatch 40′ Amphibious Raids over the weekend with a hand full of little black up to 20kg to get his charter season off with a bang.  Scotty says that he’s also hearing from people getting in amongst them from the inshore grounds to the 50nm reefs and shoals out of Yeppoon from Goodwin shoal down to Heron Island so there seems like there are several around.

Coffs Harbour/Solitary Coast Stripes

Solitary Islands Game Fishing Club boats continue to find the striped marlin off Coffs Harbour, with Alcatraz going three from six on Friday, including a triple header with just Club president James McGinty and Pete Mallia on-board. Fortunately in some ways, this was reduced to a single fish, but the bites kept coming during the afternoon.

Hemingway fished wide and found the yellowfin they were looking for. Although the two caught weren’t quite big enough to make the grade on 37 kilo, the 90 kilo blue marlin was a nice bonus.

Back on the water after a refit, Better Than Vegas had a frustrating day. They went north and wide, pulling the hooks on a blue, then came down to where the action was off Sawtell, watched Alcatraz catch two, and lost two themselves, one on a Rapala minnow.

Foreign Exchange fished Saturday and found the stripes were still there, but couldn’t get one to stick before the weather forced them home.

Sounds like plenty of action!

Hopefully some tourney reports to come as well soon from the comps held over the weekend!