As many of the North Queensland club members will already be aware, there is currently a satellite tagging pilot study underway as part of the GFAA’s Research and Development Foundation and the QGFA. The aim of the study is to identify the best sat tags to use on these smaller fish (there are three slightly different versions being tested) so in the long term the sat tags can be used to find out more about the migration patterns of the fish.
(Read on below for several more Townsville Tournament pre-fish black marlin reports.)
Before I get off topic, the reason for this post: Mick Meiers, who is our North Queensland GFAA Executive Officer, has asked NQ fishers to be on the lookout for these tags which will have ‘popped’ off their hosts, and to return to the association so that the very valuable data can be best collected. If you have any questions at all, Mick’s contact information can be found on the QGFA contacts page here. This is what the tags look like (all three versions look quiet similar):
It’s all terribly interesting if you’re a marlin geek like me (hang on, if you’re reading this page I suspect you are too ;-) As a result of Sam Williams/Dr. Julian Pepperell’s recent fin sampling genetic study, we already know that there are 3 distinct bio-masses of these fish which the migrate down the east and west coasts as well as into the Gulf of Carpentaria. (The three separate bio masses that have been identified are the Cairns (Ribbon Reefs), the Western Australian bio mass and a third Taiwanese region spawning).
The information which can be gained from the tagging will be most valuable and so trying to identify which tags will give the best results at this stage is important. Due to the size of the tags, as we know from yesterday’s report, the tagging team are trying to tag fish bigger than the 15kg mark but as the pics show, these are still pretty significant sized adornments for these juveniles! The tags are all due to pop off by December.
The Townsville Mike Carney Toyota Billfish Challenge starts fishing tomorrow morning and I will be blogging the event as per usual as we participate on KEKOA with naming sponsor Mike Carey and his Toyota team fishing with us once again. You can follow the daily updates each morning on the blog, I will also be Insta-gramming here and there.
Team Tomcat had the pick of the day at Bowling Green yesterday with Luke reporting a micro-sail and a black (and more dolphin fish too – seem to be a regular feature at Bowling Green this year.) Photo below in less than ordinary conditions for the small boat in the morning.
Capt. Chris “Sharky” Miles on Levante also headed out yesterday for his first chance to check out conditions since coming down from Cairns, and released one from one.
I also received the gorgeous action pic from Jason McKenna on Chapel from a few days ago which is at the very top of the report. What a beautiful looking fish! They also caught a larger size model (they estimated at 100lbs) amongst the mix as well as aforementioned dolphin fish.
And lastly, Allan Craperi on his Keywest went two for two earlier this week in the good weather. Allan also noted it was much quieter on the water – but already on the way back, right in time! Here’s another great shot, this one of one of Allan’s fish.