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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it


Last week the Carol Libby team, with Capt. Josh Temple at the wheel, broke the world record for the highest number of blue marlin in a single season with a total of 430 releases exceeding the total of the previous record (422 releases) on June 22.
Not content to leave it there, the team is fresh back to port over the weekend after another 5 day trip. And, not only have they added considerably to their world record tally which now stands at 522, but they have once again smashed all expectations when it comes to blue marlin fishing.
World Record Blue Marlin Release Stats as of last week:

Days fished: 61 as of June 26, 2014
Location: Offshore, Los Sueños, Costa Rica
Total Fish Raised: 754
Bites: 614
Official Releases: 430

One week later, after another trip that saw an amazing 122 blue marlin released in 5 days (including 34 from 46 in a single day when they didn’t start fishing until 9am!), the new world record total is 522!

Josh says that the blues are generally up to 500lbs with most are 250-300lb range and that they are catching mostly straight blues with the odd black, stripe, sail, sword here and there. In addition to the most releases, some of the other records they have smashed in the process include the:

  • most ever released in a day;
  • most ever caught by one angler in a day;
  • most ever tagged in a day;
  • most ever tagged in a year;
  • most ever caught in a year by one angler; and,
  • most ever caught in a year by a boat.

Huge congratulations to the whole team including Josh, his crew Tony Carpenter, Andrea McQuade, James Brown as well as owner anglers Greg and Keith Brandner.

Los Suenos has long been a top billfish destination. It’s also where Spanish Fly released their albino (actually leucistic) blue marlin in March of this year and like our own Port Stephens, it is one of the few destinations where a marlin grand slam (black, blue and striped marlin in a single day) is very possible. It’s also a hot spot for sailfsh – in this year’s Los Suenos Signature Triple Crown tournament, 42 boats released 692 sailfish and four marlin on the first day of fishing alone!

By pushing some boundaries and fishing what Josh tells me is “a little farther offshore than where everyone usually fishes” (and laying their own FADs!) the team has been absolutely smashing record after record since last season. Read about some of the great fishing the Carol Libby team experienced back in 2013 on the blog here which saw them hit a high of 155 blues raised, 94 bites and 68 fish successfully released in 3.5 days fishing

I’ve had a reasonably long association with Josh and his team both being part of the Pelagic Pro Team fraternity since 2008, and have followed his fishing religiously since then. Back in those days he was best known for his fishing in Puerto Vallarta “Cow Town” (Mexico) and was instrumental for putting PV on the map as a hot spot for giant yellowfin tuna. Never one to rest on his laurels he’s been pushing the boundaries ever since.

Since 2012 with partner and deck-ess extraordinaire Andrea by his side, Josh has been working with the Brandner family (owner/father/angler Greg and son/angler/record-chaser Keith) on board the 60ft Carol Libby and although they have met with some challenges along the way (it’s not fishing without boat issues), it’s been record after record.

Josh tells me that next on the horizon is Panama a little later in the year where they will explore the offshore banks and sea mounts.

Follow Josh and the Carol Libby Team via facebook or Pelagic’s Pro Team page The Waterman’s Journal.

Pakula Lures


The fourth of July in Australian dawns as the day we watch the Blue Marlin World Cup unfold as one of the first countries fishing.  The rules see crews from all over the world fishing for 8 hours on July 4 in their own timezone, each vying for the biggest blue which is the grand prize.  Last year, the trophy returned to Bermuda for the second year running…where will it go this year?

Follow the Blue Marlin World Cup on Facebook here.

For some blue marlin action a bit closer to home, some great blue marlin action on board Peak Sportfishing at Exmouth with a wrap up of their 2013/2014 season.

As we hit the halfway mark, here’s a selection of the great billfish photos submitted with reports in the first half 2014.

What a great year of fishing so far!

Splitting the weekend report into more manageable parts – first reports from the Sunshine Coast and Townsville.

Sunshine Coast Sails

The weekend started early for some with Clayton Black among those on the water with billfishing newcomer Martin Menzes who got onto his first ever sailfish at the 18 mile on Martin’s boat Seaduction. Fishing nearby Clayton also saw Noel Jones’s Kajiki (with a fair bit of gamefishing experience/overkill on board in the form of Jonesy, Jonesy and Forbsey! ;-) go 3 from 3 with 2 sails and a micro black.

Meanwhile, in a dual for the SCGFC Champion Boat for 2013/14, Catapult and Misty went head to head. Sunshine Coast GFC Club Captain Brent Higgins tells me that Misty pinched a very late lead on Friday with 2 tags and Catapult were quite unlucky missing 2 sailfish (1 Friday and another Saturday including one on the leader while preparing to tag). Micheal Lasson on Jim Bob kept his consistency with 2 sailfish on Saturday as well.

With the weather forecast to come down during tomorrow, Brent predicts there’s a chance for the first billfish of the season trophy to go off as early as Tuesday which would of course be a fantastic way to start the 2014/15 season!

Townsville Little Black Marlin


Since last weekend’s little black marlin mania, club boats have been eagerly awaiting another go. Jack reports that Reel Crazy backed up with another three on days mid-week and added another 1-1-1 on Saturday.  The Nicolosi’s Zuri likewise backed up the weekend with a 3-3-1, finding weed on the water causing conversion problems.  They also added another unusual species (or species not seen at BG for a while) in the form of a cobia.  Nelson Tilley (in the barra boat!) put in a bit of time going 5-3-1, tagging one of a double header.

Jack says there is still plenty of bait and it seems like the fish are starting spread out over the grounds with boats fishing north and south successful.  The fish are still that 10-12kg range with a few 15-20kg models starting to appear.

Photo above from Jack from on board Zuri. Thanks Jack for the photo and report!

It seems like there was plenty of good fishing again, particularly earlier in the weekend on what was the last couple of days of the club point-scoring year for many! I’m putting together another weekend wrap up report and so if you have a report to include, please submit via the submit page or by email.

For those who have been asking about the juveniles in Cairns – Saturday gave us a weather window for the first time in many weeks for the recreational boaters to enjoy a day on the water. While there is a huge amount of bait around, it didn’t seem like their were too many little blacks around and devouring it…but they should be on their way!