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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

A couple of tournaments are kicking off today. Good luck to all competing in the Weipa Billfish Tournament and the Sunshine Coast GFC Spring Shootout! And another tournament, I’ve added the Makaira Bullfight Heavy Tackle Tournament on the 14th-16th November to the calendar as well.

Apologies for the lack of report yesterday. The reef grapevine is still finding its feet in 2014 with a different set of dynamics due to technology.  The Channel 21 repeater in Cooktown is non-functional due to the cyclone early in the year and I’m hearing the phone service is poorly though I find it mostly the same as last year so far :-)

So this is what I know:
Capt. Daniel Carlson’s Little Audrey started his season out with a bang with a 4 from 5 to 500lb yesterday including 3 from 4 in 45 minutes of hot fishing in the Middle.  Great start to season 2014!!

I also heard that Capt. Corey Hard from Askari headed out yesterday morning from changeover and caught a real nice one straight up.

On KEKOA, we caught this one for Josh (photo) on the late bite while nearby Capt. Tim’s Tradition also got a 200lb-er for Pete before lines in.


Catch up reports:
We went past Capt. Haydon Bell who is on the wheel of Kanahoee this season and he gave us a run down of his last few days on the way into Cairns for changeover. He caught three in the middle Wednesday and caught two the day before including a big one the day before that.

I heard Capt. Bobby Jones’ Iceman caught a couple at Lena Thursday as he heads south again back towards Cairns, and Capt. Steve Ahlers Hellraiser caught one down that way as well. Update: Just received a photo (screen grab) of Steve’s fish below – thanks Steve!


Pakula Lures

The was some really awesome fishing from Capt. Laurie Wright on the wheel of Calypso yesterday (before handing back over to Capt. Tim Dean today).  Laurie tells me that on their way back south to Cairns, the went 3 from 4 for the lads from Victoria. The fish were 150 and 990lbs+ (pics) for Jason Benbow and another nice 750 for Cookie. What a great day and a great way to end the trip! Congrats guys, great fishing!

Still heading north on KEKOA, Capt. Luke Fallon put another junior angler onto his first big black marlin with Harrison getting his turn in the chair for this one.


And further north still, Capt. Tim Richardson welcomed regulars Pete and Lydie back to the reef yesterday. Tim tells me that it is Pete and Lydie’s 9th season fishing with him and they were celebrating last night – a fish straight up for Lydie on 50lb (est 300 photo), and big party celebrating the Tradition turning 15 years old.


I’ve heard it from a few people that the phone service on the reef is a little iffy this year. I didn’t have any phone overnight so there may be reports I’ve missed which I’ll add in once I receive them!


Cairns Big Black Marlin:
On Capt. Luke Fallon’s KEKOA on Opal Ridge and heading north, we released our first fish for the trip at 800lbs for 15 year old Josh. Josh is returning to fish with us again for his fourth year with regular, father Jason “The Hass” Hassett and Josh’s mate Harrison. And after 4 years, Josh has a new PB – in the past, Capt. Luke has always made the call whether it would be a fish for Jason (bigger fish) or Josh in the chair, but on this one, Josh didn’t even hesitate beating everyone to the rod and giving no mercy. Go Josh (photo above)!

And another youngster and keen young angler from NZ, 13 year old Harry Green caught his first black marlin, yesterday at the bank on board Capt. Steve Ahlers Hellraiser at 80 kg marlin, followed by a slightly bigger one at 100 kgs (photo below). He’s out to increase his PB again today!

Up further to the north, Capt. Laurie Wright on Calypso released a smaller fish and had a bite out of another.

And a catch up report from some great fishing late last week on private boat Reel Cross. Keith “Stretch” Heaney spent 3 days aboard releasing four fish including a couple of nice ones at 800 and 750lbs on Blue Dog lures and a 300 and 150lb-er. They also lost two more on lures and raised 3 that didn’t bite at the Bank.



Yorkey’s Knob Light Tackle Slam
We had 10 boats competed this year with 9 billfish tagged as well as 23 game fish including a pending women’s record for a 16.9kg yellowfin tuna caught on 10kg line.

The Champion Boat over 7.5m went to Sharon and Paul Poulter’s Think Big with Sharon also taking home the Champion Female Angler award. Paul tells me that one of Sharon’s fish (2.2m sail!) was caught on the 4kg eyre rod which they won at the briefing and completed with a Talica reel and spooled with 4kg on the shot gun gave her a tough fight!

Other winners were:

Champion Boat Under 7.5m Reel Nice Mike, Darcy & Thomas Hallam.
Champion Male Angler Dean McMahon, Ka-Ching.
Champion Juniors Darcy & Thomas Hallam, Reel Nice.

Cairns reports: I heard from Capt. Brett Alty on Mistress who has been catching some more big fish. Will try and get the details on those. Also a report from Capt. Laurie Wright who is at the helm of Calypso this week who went 2 from 3 yesterday with an 800lb-er and 200lb-er for Damien and Bud from Victoria at St. Crispin’s. Congrats guys!

Up higher on the Ribbon’s, reports are few but the fish are around. Capt. Tim Richardson’s Tradition saw 4 Sunday jumping 2 off (and got a nice 60 lb wahoo for the table). Yesterday Tim says they pulled off a reasonable one and had the bite out of another.

I also got a message from Gus Kennedy who is fresh back from five day charter with Capt. Bill Billson on Viking II.  He’s done a ‘quick’ edit of a day on the reef – well worth a watch! The angler was Dave ‘Bagwah’ McPherson with a helping hand from Brett Richards and Gus Kennedy. Gus said they started with one at 450lb at Lena and another at 400lb in the capable hands of Dave ‘Bagwah’ McPherson.

Viking II // A Day on the Great Barrier Reef from ASK on Vimeo.

The results from the weekend at Weipa – thanks to Andrea Kennedy for sending!

weipa-sailfishReg Moore on Duyfken 8-6-5 sails
Darren Lee on Tag Team 4-3-3 sails
Gaven Roberts on Striper 3-2-2 sails
Darryl French on Wine Down 6-6-4 sails and one black marlin
Kristy Philliskirk on Mofo 6-5-4 sails
Duane Jay on Get n Any 10-7-7 sails

Photo: Weipa Billfish Club’s Junior member Emmi Roberts (8 years old) with her second sailfish for the season.

And here’s a photo of Ash Warland’s sailfish at the Whitsunday’s as mentioned in yesterday’s report.


Off the Gold Coast Ashleigh Haigh reports that there is still no shortage of big tuna busting up on the Gold Coast. After the potential record last week he found another nice one that weighed in a 58kg east of the Seaway with another Gold Coast GFC members Darren Malaquin on board Reelaxation owned by Keith Sleeman who was angler on the fish, his first yellowfin.