With the amazing Black Marlin season continuing off the SE Queensland coastline this gives me a great opportunity to take many fishos out who haven’t caught these spectacular fish and enjoy a great day of light tackle black marlin fishing. This trip I had BushnBeach magazine editor Ben Collins and good mate Mike Viner on board ready to break their marlin virginity.
Heading out the south passage bar we were greeted with less than favourable conditions and I decided to put out a mixture of skirted pushers and hard body lures. We trolled past the group near point lookout and it wasn’t long before the middle positioned (shot gun) skirt was smashed and the 8kg line peeled off the reel at a great rate of knots. Mike was first up and jumped on the rod while it continued a blistering run and at first I was thinking a big wahoo but midway through the fight it was showing signs of a different kind of fish. Eventually Mike raised the fish and it turned out to be the biggest Yellowfin Tuna I had seen in the area and estimated 20kg plus fish. It was very stubborn near the boat and eventually I got hold of the leader and had to be gentle as I was worried about straightening the light gauge hooks on such a heavy fish laying on its side and refusing to make its way to the surface. Unfortunately as I hand lined the leader the slack line twisted around the rod tip and in a split second the fish took off and instantly snapped the line at the rod tip. It was very unfortunate but things don’t always go to plan and on the brighter side the boys soon had a taste of what was to come.
We made our way out the front of Point Lookout where I had been catching marlin on previous trips and it wasn’t long before we had a hit but failed to connect. Minutes later I marked some bait up high on the sounder with Marlin feeding on it.
The second pass over the bait we had another hit and the reel screamed as a lively marlin jumped all over the ocean. This was Ben Collins turn and he did a great job of keeping the line tight while the fish put on a great aerial display. After a nice battle on the 8kg line I managed to grab the fish in pretty quick time and gently pull it aboard for a few pics before releasing it. Now a lot of people criticise fishos for pulling marlin aboard as it really does shorten their chance of survival and I couldn’t agree more but I won’t deny doing this for people who have just caught their first marlin and desperately want a photo with one. It’s important to support the fish well and be quick as possible in getting the fish back into the water ready for a swim and release. Ben was a happy man and I was a very happy skipper and now focussing on getting Mike his first marlin as well.
An hour or so passed and we pulled the hooks on another fish but this common with marlin fishing but still very frustrating. I located some more bait on the sounder and persisted in the area which eventually paid off when the shot gun lure was smashed again and a nice bill fish danced around the ocean surface. Mike was excited but concentrating on getting his first Marlin to the boat but this fish had other ideas and really made a great account of itself. Some fish can be very stubborn and this was certainly one them. Several times I had to drive away from the fish which often causes them to rise back to the surface so we can drive back to the fish to gain some of the light 8kg line. Finally I reached the leader and soon had hold of the bill while it went bananas beside the boat. Mike was very happy and after congratulating him and getting a few pics the fish was released to fight another day.
We ended the day with another nice marlin really close to the Point Lookout headland not far off the breaking waves on the beach. Find the bait you find the fish. It’s as easy as that.
We lost a couple lures to wahoo as we trolled past boat rock making our way home which was unfortunate as losing pakula skirted lures to these fish can end up pretty expensive. The fish were caught on a selection of Pakula lures ranging from Mini Sprocket and Cockroach in both Lumo (green) and Frigate (purple) colours. Rigs were a mixture of both twin hook and single hook rigs using Gamakatsu SL 12 s 8/0 hooks and 80lb leader. Main line was 8kg Stren high vis.
It turned out a fantastic day and as a skipper it’s great to get people their first marlin or any species for that matter and I’m sure it will stay in their memories for a long time.