Over the last three days, the Port Stephens Marlin have been almost like the days of past when the ‘Car Park’ fired. Bait is building up on the shelf and the run of Blacks seems to have started up on the inshore reefs. To add further interest there is a good run of Blues and Mahi Mahi on the wider grounds.
There is an old saying among fishermen that goes :
‘ If there are ten people fishing and one catches a fish it is luck but if ten people are fishing and one catches ten fish then it is skill’. So what do you say about a lure that gets struck by ten fish out of twelve strikes over two days?
It started like this. A few weeks ago Tony from Mackay called he was comin to Port Stephens and wanted to catch a Spearfish as part of a Slam to catch all the Billfish in one year in Australia. All that was left for him were a Spearfish and a Broadbill, the most difficult ones. Now I don’t know how to target Spearfish but I have caught several and all on smallish lures. In my arsenal, I had a Bullet Head that Peter had given me and assured me that on the shotgun it was deadly, here was the opportunity to test the theory.
In the spread, I had all my regulars out but in the small sizes with the bullet head on the shotgun so off we went. The first strike came in about 400 fathoms when a nice Blue charged the bullet and after a short but exciting burst came undone. Without going into detail we hooked six Blues, a Black and three Striped Marlin all on this one lure. We did, however, manage to tag a Blue of around140 kgs. and the Black about the same size. I have never seen anything like it, every fish hit the one lure, what are the odds.
The next day we went to the same area and put out the same spread. Unfortunately, the Blues had moved on but the first strike was a 15 Kg. Dolly which stayed hooked followed by a Striped Marlin which didn’t hook up. Then to add insult to injury a Wahoo bit the lure off, it was devastating. Over the two days that bullet accounted for strikes from six Blues a Black, three Stripes a Mahi Mahi and a Wahoo. I put the bad conversion rate down to the fact we were primarily after a Spearfish. We were using small lures with small hooks which don’t have the holding power necessary. In spite of not catching a Spearfish it was still an exciting couple of days. If for no other reason than those incredible Blue Marlin strikes and runs.
On Sunday we trolled lures for a while but with bigger lures this time. Without that Bullet I wasn’t confident so switched over to skip baits and trolled the shelf around the bait schools. We ended up missing one Striped Marlin but tagged another as well as a good Black Marlin.
So that was three fun days fishing for Port Stephens Marlin.
I don’t generally recommend anything I can only report on my experiences. I must say I have never seen any lure do what that one did even the mighty Lumo Sprocket. For those interested the colour was ‘Brad J’.