I fished on Friday and Sunday and both days had nothing in common at all.
On Friday I had the gun jigging crew on board. Thien ( Timpon ) and his friends who can jig like machines all day long. It’s tiring just watching them. However this day we were chasing those Yellowfin. After hearing the report from Bushy about the ‘fin just South of Sydney and some wide off Broken Bay we had to give it a shot.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t very kind with a South-Wester doing its best to blow us off the water and make us as miserable as possible.
The first stop was to warm up with a jigging session chasing Kingfish. However the gusting wind was making it difficult to control the drift. After a frustrating half hour the attraction of Yellowfin out wide won out so off we went. We trolled for a few hours making it to the thousand fathom line with no sign of activity. No birds, no temp breaks and no info from other boats. We were on our own.
Then in the distance I spotted something red floating. So I we went to investigate. As we got closer I could see it was a couple of very large red buoys apparently holding up something very heavy. My first thought was that it was a long line float but there was neither a radio beacon nor any identifying markings. Also there were no other floats in the surrounding area – a mystery.
We passed by the floats and I presented the lures as close as I dared. A double strike took us all by surprise. The water was green and only 18.5 degrees and we were hooked up to two Mahi Mahi. We managed to land one of around 6 kilo’s which was a good effort in those seas.
After a few more fruitless hours trolling with only one Mahi Mahi to show we decided to give the Kings another shot. By now the wind had eased to only 15 to 20 knots.
At the reef the sounder revealed a lot more activity than it had in the morning. The drift was a lot more manageable and the Kings started to come aboard. At the same time a school of Bonito showed up consequently if the jig missed out on a King a tasty Bonito was to be had. However there was still the ever present danger of Leatherjackets to steal the jigs.
I didn’t go out on Saturday. The weather was supposed to ease through the day but with Sunday looking so much better I postponed the outing.
Sunday dawned a perfect day. Simon Fisher had fished on Saturday and talked of Yellowfin out wide and of losing a Blue Marlin. We went out with great expectations on a magic day.
I started trolling near the shelf. Gannets were diving on schools of Slimy Mackerel and Dolphins were harassing them from below. The whole area was alive. We worked the area for a while only catching Striped Tuna, but big Striped tuna. From what I gathered over the radio nearly every boat out there saw a Marlin. Unfortunately no one actually caught one in our area but Ed Ingram on his boat ‘Hold Up’ managed a very out of season Spearfish (pictured). It was also one of the biggest I’ve seen. Peter Pakula caught one on my boat a few years ago weighing 32.5 kilo’s .
It was only on our way home in about 300 fathoms we encountered our Marlin. As is usual for the species it ripped off some line without hooking up then a few minutes later had another go. This time we thought t was hooked but after a reasonable run it just simply dropped off.
So, though no one found any Yellowfin so many Marlin appearing and so much bait building on the shelf is gratifying. The water is warming and the EAC getting stronger. You just have to be optimistic about this upcoming season. Especially with so many juvenile Blacks up North.