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  #151  
Old 10-09-2021, 03:24 AM
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Well, it was a nice boat ride. Nothing interesting to report but we gave it a good try. Picked up a few reef species on the banks but didnít see any pelagicís. I guess thereís nothing to do but wait until theyíre back.

I donít think your supposed to park your boat like this. It looked to me like it fell off the trailer on its way to the water. There was a lot of gelcoat on the pavement after he left.

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  #152  
Old 10-09-2021, 09:12 PM
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Happy Turkey Day weekend did you get back to the prairies yet?

Dump the boat on the launch, that's one way to ruin your day. Did you give buddy a pull or push into the water or just seen the results.

D.
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  #153  
Old 10-10-2021, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Zip-in-Z View Post
Happy Turkey Day weekend did you get back to the prairies yet?

Dump the boat on the launch, that's one way to ruin your day. Did you give buddy a pull or push into the water or just seen the results.

D.

Happy thanksgiving to you too David.

I havenít made it back yet. Itíll be next summer at the earliest, no way I want to deal with winter temps in Alberta.

I didnít ask if he wanted a tug down into the water. The tide was out and the 4m scull drag to the water would of been bad. He was on the phone the whole time so I figured he had it sorted. Lucky itís a three lane ramp. He either waited for the tide to come in or winched it onto the truck when it got back. From the mess on the cement he winched it back onto a trailer.

That was a couple days ago when I took the three kids to catch bait and I didnít really plan on taking a picture of their misfortune. I pulled up and told the boys to stay in the truck. Walked back to trim the motor up and remove the straps, got back into the truck and both boys are gone. The little girl was still strapped into her car seat. Then I look and the oldest is standing on the hand rail to the dock and from experience I know heís planning on jumping in for a swim. Then I notice the obvious stuffÖ glasses still on his face and his hat is still on his head, I figured for sure his glasses would fall off and be at the bottom. So I took a pic which got him and the boat. Canít wait until theyíre teenagers.










Rosi sent me a pic of his way back in from Rooneyís point up in Hervey Bay. The water looked premium. I hope itís that nice in two weeks when I get home from work and those baby blacks better be there waiting for me. If we donít get some good easterly winds the current wonít push in there and they wonít go into the bay so fingers crossed.






The club awards ceremony was last night. Iím expecting to have some of these in my house next year.

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  #154  
Old 10-25-2021, 05:41 PM
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Seems theyíve arrived.




Tomorrow is the last day of work and Iíll have two weeks to try and stick into them. Seems the 2022 season is about to get started.


On another note. I think Iíve got to take the boat a little further north for some big girls one year. Iíve never been a chubby chaser but these ones get me excited enough to drive up there.





If anyoneís bored this is worth watching

https://youtu.be/S4iqaXUXafE


Itís a documentary on the heavy tackle fishing in cairns.

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  #155  
Old 11-30-2021, 02:34 AM
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Well the last few months have been a bust. After that last post I got roped into an extra week of work which only left one week at home. I donít fish when Iím working 3/1 so no fishing that break. This days off the first week was wet and windy. Weíve finally got a break in the wind tomorrow although theyíre calling for 30mm of rain. Rosi, Nolan and I are heading out anyway. We can burn gas and drink beer in the rain if needed. Hopefully itís not raining 30 miles offshore. I doubt Fraser/Hervey bay will happen this year. Rosi went twice and only managed one little black. From all reports itís been slow up there. Itís possible the easterly winds never blew the warm water and fish in there. Idk cause I havenít been.

Due to the wind and rain weíve hardly caught any gar and the bait freezer is looking pretty bare. I did pick up a couple new lures that we can swim tomorrow.




Idk what we will find but by this time last year the mahi were around. Last I spoke to any of the club members was a week ago and no billfish reported but Iíll do an update tomorrow after we give it a good try. One way or another this seasons getting started.
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  #156  
Old 11-30-2021, 06:59 AM
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Good luck!

Thx for those links too....gonna watch while working out to keep the mind off the pain
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  #157  
Old 12-01-2021, 03:54 AM
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Wind forecast said <5 knots and the swell forecast was under a meter. They lied. Wind was nasty, The swell was more then a meter and the chop was all over the show. A guy doesnít wake up at 0300 to go fishing just to turn around so off we went. It was a slow run out but we it the banks and dropped a spread. Nolan got sick pretty quick and was over the edge of the boat getting rid of his breakfast when the first line went down. Being as he was there he grabbed it and brought us a nice mahi.








We trolled north and shortly after marked some bait. First line went down, second line etc. next thing weíve got five of the eight hooked up and two of the others were hit but didnít hook up. We thought we had tuna. I was already thinking about the sashimi and planning on eating some on the boat. Nope, amberjacks. Iíve never even caught an amberjack and we nailed five on the troll. I took one pic of one. He wasnít the biggest but we had a bit going on so I got a pic and then put the phone down and grabbed another rod.




That was the first time I thought eight lines and two teasers might be to much. Between the chaos and trying to drive the boat it was like a Chinese fire drill.

Anyway we tried to cut across the banks in another spot to avoid them because rigging the gear took time. We missed. They pounced on us again. This time five hit and three hooked up. We landed the three and then got the heck away from them before they ate all our bait.

We then cut north and deeper where Rosi picked up the first marlin of the season. A black around 150kg. We got a tag in it but he then took another run, sounded and we lost it before getting our hands on it for a picture. Luck for us the tag is what we need so thatís number one of the season.




We then trolled for about four hours without a strike. We trolled back across the banks on the way home in a different place and had five lines go down again. Two of them broke off. We got the gear cleared and Nolan got his to the boat first. He had another amberjack. The other two were bigger and giving us trouble so we had to give chase. I passed my rod off to Nolan and drove the boat. The skyís opened up and we got some crazy rain. To compound the problem we had two directions of swell, a north east and a southerly plus a wind chop from another direction. It was like a washing machine.
After a bit of a chase Nolan passed the rod off to me and I managed to land my first GT.




Rosieís fish wasnít giving up so easy and he had to work it for about an hour. Shortly into the fight he called it for a shark but I doubted him because it hit a skirted lure on the troll.








I started watching the fish on the side scan and told Rosie how far off the boat it was. Eventually he brought it up and it was pretty disappointing.







A bronze whaler. Man I hate sharks.


With the gear in the boat and the weather looking pretty bad we pulled the pin and slogged our way back the last 27 miles. The seas were interesting but we made it back safe and sound. Overall a good day, it was a long winter and terrible drought between the last marlin in April and today. Things are looking up.
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  #158  
Old 12-01-2021, 05:35 AM
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I would have been happy bringing in a shark but I also donít have the option to catch them if I want to or not

Good luck out there
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  #159  
Old 12-01-2021, 06:41 PM
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Man I enjoy your adventures. I was wondering how your summer was starting. Thanks for the updates. Keep them coming!!
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  #160  
Old 01-01-2022, 05:13 PM
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Well this set of days off was a bust. I came home the 21st. The wind was up between 15-20 knots, swell 2+ meters. Christmas came and went as did New Years and the wind hasnít eased yet. Thereís a cyclone about 600k north east pushing down heavy swell, plenty of wind and rain. Back to work this Thursday, I bet the weather will be good shortly after I leave. Currently the fad 10 miles out is reporting nearly 6m swell.

This is the actual wave monitoring buoy.




And the next couple of days





Maybe next days off.
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  #161  
Old 01-01-2022, 09:22 PM
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Two things.

1. Love the thread

2. Iím adoptable.
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  #162  
Old 01-02-2022, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Sundancefisher View Post
Two things.

1. Love the thread

2. Iím adoptable.

If you ever find your way over Iíll get you out. Dec-April is the best time for the palegics.


We had a break in the rain today so went for a walk. Pretty snotty out there















Pictures always flatten it out. Idk why but they never show how rough it really is. When Iím looking at a pic taken on the boat I can tell how rough it is based on how far away the water is meeting the horizon but regardless itís not fishing weather. Really need things to turn around, itís been prime time for over a month and weíve got one one trip behind us.
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  #163  
Old 01-02-2022, 01:35 AM
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I tend to spend a bit of time thinking about fishing and decided I need to know how many fish we raise that donít strike. I used to run a GoPro off the dredge but then had to sit and review it after I got home and couldnít correlate where we were or what we were doing when I saw a fish on the GoPro.

So Iíve bought a fully submersible, waterproof reverse camera system with a 30m cable and 9Ē colour screen. The tv screen can be configured for 1 to 4 cameras. Initially Iím going to try running one camera off the dredge which tends to run about 6-8m behind the boat and maybe 2m down. If it works and I can see fish back in the spread Iíll run a second one off the other side of the boat on the other side of the prop wash. The plan here is to see when we have fish in the spread. How many window shoppers we get compared to strikes and use that information to tweak the presentation or to know when we arenít fishing in the right area. Iíll likely keep a pitch bait handy as well to feed back to any fish that donít eat something we are pulling when they show up.

I expect to be able to see about 20-30m under water (horizontally) so if this works I should get some useful data. If it doesnít work it will become my underwater camera for the reef. I may build a waterproof box for the camera if Iím dropping it 20-30m because it probably wasnít really designed for those pressures but seeing the reef in real time would be helpful too.
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  #164  
Old 01-10-2022, 07:43 PM
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Well I got out with porter the other day. The cyclone had just finished going past and there was a small window of possibly fishable weather before it blew up again.

We had a tough slog out. Swell was between 2-3 meters and there was a fair bit of chop on top. We finally got out to the banks after about an hour and a half as I could only handle about 18 knots running into it. Time for a bigger boatÖ

It was tough trolling north up the banks because nothing wanted to swim well and we were running into a head sea. A lot of the swell was well over my head when I was standing up. When we tried to zig zag in the trough the spread would get blown all to one side. Bites were slow and hard to come by. We picked up a Spaniard around 8 am and had two missed strikes on the shotgun of which one was a marlin and one was a mystery. We trolled north up to the hards, turned east out to around 300m of water, back south (trolling with the seas was more comfortable but the speed is sporadic because you slow down climbing waves and speed up surfing down them) and then turned in toward the banks. Just wide of the banks we trolled over some bait and a mark 30m down that looked like a billfish. It took him about 25 seconds to hit something but the shotgun fired and porter managed a little black around 50kg. We then continued in toward shore without another strike. Just inside the banks we pulled the gear and headed home.

We marked bait everywhere but saw a lot wide of the hards. Nothing was balled up though, it all looked pretty happy. We did mark a lot more down 100+m and saw some billfish amongst them but nothing was swimming up to eat from our buffet. Couldnít find anything within 30-50m of surface that we could pull a fish off.



I got my tow camera the next day so hopefully that idea works and we can see whatís in the spread moving forward.






And the little Spaniard.





Wind needs to settle down. The season is over a third done and weíve managed two trips out and two fish. It was rough but a bit of a bonus trip, Iím supposed to be at work but got sick shortly before I went back so took a week of sickies off.
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  #165  
Old 01-11-2022, 04:38 PM
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Gotta luv sick days!!!

But man ruff seas suck!


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  #166  
Old 01-25-2022, 02:32 PM
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Well I got roped into another five days of work so I only got home two days ago. Yesterday looked pretty good so we headed out at 04:00 to give it a try




The chop was minimal and the swell was manageable on a 10 second interval so we made good time. Put the spread in the water and trolled north, 6 miles up the banks without a sniff.

We marked a ton of bait and Spaniard sized fish but couldnít entice a bite so we kept steaming north toward the hards. Out in about 100m of water we had a strike on the shotgun. I gave him strike drag and he dropped it. I played cat and mouse with him and he picked it up two more times but somehow the hook never set.

A few miles further we had another strike on the shotgun and a ~8-10kg mahi started jumping. I passed it off to Nolan and it got off a few minutes later.

Another pass of the area and another mahi of a similar size hooked up. Again Nolan jumped on the rod and it threw the hook within seconds even though he was peeling drag at the same time.

We kept steaming and eventually found a current line. We tucked into it and within a few minutes a little black started jumping on the shotgun. I set the hook while yelling at Nolan to wake up. Eventually he woke up, took the rod and we cleared the deck then started the chase. We got back within 300m of it and it ran at the boat, line went slack and he was gone.

We redeployed and a few minutes later the shotgun went off again. I manned the rod, we cleared the gear and I got him into the boat. Rosie planted the tag and grabbed him. Being as Rosie had the gloves on I took the pics instead of grabbing it. Bill rash sucks and Iíve got enough pictures of myself holding little fish.








Then Rosie tells me heís been having good luck with two specific lures so he pulls them out. I noticed the actual hooks werenít keel weighted and last year we had horrible conversions on lures with hooks that werenít keel weighted but I figured it was worth a try. We got the spread back out and had another 8-10 marlin strikes. A couple were between the shotgun and skipping gar and at least four were on the pair of lures he suggested. It was now pushing noon and we had to leave the current line and head south again. A couple hours trolling south yielded nothing until we were getting close to cutting back in toward the banks when we had another strike on the brad J mini sprocket Rosie had brought. It didnít hook up but usually they also smack the shotgun when it rolls past. The shotgun fired but again it pinched the bait but somehow managed to miss the hook set. We circled back through and had the skipping gar smashed without a hookup.

Seems we had days like this last year. Enough action the day would be a roaring success if we could convert the strikes to fish but???? Almost like we forgot to put hooks in the baits.

We trolled until 15:00 then pulled the gear and ran back in.

The wind isnít looking good for the rest of my break but it might change. Iíve also got at least two months of working 3/1 thanks to a few staffing issues so my bill fishing season isnít looking very good for the rest of the year. By April theyíll all be gone again so time will tell how this plays out.

Regardless it was a joy to have a nice day on the water without brutal seas. The action was steady enough to keep us busy and there are a few fish out there.
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  #167  
Old 01-26-2022, 08:29 PM
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Iíve wanted a swordfish since long before I moved here. Theyíre a bucket list fish for me along with a dogtooth tuna. I had read about daytime deep dropping, bought the gear (less an electric reel) and porter and I had given it a few tries out in ~330m of water last winter.

Couple months ago I went to one of the club monthly meetings. The guest speaker was a long liner named tony. He ďaccusedĒ the group of only fixating on marlin and informed the club there was a vibrant sword fishery off our coast that NOBODY has exploited. Of the entire group I was the only person in the room who had even tried daytime deep dropping for them.
He discussed techniques and areas and was very specific to start in at least 500m of water. After the presentation I spoke with him and told him what Iíve tried and it sounded like I was on the right track but needed to go deeper.

I planned and still plan to try in the winter as the current slows down and there are more relatively calm days out there.


Regardless, there was at least one person in that room who decided to give it a try and heís done alright for himself. There certainly are a few swords swimming around out there and Iím looking forward to being able to tangle with the gladiator of the sea this winter.







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  #168  
Old 02-02-2022, 04:40 AM
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Well porter and I went out for a kick at the cat yesterday. It was supposed to be <5 knot winds in the morning and blow up to 15-20 knots around 13:00.
We were heading out of the river at 04:00 and the rollers coming past the river mouth were, um, large. And breaking. The boat in front of us turned around.
I tried timing my exit between a set, cut left and got away from where they were breaking before turning east to run out. The swell was large but there wasnít any wind chop. The waves were square with a back on em and once out past the breakers it was pretty good. I looked at the live wave monitoring site when I got home and it said the swell was between 5-6 meters that morning. It was like running up and down hills though without any chop, we didnít fly off the top of them and punched out at about 25 knots.

We dropped a spread on the banks and I was just putting the last line out when we had a rod go down. I grabbed it and a second line came tight. I brought my fish to the boat and found a 3-4 kg yellowfin. Porters fish felt bigger but he lost it before we saw it. I got the lines out again and we made another pass. Two more lines hooked up. I landed mine, got a quick pic of porter on the rod and he managed to get his in the boat as well.





We circled the area a couple more times trying to find the school and picked up three mahi all between 80-90cm. No pics of them in the boat (or the tuna) but I got one pic of a mahi on the line behind the boat. Either way the kill tank was looking good.





A couple more laps and all we managed was a mutton bird who swooped in to take a gar, got wrapped up in the line and we had to drag him in to release it. They bite when you grab em, ungrateful birds.





We then started trolling north toward the hards. By 8:00 the wind started to pick up and the ocean got choppy. To make matters worse the swell was from the east and the wind from the west so the chop and swell were opposite each other and the sea state was confused. It was hard to get anything to swim right and we did a lot of banging. There was also a lot of spray coming into the boat but we soldiered on. Around 9 we passed Rosie in his boat up by the hards. He had one good wahoo and a missed strike but hadnít seen a billfish.
We trolled all day, the only thing we caught was a skipjack which got filleted for bait. About 14:30 we had a strike on the long corner that didnít hook up but we had bill chafe on the leader so it would of been a marlin. The wind was howling, somewhere around 20-30 knots and the seas were gross so we pulled the gear and made our way home running with a beam sea taking the spray over my side of the boat which kept my sunglasses wet most of the ride in.

Overall, the morning was great. The sashimi and yellowfin was much appreciated but the billfish continue to frustrate us. Maybe next time.

The tuna






And Rosieís neighbour holding the wahoo they caught.


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  #169  
Old 02-02-2022, 08:17 AM
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What an adventure!

-37 here today.

No ice fishing too cold!

I would take rough seas over this I think


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  #170  
Old 02-02-2022, 02:34 PM
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There was a bit of a story in the middle there. It was mid afternoon and I was standing at the bait board rigging something and my hat blew off my head. I was pretty attached to that hat so told porter to do a lap and I would gaff it. He did a small(ish) circle and lined back up on it. I told him to stay about a meter off the hat because the chine wash makes it hard to see and pushes it down if you pull up directly on it. He missed. We went past about 4 meters away and I couldnít reach it with the 2m gaff. Then, for reasons only known to him he throws the boat in neutral???
With the lines going slack and the boat drifting back over them I jumped on the controls and kicked it in gear. A drag went off immediately so I put it in neutral and we cleared the gear. I trimmed the motor up and found about 50m of braid wrapped around and under the prop. Great.
Of course the boat drifts with her bum into the seas so Iím hanging off the back of the boat in 140m of water trying to sort this out getting smashed with waves, prop is in and out of the water, bobbing around like a corkÖ Iím real happy at this point. After about five minutes of cutting and pulling at this line I realise itís so bad the only way Iím fixing it is to take the prop off. Big call to remove the prop 70 km out in the ocean but it had to be done.
So I carefully removed the split pin, nut and washer, pulled the prop, unwrapped everything, reinstalled it all and got to the split pin. I had him put it back in gear to lock the driveshaft so the prop wouldnít spin. Got the cotter pin back in, split it with my needle nose and just as I felt it was splitting and figured I was done the pliers slipped off. I hit the back my thumb just over the nail bed on the business end of the prop. The blood trail out the back of the boat was instantaneous and profuse. I jumped back in the boat painting the transom and carpet with blood and flopped the flap of meat back down where it belonged and put a Kleenex over it with some pressure.
I told porter to dig the first aid kit out and got some gauze and tape on it. The cut was across the whole thumb, down to the bone and back toward the knuckle about 5/16Ē long.

Good thing it wasnít an alloy prop or I might if dented it.

Lost my favourite hat too.

Then I got home and Nolan notices my thumb is all wrapped up. He asked what happened, I told him. He reflected on it for a second then asksÖ ďdad, how many dumb things have you done in your lifeĒ? Lots, buddy. Lots.


Iím back at work today. Good timing cause there is another cyclone moving past bringing 40+ knot wind and heavy seas. Maybe itíll settle down by next days off.

Last edited by Coiloil37; 02-02-2022 at 02:40 PM.
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  #171  
Old 02-02-2022, 02:35 PM
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I just found this thread, absolutely great stories!! I'll be looking forward to new updates.
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  #172  
Old 02-03-2022, 11:27 AM
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If an outing isnít without a mishap then it is just not an outing!




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  #173  
Old 03-22-2022, 06:00 PM
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After a few months of heavy seas, lots of rain and a few extra weeks of work we finally got out yesterday. There werenít any recent reports because nobody has been fishing in the past few weeks. The swell and wind have been relentless. The runoff from the rivers is gross and we never found any truly blue water even 30+ miles out.

We did the usual trip and started on the banks. A couple of quick hits gave us a yellowfin and striped tuna. We then rolled north toward the next little spot on the banks and picked up another pair of yellowfin and a spotted mackerel. We then cut north and east for the hards. Before we got off the banks the mid starboard rigger fired, it dropped that lure but the shotgun went off a second later. A quick 15 minute fight gave me a 2.15m sail. The pics suck or are cut from a GoPro but youíll get an idea of what she looked like














We then trolled up to the hards and back south with two marlin strikes of which neither hooked up. We came back across the banks and Nolan added a Mac and yellowfin tuna to the box. The striped and Mac tuna are all being kept this year because they make such good bait in the winter up north.


The wind and swell were pretty rough but it was good to get out again. So far this year has been unseasonably windy and rough and on the days we do get out we struggle on the billfish. Being as theyíre all gone by next month my plan is take the experience, try and learn from it and attempt to forget about this summer altogether.

Tomorrow is supposed to have good weather and less wind so we will give it another crack and after we try the banks for some more tuna we are going to head wide to the shelf for some heavy tackle fish. Iím to lazy to respool all of the reels with 24kg topshots so we will try them on 15kg line and 150lb leaders.

Very few pics out on the water and I had most of the fish cleaned by the time I thought to take a pic.

The mackerel fillet







The yellowfin were all little football size like this but still tasty.







See how tomorrow goes.
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  #174  
Old 03-23-2022, 12:43 AM
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Good to see your getting out and catching too
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  #175  
Old 03-23-2022, 03:14 AM
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One more of the old girl. Shes not as pretty as the males but still a handsome specimen. Itís to bad the water wasnít a bit bluer and cleaner. Also should of turned the boat to cut the glare but oh well.






Rosie asked if we were taking a fin clip while I was holding the bill. I didnít know anything about it but he knew we were supposed to catch a sample for the bio. I talked to the club captain about it today. He had the club president call me and he started a group chat with me and the local bio. Sheís doing some sailfish research here at the university on the Sunshine Coast and the university of Brisbane. Iíll get some info from her when she picks the piece up and see what theyíre tracking and learning.



Boats all loaded up for a shotgun start at 04:00. Just a sleepless night and then pin the truck on and hit the gas station for the bank account to get murdered before we head out for another shot at redemption. Iím going to try for some more yellowfin and actually target them for a little while if we find them. The sashimi tonight was the best Iíve ever eaten and I donít typically rank tuna sashimi as high as wahoo. It was unreal, even the wife liked it.
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Old 03-23-2022, 09:55 AM
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where those fish tagged , looks like yellow tags in them .
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Old 03-24-2022, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish99 View Post
where those fish tagged , looks like yellow tags in them .
Yes, we tag them. That was explained a few posts back, theyíre tagged and recorded and the information goes to the fishing club then the department of fisheries.
In the event we catch one with a tag, we remove the old tag and install our tag. Then the old tag is sent in and they see where and when it was tagged previously. These fish get around. The record for both blues and blacks are both over 14,000 km travelled between captures.
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Old 03-24-2022, 07:44 PM
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Yesterday was an interesting trip. The seas were calm for a change and it was nice not coming home feeling like I should of married a chiropractor.

We hit the ocean at 04:15 and ran out in the dark. The sun was creating the horizon as we dropped our usual meat spread and we trolled the banks to fill the kill tank. The sounder was lit right up with bait and fish but surprisingly nothing wanted to eat. We saw pilchards busting up in multiple places and found yellowfin under them but the rods were silent. Eventually we had a hit on the shotgun, I passed it to Nolan and it took a lot of line but no jumping so we didnít assume a billfish. We cleared the gear and started the chase and then he dropped it.

The lines went back out and again plenty of bait but zero strikes. We tried everything from lure changes to drinking a few beer but nothing was tipping the odds in our favour. We assumed it was the tide and the bite wasnít on yet. The Garmin looked like this almost everywhere.











Eventually the long rigger fired and Nolan skull drug a little 70cm mahi in. We kept steaming and not long later the shotgun fired, porter got us another mahi for supper





We kept plugging away and the skipping yakka on the mid rigger popped the rubber band then went slack immediately. We watched the spread and saw a large boil under the lure on the long rigger and it started howling drag. Nolan grabbed that one then the other long rigger went off and porter grabbed it. I cleared the gear and when I pulled the first line that had gone off the circle hook was missing. Porter got his fish to the boat first and it was a nice hoo. As I was going to gaff it I saw the hook come out of his mouth so I sunk the gaff a bit to far back but got him in the boat. Nolan got his fish in a minute later and it was another meat missile . Porter hauled him over the side of the boat with another sub par gaff shot and the kill tank was looking awesome. Seems we should probably work on our aim with that pointy hook but we donít mind getting out there for some practice.











They went 11 and 12 kgís and I wanted to enter Nolanís into his junior fishing comp for some points but because it was caught on 15kg line it didnít beat the line class so itís ineligible.








I mentioned how we were so close to a triple. I also remembered in a previous post last year I said I would get a pic of the two parasites that live in a wahoos gut. Pretty much all of them have two, very rarely one and almost never zero and this holds true all across the oceans that have wahoo. So I cut both gut bags open. First wahoo had two parasites. The second wahoo had a yakka. I flipped it over and there was my circle hook.










He also had two of the parasites.









I also found some type of loooooong white bait in him that wasnít yet digested. Get a load of how skinny and long this thing is








We then cut wide to try the heavy tackle scene. We had spent more time on the banks then we wanted but the plan was some billfish to put the day over the top. We trolled east past the fad, across the middle grounds where we never catch anything and eventually out at 210m the water changed from black to perfect cobalt blue. There was bait, current lines, dolphins, a deg of water temp change. It looked perfect. The plan was to troll further out but my gut told me to work that area as it had every sign of life and there should be fish around. We cut laps for about three hours. We trolled pay a big black shape and couldnít work out what it was. It looked like it was about 10m under the boat but Iím not sure how far it was down. I called it for a whale first but when we went over it we saw some sort of a ray. It was big, like as long as the boat and nearly as wide as it was long. Not sure what it was and we should of put the GoPro under the water but trolling at 6-7 knots we would of had to think quick.


Eventually the shotgun went off but it was only a little football and not the billfish we wanted.






We marked two billfish like this









That one was the closest to surface the other was close to 100m down. We couldnít buy a strike. It was disappointing but we were burning daylight and still had 30+ miles to head home. Eventually I pointed the bow west and started trolling in. We again marked a lot of bait in 160-140m of water






At one point saw a black marlin up on surface catching some sun. We trolled past him and he sulked into the depths. We cut a few laps and he didnít come up and grace us with his presence. On the way in we trolled through many patches of bait jumping and we trolled circles around and through them every time we saw them. We marked one more billfish about 25m down just short of the fad but he didnít come up either. We trolled back to the banks, did a few laps and the sounder was lit up but nothing wanted to eat.






Eventually we admitted defeat after giving it our best and pulled the pin. The run in was just as enjoyable as the rest of the day. The seas were as calm as one could ask for and we took advantage of being able to sit down and enjoy the ride.












All up, plenty of meat but zero tags planted. Once again this season has shown us some humility. It was a beauty day on the water but for some reason the fish didnít want to eat. I would like to say we will get em next time but if this summer has taught us anything itís that we probably wonít. Back to work next week and my next days off will be the very tail end of the marlin season. Fingers crossed we get out again next days off and can find a couple more before the long winter.
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Old 03-24-2022, 11:10 PM
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Today and tomorrow the club is holding one of their annual tournaments that had to be postponed four times due to weather. I couldnít fish it because I had training today.

Twenty boats, six fish caught on day one. Seems everyone is struggling or the fish are gone, itís not just me who canít catch these things. These are some big name, million dollar rigs with well seasoned proís so my pride is healing.





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  #180  
Old 04-20-2022, 10:51 PM
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Default Skip the ice, let’s go billfishing.

Took a guy from work out yesterday for one last attempt this season. Being as itís that time of year again the inshore fish are gone and there should be the odd straggler out on the shelf. I asked smithy and jay and both told me the fish are gone but nobody had been out for over a week due to weather. They thought if anything was around to be caught it would be out on the shelf.

We ran out to the banks and did a couple of laps for some meat. No dice. Even the bait was gone. We then cut east and rolled past the fad where we picked up three tiny mahi. We then kept steaming east until we got out where we hooked those stripes last April. On the way in about 150m of water we found lots of birds and dolphins so we did a few laps but didnít find any bait and no sport fish so we kept motoring. Eventually we got out where we had some success last April. We marked seven out there between 300-800m but they were all deep and nothing came up to the spread.





When we get that deep I set my range to the top 150m. I donít care whatís deeper cause even if theyíre 100m down they probably arenít coming up. Iíve pulled them up from 70m before but never any deeper. Usually I want to see them within 30m and I feel confident we will get a strike.

Anyway, we picked up a few more mahi as we trolled around pretending we knew what we were doing.







The biggest was about 9-10 kg but I didnít get a pic of that one on my phone. Three would of been over 5kg and the rest were little like in the pictures.





We then trolled south about 25-30 miles down off cape Morton to an area called heaven without seeing any other billfish marks, no strikes and nothing interesting to report. All up, eight mahi came home. We lost a few more and we had two other strikes that I donít know what hit but I donít think they were marlin and from what was left of my gar I think one was a wahoo or Spaniard.


That draws the billfishing season to a disappointing close. I had a target of 100 tagged this season and I only managed four. We had many trips last year where we caught that many in a single day. I guess it wasnít my year. Probably best to forget about it and hope itís better next year.

Now itís time to reef fish and deep drop to try to find the swords. The deer are also rutting so itís probably time to go shoot a few.

Last edited by Coiloil37; 04-20-2022 at 10:57 PM.
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