JB Tubes sailfish!

LAND-BASED game fisherman Jason Stanley got quite a surprise recently while fishing a famous rock ledge at Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast.

30-year-old Stanley of Wollongong told Fisho he was fishing his regular haunt of the Tubes on March 8 in a bid to add a 6kg class marlin to an already impressive list of LBG captures.

He says the Tubes were unusually deserted on the day, apart from his regular fishing mate and another fisho. He’d drifted a live slimy mackerel out 70-80m under a balloon when it was taken in a surface boil. He says the strike was fairly “subtle” in comparison to a marlin take and the unseen fish proceeded to make a strong 300-400m run out into Jervis Bay.

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Stanley told Fisho the “marlin” reportedly only leapt from the water three or four times during the ensuing 40-45 minute battle and he didn’t get a clear view of the fish, although he said it did jump “strangely”.

There were some anxious moments during the fight – Stanley says the fish headed to around 80m in front of Pyramid Rock, in the process dragging his mainline precariously low to sharp rocks below. A mad dash by his fishing buddy saw the line held up away from danger and disaster averted before the fish was eventually led back into the bay.

According to Stanley, it was only when the fish was gliding beaten close to the Tubes ledge that he realised it was a sailfish. In a flurry of excitement the fish was gaffed and hauled up onto the rock ledge. The sail weighed in at 64lb (23.9kgs) and a fibreglass mould of it is currently being made. 

The sail caps off a busy LBG career for Stanley. He told Fisho he has so far accounted for a 22kg black marlin on 8kg, 45-50kg black on 10kg, and a 55-60kg black on 15kg. He has reportedly also taken billfish of over 100kgs on 24kg gear from the stones.

He says any billfish he has personally taken are eaten by family and friends or used to make fibreglass trophies.

In one of the most memorable East Coast LBG seasons on record, Stanley has personally seen around 100 marlin hooked off the rocks by anglers so far this year. His sailfish is believed to be only the second caught off the Tubes, the last one was in the late 1990s.


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Stay tuned for May Fishing World magazine when Greg Finney returns to the Tubes and rekindles some LBG memories.     

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