REPORT: Billfish frustration at Port Stephens

Day one of The New South Wales Game Fishing Association’s 50th Anniversary Interclub Tournament was one of frustration for us on board Viking II.

We were on the board with one of the first T & R marlin of the tournament, a solid black. Thirty minutes later we were hooked up to another over-sized black marlin for this fishery, around 200kg.  We had an early shot with the Tag but the tag missed and by this time the big black wanted nothing to do with us or those screaming motors. After spending a considerable time on this fish the light line was just no match. The following hours ticked by as well as a couple of missed opportunities to sink a tag but then the inevitable happened. The time we spent on this big fish put us well behind the top boats in the fleet.

It was if all the other boats had found out how to speak ”fish“ and had talked all the big fish into visiting us! Suddenly a very large striped marlin took a bait and proceeded to take us on a tour of inspection of half the marlin fleet in reverse, then screamed off down sea for what seemed an eternity. Again the opportunity arose to tag, the shot went astray made contact with the line and “ping”  we had been hooked up most of the day but had only one tag for the day.

Day two and we dropped our baits in at 7am and almost immediately we had a double header, both going in opposite directions and we were getting smoked. I made the decision to lock up on one and chase the other, with one fish gone I was about to chase the other when the line parted due to the amount of line out. I immediately searched the boat for bananas! It all started to come together, and in the next five hours we tagged & released five marlin for the day. Marlin for the two days, we are praying for good weather next weekend to give us maximum fishing time to make up the gap on the other boats.

On a day charter just prior to the Interclub we scored eight from ten marlin released just for practise.

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