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Warm water results in fantastic run of blue marlin

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Ben Sandman with one of the big blue marlin released from his boat G-FORCE this season. Image: Nick Wood Photography

SEA surface temperatures above 25 degrees close to shore have provided exceptional blue marlin fishing for trailer boat game fishos between Newcastle and Wollongong.

Blue marlin are considered by many as the “holy grail” of game fish due to their size and fighting ability. They are typically the domain of larger game boats needed to travel well over the continental shelf (50km+ offshore) to find the warm 24°C + water they prefer.

The Australian all tackle record is 452.2kg (997lb) from Batemans Bay in 1999.

As if to demonstrate the great blue marlin season on the Eastern Seaboard, a Gold Coast boat released an estimated 1100lb blue last week which if captured, could have broken the Australian all tackle record (click here to see video).

Tropical species such as shortbill spearfish and wahoo have also been regularly caught this season off Sydney.

The Newcastle Game Fishing Club 2016 East Coast Classic Tournament held on 12 & 13 March saw a total of 39 marlin tagged & released of which 33 were blue marlin (four black & two striped), with the heaviest captured blue marlin in the tournament weighed in at 273.6kg.

In a typical year in this region, striped marlin that prefer slightly colder water (20-23°C) would be 70 to 80 per cent of billfish raised. As if to further exemplify this, the South Coast of NSW has seen a fantastic run of striped marlin fishing as it seems the majority of stripes have headed south to find some cooler water.

Fishing World writer Chris Cleaver reported release of several blue marlin (up to 250kg), wahoo and a shortbill spearfish from his trailer-boat. Ben Sandman reported fighting and releasing four blue marlin from as many trips from his 6.7m Bar Crusher, G-Force including an epic seven hour battle on 15kg line with an estimated 250kg+ fish hooked 30km off Terrigal.

Let’s hope the water stays warm and the great offshore fishing continues!

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