MOOLOOLABA GARMIN BILLFISH BONANZA
22 – 24 November,2019.
RESULT SHEET! ……. and what a Result!
The weather was promising to allow good attendance numbers all week and by Registration on Friday Night at the Mooloolaba Yacht Club, the Entries reached 21 Teams from Clubs spread right through S E Queensland for a Tournament which normally produced exciting Fishing on 8 kg Tackle for those inshore Black Marlin, where Anglers can fish for them in waters of up to 150 Meters in depth.
With the conditions suiting an early (very early) start and home a bit bouncy when the wind rises, the Boat were headed to the Deeper Water where the Blue Marlin had shown up elsewhere at this time of the year.
Several Boats decided to stay with 8 kg Tackle and mosey around the usual haunts for those wirey young Black Marlin, but the Majority got the scent of the Blue Marlin out wide and bent the levers for a shot at the heavier quarry and go for the spoils!! Locations being locations and Radio Bases being situated within restricted areas, there was no chance of tripping the Repeater at Cape Moreton and the result was a poor attempt at using a Repeater further North to cover a vast area to the South!!! … But for every obstacle, there was a huge reward for persevering with what was mostly a muffled response at getting vital information from the Teams. Each Boat must be commended on their attention to this and getting the balance of information on each fish encounter was carried out after Fishing while travelling on the way Home.
The Radio was alive all day with Hook ups and Radio operators eating the microphone, caused delays in getting the actual Boat Name that was Hooked up thanks in lots of parts to Relayed messages.
The Result was that by first Sked, there had been over 19 Strikes for 15 Hook ups resulting in 7 Blue Marlin being T&R’d and this rose to 24 Strikes and 17 Hook ups at Midday for a further 8 Blue Marlin and 3 Black Marlin. By this stage it was clear that this was not a normal Billfish Bash where in some past Tournaments there would have been about 20 Black Marlin and an even numbers of Pelagic for each day, a bigger surprise that at end of day one the was a further 16 Strikes with 14 hook ups for another 7 Blue Marlin and a striped marlin thrown in for good measure. Actually Day 1 had produced 22 Blue Marlin, 3 Black Marlin and 1 Striped Marlin with some Yellow Fin Tuna, Skipjack and a couple of Mahi Mahi to weigh.
This had just a bit more than a Knee Jerk reaction in all directions and the Talk at the Weigh Station was very happy – except where some gear got a bit cross examined.
The forecast for wind for day 2 encouraged even earlier starts and more Log-ons were by text messages to ensure their Log-on was recorded before disappearing over the horizon before sun-up, and the Fish were waiting for them to show up again. by various methods, the score sheet started to fill up and at 1st Sked on day 2 after another 11 strikes and 10 hook ups there were 5 Blue Marlin and 1 SN Spearfish T&R’d ! The Short Nose Spearfish is a rarity and makes the lucky Angler stand out as it adds that hard to fill slot in the creel of every type of Billfish to Register in your own name. The fortunate Angler was a Junior, Tyler Barnes who has been recognized as fulfilling a lot of great catches and knows what a Rod and Reel is for, under his Fathers careful tutelage, Tyler can go after the really hard one now, Xyphias Gladius, we all think the others will just fall in line…given time and—-all you can throw at it!
It just got better at Midday when a further 10 Strikes , produced a further 10 hook ups for 6 more T&R’d Billfish, being 4 Blue Marlin, 1 Black Marlin and a Mahi Mahi to weigh … and by last sked there were a further 6 Strikes for 4 Hookups and 3 Fish recorded as 1 striped Marlin and at least 2 Mahi Mahi to weigh !!
It is very satisfying to record that 21 Boats with 74 Anglers including 4 Lady Anglers and 9 Junior Anglers had 86 Strikes for 70 Hook ups which registered 43 Fish in total, being 31 Blue Marlin, 4 Black Marlin, 2 Striped Marlin 1 SN Spearfish and 5 Mahimahi to weigh. There were other Tuna Species registered, which would not qualify in any event as part of the Tournament.
Pauline and I would like to record our appreciation to the Captains Crew and Anglers for their un-dying co-operation and support of the Tournament and of course our appreciation of the Club’s support to us.
We Thank you very Much, Albert and Pauline.