From the Flybridge – Solitary Islands Game Fishing Club news
AND so it begins...
The first blue marlin of the new summer season announced itself in typically rambunctious fashion last Sunday by materialising in the wake behind local boat Seaborn a matter of seconds before it hammered skipper Clayton Livingston's favourite lure that was running behind the boat.
The conditions on Sunday were boisterous to say the least, with a solid groundswell and big whitecaps driven along by the powerful sea breeze that had developed, so even a good boat like Seaborn was working hard to handle the rock-and-roll weather and keep the marlin under control as the fight progressed out in the deep water just at the top of the continental shelf.
The fish obviously had a tank full of juice and at an estimated 250+ kilos, it wasn't wearing out anytime soon, so when they got it close to the boat after two hours, the crew of Seaborn knew that under the conditions, things were only going to get tougher the closer the fish got.
Every boat on frequency was waiting to hear how it went in the end, but the final news wasn't good.
All it took was a momentary lapse that let the big blue get its head down, and it ran away deep where it simply couldn't be brought back to the surface, so they lost both the fish and Clayton's favourite lure.
Lousy luck, but that's game fishing...
That might have been the first fish of the season, but in the days since, despite continuing wild weather, there have been a steady stream of other blue marlin hook-ups, along with a few nice yellowfin tuna.
But where did the striped marlin go?
Not sure, but they've been very thin out there for weeks, and frankly it's hard to care too much about the striped marlin now that the big blues are moving in.
It will take a week or two of consistent reports of blue marlin before we can be sure that the hot bite has started in earnest, but for now, most anglers will be putting their 24kg mid-weight rigs back in the rocket launchers and rolling out the 37kg heavy tackle in readiness for the big bruisers.
At the time of writing, the forecast for this weekend looks pretty depressing, with strong winds bringing conditions more conducive to setting yacht race records than finding game fish.
However, if the blindfolded dart throwers at the weather bureau once again manage to get the Coffs forecast as wrong as they frequently do, and today dawns calmer than predicted, then a very large fleet of game boats will leave the harbour to fish both the Solitary Islands Game Fishing Club's monthly competition, and day one of the local Hot Current tournament.
Good luck to all.