Fishraider

Sydney Offshore Scene with Captain Ross and Glenn Hunter

SUMMER BRINGS YELLOWFIN AND MARLIN

Summer is here and with it has come some very good fishing We have had some amazing off shore trips with our customers on Broadbill and Billfisher lately Catches of yellowfin tuna nearly every trip as well as encounters with our favourites, the marlin.

black marlin

A Black Marlin on the trace

Local Bangor angler Peter Beaumanis's crew managed 10 yellowfin last week and Steve Naza's group fared well with 8 fish .Local Sutherland dentist Mandy Kwok's Father Peter also had a great day with 9 yellowfin .Most fish were trolled on Bloodshot "Tuna Hunter lures" and bib less minnows The reason for the good fishing is a big eddy of 22 to 23 degree water is sitting off Botany Bay and has brought our piscatorial friends with it. There have been many other groups who have experienced the thrill of tuna fishing …even although the fish have been on the small side they are still great to eat and the customers love the double and triple hook ups. On our boats we generally allow up to 10 per day then we tag and release the rest ensuring that we set an example of conservation of stock. For our customers. This way our crews have ample fish for a few meals and we leave plenty for the future generations. yellowfin tuna

A small Yellowfin

small yellowfin

Peter Kwoks crew

The good news is that the Federal Government has announced a 170 million dollar buy out of commonwealth long line licences.

This will be accepted by many of the long line operators of which there are over 120 registered boats working our east coast. Their catches are falling and they are suffering financially from having to travel long distances to sea to catch the tuna. Fuel burn and lack of catch is seeing the industry in dire straights. Most commercial boat owners, I feel will negotiate this buy out or go broke. A massive reduction in long lining will see the replenishing of our yellowfin tuna stocks back to how they were prior to the wholesale slaughter by overfishing by long lining Yellowfin tuna are one of our fastest growing tuna with a life span of about 7 years They do not breed until they are around 3 years old or 30 kilos Therefore if they are left alone with only a few caught by recreational anglers, the stocks will return within a few years. It has been a long haul to get the Federal government to listen to us and I so pleased the Senator Mc Donald has realized that we must protect our fish stocks before they disappear forever. Congratulations and well done Federal Government

On the inshore reefs, we too have had some great days. The boys from CRC Civil caught a great catch of snapper, morwong, pigfish and kingfish last week. Glenn Hunter has been fishing south of Port Hacking for great catches of Blue spot flathead and jackets

snapper fishing

The lads from Civil had a great day

Hot Press Billfisher caught 7 yellowfin tuna and 12 kilo dolphin fish to day. That is the first dolly for the season so the water is lookin' good………………………..Summer's here and we aren't complaining' We are also raising and catching striped marlin along the shelf line…….This will only get better thru January We have been fishing the wide oceanic grounds for yellowfin and marlin and I need not to tell you that there have been some really unpredictable changing weather . Hot summer afternoons can bring violent storms Westerly winds too …the worst of all winds when fishing the wide grounds, especially for small boats

GET THE WEATHER RIGHT FOR TRAILER BOATS OUT WIDE

During one day last week we observed a 17-foot trailer boat trolling the same area, we were working. On that day there was a strong wind warning for westerly winds, the worst wind when returning from an offshore trip. My boat Broadbill is a 40 foot cat and a superb sea boat, she weighs around 12 tonne and on that day we encountered 25 knots when returning to port, this does not worry us too much, just a lot of spray and the occasional thump from the short sharp wind induced sea. However it is another story in a tiny 17 footer that weighs 600 kg. It is 25 nautical mile of slamming a terrible head sea with every second wave 2 metres high and 2 metres apart. Such a sea can only be negotiated at 6 to 8 knots meaning that it could be a four hour, wet, lonely and frightening trip home, a motor failure during this epic could be fatal… I really do urge small boat owners to be careful.

sydney summer storm

A storm front

SAFETY CHECK LIST

Do a checklist before you leave port then whilst at sea;

  1. Check weather report to ensure there are no warnings and the weather is going to be safe
  2. Always log on with Coast Guard or Coastal Patrol then log off upon return.
  3. Ensure that you have 27 MHz radio and VHF and ensure that both work
  4. Make sure that the vessel has double the fuel capacity to take on these wide trips. Having two litres in the tank when you return is stupidity
  5. Fit at least two large electrical bilge pumps
  6. Carry spare fuel and a spare battery
  7. Learn to navigate by landmarks, never assume that your GPS will always work or that you can see land. In a southerly gale land will not be visible, waves will be breaking viciously over the boat, the water from which can drown electronics. Always make a mental note of your reciprocal compass bearing to your home port
  8. Keep all safety gear in tip top condition and stow where it is accessible and dry

I started my career some 45 years ago in small boats I also founded the Marlin Broadbill Boat Company and fished from our 17 foot Billfisher and Broadbill boats for many years, so I do know the dangers associated in fishing wide from small craft . We have endured 30 knot gales which frightened the tripe out of us leaving us with the thought that we should be more careful next time, we got away with it, but the experience taught us a most valuable lesson……..to be more careful next time. Since those early days I have seen storm fronts and winds to 100 knots, such winds would blow a small boat off the water out wide……..So please be careful It is the festive holiday season, the fishing is great, so let's keep safety foremost in our boating A Merry and Safe Christmas to all fishos and our customers from the Hunter family. PT STEPHENS '06 Whilst we have full books for our three-month migration to Pt Stephens, we still have a few share days available but will be closing the books soon. You can join us for three exciting days fishing. This is a fishing holiday, which you will remember for along time fishing with BROADBILL or BILLFISHER. Last year we tagged 300 billfish caught swags of Mahi mahi and yellowfin. Do not delay if you would like to join Glenn or Ross Hunter Ring 9534 2378 for bookings or email gamefishing@bigpond.com for a fact sheet.