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-   -   Skip the ice, let’s go billfishing. (http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca/showthread.php?t=389840)

Coiloil37 10-30-2020 09:37 PM

Skip the ice, let’s go billfishing.
 
Itís that time of year again the juvenile black marlin get caught in the fish trap that we call Hervey Bay. Typically these are 1-2 year old fish that are migrating south for the first time. I commented on them and the trip I would take up there in the last thread I made about lady musgrave island.

http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca/showthread.php?t=386697

Being as itís the right time of year, a full moon on the 2nd of Nov and two weeks off I had a look at the forecast and this past Wednesday/Thursday looked acceptable.



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The 7 year old didnít want to make the trip as he had an ear infection that hadnít gone away yet but the 5 year old was chomping at the bit.

Thursday morning I loaded up and we were off.

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We got to the boat ramp after an uneventful drive.

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Itís about a 60km run out to the grounds, once we hit wathumba creek we stopped and to put out a six lure spread and started hunting. On the run up we found a bust up of longtail tuna but couldnít get a hit on the slugs or soft plastics we threw at them.

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Back to trolling, we struck out for the most part with five marlin strikes on skipping gar (ballyhoo for those of you whoíve fished the Caribbean) but I couldnít stick a 7/0 circle hook into ones mouth.

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In hindsight I didnít wait long enough but I was giving them 6-8 seconds after they popped the clip off the outrigger which I thought was enough. We did manage one little spotted mackerel for dinner.


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Then we popped in to check out one of the many sets of turtles we saw who seem to be displaying some mating behaviour.

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The we stepped onto the island for a look around.

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We trolled around as the sun went down without any success.


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Due to some fires on the island and the smoke we had to anchor up in a less then ideal location but we stopped for the night, set out a few lines and cooked supper. At that point my phone died and I found out my charging cable was cactus. Luckily I had a gopro with me but itís less handy to get pictures and videos with then my iPhone. As we went to sleep my little man told me not to worry, the second day is always more successful...

fishinisgood 10-30-2020 09:43 PM

Fantastic!!

Surly 10-30-2020 09:58 PM

What a trip! Good for you!

Would the young marlin be considered table fare?

How was the second day?

Jack&7 10-30-2020 10:56 PM

Awesome pics!

Please tell me all about your boat...

Coiloil37 10-31-2020 02:30 AM

Skip the ice, letís go bill fishing.
 
Second morning we fired up the Webber and made breakfast then got into it. I put out the standard six lure spread and set her to 6.5 knots in about 20m of water. After about ten minutes the short corner went off which was a split tailed mullet. I let him run for a few seconds then gave him strike drag ~15lbs. The hooks seemed to have sunk in and he rocketed up to the surface for a few jumps. I gave the rod to the youngster and started clearing lines. About the time I was done clearing the other five rods his line went slack and he told me he was gone. I cranked it in the find the leader had snapped where it went through the hook. I made a mental note to add anti chaff on my split tailed mullet and started setting lines out again.
Within fifteen or twenty minutes another rod went off. This time a rapala magnum so I was thinking a tuna or Spanish mackerel. Well another much larger black marlin came to the surface 60m behind the boat and started tail walking. This was the biggest one we saw all day, perhaps a 90-100kg fish and not the little babies we were expecting. Within a min or so that fish had spit the hook so it was back to the grind.
About half an hour later the shotgun went off. This time a jr ilander with a gar under the skirt. I gave him a second to run then set the hooks. The little black came to the surface and I passed the rod over to Nolan. I cleared lines then slowed the boat so he could fight the fish.

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When the fish got to the boat he was pretty tired. I slow trolled him along side the boat for about thirty minutes without much hope he would survive. I had my little man troll us into about 2 meters of water so I could gaff the marlin if he didnít make it. On the release he went belly up so I told Nolan we would eat him. Nolan thought that was a fantastic idea because heís been chasing me for a marlin bill since we moved here and Iíve been unwilling to kill one. I circled around and put the gaff in him. We bled him and got some pics before knocking the fillets off to put in the kill tank. We also kept the head and tail and Iíll have to figure out how to preserve them.

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We got the pics, weighed him at 33.6 lbs and gutted the fish, put him on ice and I explained to the little man at the ripe age of five he had accomplished what took me 36 years to achieve. Now, theyíre small fish but non the less he had a marlin under his belt. The pride on that little face was priceless.

We then got four lines out (it was easier then running six) and about ten minutes later we had another marlin sneak in and hit the split tail mullet, ran with it, dropped it then I saw him shoot across and he hooked up on a pakula skirt off the long rigger. I cleared the lines while Nolan fought him and he tail walked all over the ocean. I drove the boat toward him and Nolan brought him up. I video taped the action on the gopro then got him unhooked and revived for a quick release.

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We put the spread back out and Nolan told me the next fish was mine. A half hour later the shotgun goes off again. Another little black starts leaping out of the water a hundred meters behind the boat. Whereís Nolan? Right beside me asking for the rod. He takes number 3 while I clear the lines. Another good fight and a clean release.

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A few minutes later after getting the spread out I see a tail and dorsal fin sticking out of the water. We troll over and I tell Nolan to watch the rods. The first lure past him was the short corner with another split tailed mullet. The rod buckled over and he started to run. I cleared the deck again and Nolan brought number four to the boat.

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It was 10:00 am and we had a good run back to the boat ramp and a two and a half hour run home. We took off and half way back I saw birds working a bust up. We got into it and I saw they were mac tuna. Theyíre good bait so we threw some slugs at them. I hooked up and passed the first rod to Nolan. He landed it and I threw it in the kill tank for strip baits. We ran over to the bust up again and I hooked a second one which he landed. We then kept heading for the boat ramp without any more distractions. We pulled into home about 15:00 and had the boat cleaned up by 17:00. Of 11 billfish strikes we only managed five hookups and four landed but once we found a strategy that worked we did ok.
Thereís still a chance Iíll get back up there in the next two weeks before I head back to work but if not Iíll shoot out from home and get some of the larger models.

Back to their eating qualities. I cleaned up the marlin fillets.

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Grilled on the BBQ like swordfish and to be honest it tasted exactly like swordfish.

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Coiloil37 10-31-2020 02:35 AM

Iíll add some more details and pics tomorrow when I get home. Weíve got the Halloween thing with the kids tonight and a party.

SNAPFisher 10-31-2020 07:37 AM

Wow, awesome pics and way to tell the story throughout. Great job on this write up. And I suspect it was your pleasure :)
Good medal post.

Congrats on the lasting memories for you and especially your boy.

I've only ever had store bought sword fish. I can only imagine how awesome fresh bill fish is...

Coiloil37 10-31-2020 05:59 PM

A few more random pics. Not necessarily in any order and all snipped out of videos so the quality isnít great.

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Coiloil37 11-04-2020 01:43 AM

Had to stock up the bait stash so we hit the canal after skateboard practice with a bit of bread and some small hooks. I chummed them up with the crab shells from the crabs we pulled out of the traps this morning and then kept them around with bread.

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Iíll give them the night in a cold heavy brine with some extra salt and sodium bicarb to firm them up and keep them looking lifelike. Theyíre a little smaller then what I prefer for offshore work on billfish but these little ones are the ticket for mahi mahi and tuna and the quality is much better then what I can buy. As they keep growing Iíll get some of the bigger models, they spawned last winter (July) and I think these are the juvenile fish.

Jack&7

My boat is a 21í cruisecraft which is an Aussie brand. Theyíve got horrible trailer rules over here where we can tow a max of 2.5m wide so the beam on most American boats puts it over sized to trailer here. Iím running the 150 Zuki on the back, top speed is 44 knots with a pair of men and full load of fuel. This trip was 140 NM so 260km and I burned 88 litres of fuel, Iíve been very impressed with the outboard. The boat itself weighs 1800 kg dry. Iíve got lowrance, Garmin and furuno Sounders on it and the outriggers are 4.6m mounted up top off the rocket launcher. I bought it last December and have put around 300 hours on the outboard and probably 4-500 hours on the water. Iím running Shimano tyrnos overhead trolling reels because I didnít have the money for tiagras. Iíve got a couple Saragossa spinning reels for pitching slugs and my jigging rods are wearing avet overheads. Iíve also got the little 2500 Stradic for catching bait and squid. Iím a member of the local fishing club but Iím not playing the points game or fishing the tournaments because I donít want to use light tackle and to get points with the 50lb line I use (heavy tackle) I have to catch everything in 200+ meters of water. All of my fishing is less then 130m so that puts me out of the game. Having just left Alberta a year and a half ago Iím still learning the ropes for big game fishing but putting in the effort and having fun trying.

Smoky buck 11-04-2020 06:30 AM

You make it very tempting to move somewhere warmer

I just need to find some reasonable hunting options to go with the weather and fishing

58thecat 11-04-2020 06:57 AM

Another awesome thread thank you....

Coiloil37 11-09-2020 07:50 PM

Skip the ice, letís go bill fishing.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Smoky buck (Post 4260680)
You make it very tempting to move somewhere warmer



I just need to find some reasonable hunting options to go with the weather and fishing



Plenty to hunt here too. There are six types of deer, pigs, foxes, water buffalo, wild donkeys, wild horses and wild cattle that are all feral. That means shoot them on sight. No seasons or tags, itís a free for all. There are also elk here that escaped from farms. Most got crossed with red deer but regardless theyíre here. I know one guy in Queensland whoís shot a few about two hours from here although most are down in the snowy mountains from what Iíve been told. Out in the desert there are also camels to be shot.

The firearms laws are a little stricter then Canada but if you want them you can easily jump through the hoops. Archery gear is still unrestricted and most of the pig hunting is done with a dog and knife. The worst part of Queensland is thereís no hunting on state land so youíve got to hunt private land.

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Smoky buck 11-10-2020 05:30 AM

Australia and New Zealand seem nicer with each winter/bad election

If it was not for COVID-19 we were planning a family vacation to visit one of the two

Coiloil37 11-10-2020 06:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smoky buck (Post 4264999)
Australia and New Zealand seem nicer with each winter/bad election

If it was not for COVID-19 we were planning a family vacation to visit one of the two

If you come through Queensland hit me up and we can go fishing.

58thecat 11-10-2020 07:04 AM

You Sir have a piece of paradise right there for sure....stay healthy and keep the thread alive with additions....

My wife's parents are from there and that's a plan to get there to travel and visit....they came over in the early 70's....I would miss ice fishing though but's that's just a plane ticket back if and when we get over the covid hump....:)

Smoky buck 11-10-2020 08:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Coiloil37 (Post 4265001)
If you come through Queensland hit me up and we can go fishing.

Thanks for the offer and once the world calms down a bit I may take you up on that

58thecat how could you miss ice fishing when you have year round open water which is 100x better comfort wise and fight wise

Coiloil37 11-10-2020 02:12 PM

Skip the ice, letís go bill fishing.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 58thecat (Post 4265011)
You Sir have a piece of paradise right there for sure....stay healthy and keep the thread alive with additions....



My wife's parents are from there and that's a plan to get there to travel and visit....they came over in the early 70's....I would miss ice fishing though but's that's just a plane ticket back if and when we get over the covid hump....:)



From the lack of interest and discussion I was closer to not posting any more threads but I can keep it alive if thereís interest. It was windy for my two weeks off and Iím on a plane headed back to work for two weeks now. Hopefully when I get home itíll be a little calmer and I can get out.

We managed to put over 200 gar in the freezer so Iíve got some of my favourite troll baits to swim. I think Iíve got a new plan to stock up on calamari squid a little quicker then the past too so if I can get them in better numbers Iíll be happy to troll them as well. Usually we only catch enough for dinner and not enough to fish with. The tuna and mahi should also be here by now as the waters up around 25-26 deg.



I also put this bad boy in the boat yesterday.

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Youíve got the same standing invitation, hit me up if your ever in the neighbourhood and we will go fishing.

fishinisgood 11-10-2020 03:30 PM

Keep posting
 
Itís awesome to see things from different areas and get to feel a small part of the activity

58thecat 11-10-2020 03:46 PM

dam can it play asteroids on it?

awesome addition.:sHa_shakeshout: ohh and I will definitely keep that in mind...unfortunately not any time soon until we get over this crap virus...stay safe and keep the threads a coming...gotta go...sit in the woods for a few hours :)

Zip-in-Z 11-10-2020 04:06 PM

Coil .... you & the family sure made a good move, looks like no life like it, your pic's sure are teasers.

Were all getting dumped on big time, the covid numbers are going up & our borders with US are closed to non-essential travel, had to cancel our 3.5 month annual trip to the desert, will sure miss Palm Springs this winter.

Plan to do more ice fishin this hard water season than in the past.

Take care & enjoy the life on a beach!

Cheers

David






That you Coiloil ?


https://i.imgur.com/u1oumE6.jpg




Taken the other day Hwy 11 to R/D.



https://i.imgur.com/9OMtkjT.jpg



.

Coiloil37 11-18-2020 04:41 AM

Skip the ice, letís go bill fishing.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Zip-in-Z (Post 4265381)
Coil .... you & the family sure made a good move, looks like no life like it, your pic's sure are teasers.



Were all getting dumped on big time, the covid numbers are going up & our borders with US are closed to non-essential travel, had to cancel our 3.5 month annual trip to the desert, will sure miss Palm Springs this winter.



Plan to do more ice fishin this hard water season than in the past.



Take care & enjoy the life on a beach!



Cheers



David












That you Coiloil ?





https://i.imgur.com/u1oumE6.jpg









Taken the other day Hwy 11 to R/D.






https://i.imgur.com/9OMtkjT.jpg







.



Zip, youíll have to head further south one winter and hit the ocean with me. The weathers good year round on the coast. Inland is a bit tougher, gets a little to hot some days in the summer. We just had some crispy days here at work but itís cooled down to that 37-38 deg for a few days so Iíll enjoy it before we get hot again.

One week and its fishing time again. Iím hoping itís calm and I can head out to a spot called neverfail for some blues. Havenít caught a blue yet so itís on the to do list.

This should be the spot. Within a mile it goes from 245m down to 1000m of water.

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Smoky buck 11-18-2020 06:17 AM

Best of luck and your posts are appreciated so keep them up

58thecat 11-18-2020 07:01 AM

Coiloil.....you venture out to some remote areas it seems with only the one motor.....do you have a kicker put away just in case the big one has issues?

Coiloil37 11-18-2020 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 58thecat (Post 4270175)
Coiloil.....you venture out to some remote areas it seems with only the one motor.....do you have a kicker put away just in case the big one has issues?

That bothered me too in the beginning. Heck I ran a kicker in Alberta just to get me home if the big girl broke down. Twins here are very uncommon and my transom wasnít built for twins so itís the single Suzi for me.

Given the option I would have two identical outboards on seperate fuel tanks and individual battery banks. This works though, I take care of the motor and so far it takes care of me. I also have plenty of tools and spares on board, my radio and EPIRB, anchors and a drogue. The coastguard is very good here too and worst case scenario theyíll come get me.

Fishwhere 11-19-2020 11:25 AM

Awesome awesome story and pics. Thank you for letting some sun hit us in this blizzard!

Congrats on a great trip with the big guy! Super cool

Coiloil37 11-20-2020 10:12 PM

I swear the weather hates me. Since I left ten days ago itís been around a meter swell with a twelve second interval, 5 knot winds and almost zero wind chop.

Hereís a live pic of the water and then the swell forecast. I go home Wednesday

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Going home to 2 meter seas with a 6 second interval and the 20 knot winds will prob kick up another meter of chop on top of the primary swell.

cowmanbob 11-20-2020 10:27 PM

Your posts are sure to shorten up the winter, thanks.

Coiloil37 11-25-2020 05:16 PM

Well todayís order of business is to install the GT51 transducer. It claims 1800í capability in fresh water so Iím hoping for 300 meters in the salt. The online reviews and screen shots indicate itís the best option short of going to a 1kw ducer for saltwater performance.
Iím going to leave the GT52 on the starboard side of the hull and put this on the port side so I can run both simultaneously and compare them. I suspect the GT52 will get sold after Iíve seen their performance but I want an on water test first.

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Tomorrow Iíll go stock up on gar and attempt to keep them alive overnight and then head out Saturday for a trip in the home waters.

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Today looks fantastic but the honey do list needs attention before I go fishing.

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Coiloil37 11-25-2020 06:04 PM

Skip the ice, letís go bill fishing.
 
I like that I can choose frequency with its corresponding beam. I havenít played with it previously but Iíve read different species of fish show up better at certain frequencies





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Seems I was incorrect. The other one was a GT54UHD ducer. I chose to remove it and skip the comparison. Everything Iíve read says itís maxed out at about 70 meters which wonít work for me.

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NCC 11-25-2020 07:01 PM

Coiloil,

Thanks for posting and please keep it up. Your photos and stories are really making me regret not taking the transfer I was offered to South Texas last summer. Looks like you made the right move. If you get out to hunt, most of us would be very interested in the stories and photos of those adventures also.

BTW, the 30-06 you sold me has been great. My 15 year old daughter shot a 50" moose with it last fall.


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