Off­shore fish­ers revel in bill­fish bo­nanza

Pilbara News - - Pilbara Sport - Tackle World Ex­mouth

The weather has cer­tainly heated up over the past week and sum­mer is well and truly on its way.

This means warm wa­ters and plenty of hot fish­ing ac­tion for both the gulf and the west side.

As I men­tioned last week, the blue mar­lin had slowed down a touch, but they have cer­tainly picked right back up this week with some great re­ports.

Ed­die Lawler, on Pelagic Hooker, raised seven blues in one day, along with a couple of striped mar­lin. I have also heard some re­ports of sail­fish hang­ing around out south of south pas­sage and even a couple be­ing caught off the bot­tom on squid baits and soft plas­tics.

Recre­ational an­glers Leigh Free­stone and his crew man­aged to tag two blue mar­lin, one sail­fish, hook a black and a striped and had an­other striped mar­lin in the spread all be­fore lunch on one day.

Wow, that’s a busy morn­ing for bill­fish­ing. Great to see the healthy stocks are here.

Of course, this is just one boat in one morn­ing in a small area. Great to get th­ese sta­tis­tics.

Alyssa Faulkner is here on hol­i­days with her hus­band Pete to tag and release bill­fish through the next week.

The two-per­son crew hooked a big blue and sadly it got tail­wrapped and died.

So the couple de­cided to bring the fish in to weigh and share with ev­ery­one.

It was weighed in at the Ex­mouth Game Fish­ing Club and was just over 211kg. Peo­ple came in to check out the fish.

It helps give an idea of size for es­ti­ma­tions, plus shows an­glers the dif­fer­ences you can note for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion in re­la­tion to the dif­fer­ences with black mar­lin.

It also is a great tool for ed­u­ca­tion for show­ing peo­ple dif­fer­ent fea­tures on the fish. Chil­dren es­pe­cially like to get up close and see and touch a fish like this.

There were plenty of fil­lets to go around and lots of pho­tos taken of the fish to see just how big it is out of the wa­ter.

The gulf is start­ing to fill up with plenty of great sports fish for those who like light jig­ging and work­ing soft plas­tics around the shoals.

Golden trevally, co­bia and queen­fish have been every­where along with some sur­prise catches of Span­ish mack­erel.

Drift­ing the shoals with soft plas­tics at this time of the year is usu­ally very pro­duc­tive. It’s not only sports fish you will come across, but also co­ral trout, blue line em­peror, span­gled em­peror and end­less amounts of cod will all be en­coun­tered and all make ex­cel­lent eat­ing.

We also even heard re­ports of a whale shark spot­ted just out from the wa­ter tow­ers last week.

So you never know what you will en­counter on the wa­ter.

With Christ­mas and New Year’s just around the cor­ner and seafood fi­es­tas be­ing a pop­u­lar choice of din­ners or lunches, keep in mind the bot­tom of the gulf is pro­duc­ing ex­cel­lent num­bers of prawns just lately.

And the really good news is a lot of them have been above av­er­age size from what we’ve en­coun­tered in the past.

On a good day, more than a feed can be gath­ered cast net­ting in as lit­tle as an hour when you find them balled up in a tight area.

We also need to keep in mind that there is a set bag limit for an­glers to abide by to en­sure there are plenty for the fu­ture.

There’s no doubt we are spoilt to have this fish­ery so eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble so let’s keep it the way it is — fun, easy and very tasty treat for all to enjoy for many years to come.

Pic­ture: Pete Faulkner

Alyssa Faulkner with her 211kg blue mar­lin.

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