Rare catches from the deep
The coastal waters can definitely bring up some weird creatures, and with people targeting fish in deeper waters these days, we are seeing some interesting catches.
The crocodile shark is one that is showing up regularly in depths of more than 500m. Several have been caught by people targeting swordfish at night, with baits at depths of about 100m. It is believed these fish come up from the deep at night to feed.
Another rare capture was that of a bigeye thresher shark. This species is believed to be rare in these waters. It is an awesome-looking shark with incredible features such as the elongated upper lobe of the tail fin, large grooves on the top of its head and the large jet-black eyes.
The thresher shark is known to use its tail to jump clear out of the water and is an awesome sight to see.
We all know Exmouth is well known for its marlin fishery, but wow what a bumper run of black marlin we have experienced over the past month.
Crews have been reporting up to 10 hook-ups a day for those in the right area at the right time, with the odd sailfish thrown in just to mix things up. It seems the fish are wide spread with crews doing well both south and north of Tantabiddi anywhere between 50-200m of water.
Although black marlin don’t mind a bit of green water, finding the warmer blue water should increase your chances of tangling with one of these acrobatic species.
These fish have been ranging anywhere between 20kg and 100kg also with the odd larger fish being hooked.
Smaller 8-10 inch skirts have been working well and those who also put the time into rigging skipping baits such as garfish will almost always have a better hookup rate.
The NSW Game Fish Tagging Program shows some interesting reports on billfish that are tagged.
One black marlin tagged in February was recaptured in May with a distance from its original location of 1530nm. In the past year there were 130 fish reported as being recaptured from the tagging program.
Visibility around the Ningaloo reef remains outstanding with up to 30m of visibility being reported.
Whale sharks have been in huge numbers outside the reef with many fishing boats reporting sightings and having a friendly swim along with them.
Manta rays have also been making a regular appearance as well as early sightings of humpback whales being reported. Some of us have even been lucky enough to spot a rare blue whale that has been hanging around the area over the past week.
Matt Gates with a bigeye thresher shark.