The August/September issue contained an excellent article on Australia’s Fraser Island [“Fantastic Fraser”], written by John Ashley. Just to follow up, we finished up fishing a total of 92 days and caught 199 marlin there: 150 Pacific blues, 19 heavy-tackle striped and black marlin, and 30 juvenile black marlin. That represents an average of 2.16 marlin per day. During the peak period of July through December, we were on an average of 2.7 marlin a day.
It does bring into focus the fact that the Fraser Island fishery is only lightly explored at this stage. Boats straight-lining past the island on the way to or from Cairns usually caught something, but no one had fished the continental shelf outside Fraser for any lengthy period of time until Mistress did so last year.
There are also some other interesting aspects about the area. The heavy-tackle blues, blacks and striped marlin are all in very good condition, and very fat compared to those found only 200 miles south on the Gold Coast. This undoubtedly is a result of the massive amount of bait prevalent in the area. Strikes from all species were extremely aggressive by comparison, and this, in combination with the Tornado lures we use, led to a strike-to-tag ratio in the low 80 percent range, which is quite remarkable. During our period at Fraser, we caught two daily grand slams — blue, black and striped marlin — without deliberately attempting to do so. Had we specifically fished for slams, we probably would have had a dozen or more. It’s an area we look forward to exploring more in the future.