Captain Brett Alty’s 50 Foot Custom Charter Boat “Mistress” is at it again.Arriving back at Fraser Island at the end of September “Mistress” had Tagged 32 Marlin after just 7 days and 3hrs of fishing! As Yogi Berra The New York Yankees Catcher who was famous for his Baseball skills and for mixing metaphors once said “This is Déjà vu all over again”
As was reported earlier in In The Bite E-News “Mistress” enjoyed outstanding success at Fraser last year Tagging 104 in just 42 days during the period late August to late Nov. “Mistress” fished on to early December before returning to the Gold Coast for some much needed maintenence. All up in the Aug/ Dec period “Mistress” fished 48 days for 128 Tagged Marlin. An astounding average of 2.7 fish per boat day!
We were on our lonesome for the entire period August to October, but in November we had 3 Motherships and 10 Gameboats sharing the most commonly used anchorage; that at Rooneys Point.Among them the Gold Coast boats Caboom, Special K, and French Look 111, plus the charter boat Kekoa.Word of the outstanding fishing had spread quickly?
In late February “Mistress’ returned to Fraser and fished another 44 days. During this period currents weren’t ideal and weather patterns meant that most fishing was done around the New Moon which we don’t find the best Moon Phase; rather the week before and after the Full seems preferable. Nevertheless “Mistress” managed another 71 Tags to bring the total for the year ended 30 June to 199. This was a little disappointing as we were hoping for a nice round and memorable number –like 200. However on the last day of the fishing year we developed the dreaded “Rubber Hook “syndrome and went one from 5 for the day. Damn. The 199 Marlin Tagged comprised 150 Blue Marlin, 30 Little Blacks and 19 assorted Heavy Tackle Blacks and Stripes. That’s World class fishing by any measure.
During this period we were frequently accompanied by Dave McMaster a Light Tackle Special on “Poledancer” and we had some memorable social nights. Then just to cap it all off “Mistress” won the Hervey Bay Gamefish Club tournament fishing against a fleet of 40 odd boats. This time fishing Heavy Tackle with 9 Blues in the 2 ½ days of fishing. We also won in 2015 fishing Light Tackle with 13 Little Blacks, and were second on a countback in 2016 to the well performed Sunshine Coast Privateer “Kamikaze”
There are some interesting aspects to the fishery at Fraser. The Blues and Stripes strike very aggressively. With the Strikes there was none of the usual Tap—Tap— Tap. They just climbed on like a Blue. All the fish were in excellent condition. They were all fat. Much more so than the ones we see on the Gold Coast only a couple of hundred miles south. There were also Yellowfin Tuna present ranging from a few kilos to up to 75kg out on the Shelf. On one occasion there were so many Yellowfin around that they were beating the Blues to the Lures. Captain Brett could see Blues coming up in the Lure pattern, but they were being consistently beaten to the Lures by frenzied Yellowfin.In June?July we also tagged, and quite predictably lost quite a few tiny Little Blacks. Some vainly trying, but failing to hook themselves on Lures were as small as 2kg! We reported this to Julian Pepperall who was intrigued because he thought that fish of this size were probably only 2 to 3 months old. If this is the case it means that they were most likely spawned about February or March. This has quite serious ramifications as it means that there is a Black Marlin spawning period outside the traditional September to November Cairns breeding period. Julian requested that we keep a couple of the Heads off these tiny Blacks so that he can inspect the oeliths and more precisely determine their age.
If Julian’s initial prognosis is correct it may well lead to another Giant Black Marlin season, most likely some where near Fraser Island. No doubt when we get confirmation of Julian’s estimate we and other long range liveaboard boats will out in the wild blue yonder doing some exploratory fishing trying to find this new breeding ground.
“Mistress” started its latest session at Fraser with a 3 day 3hr fishing trip initially fishing for Little Blacks and Tagged 8 up to the morning of the 3rd day then decided to go Heavy Tackle seeking a Slam. Well the Lady angler, one of the three on board caught her first Blue and then was unlucky to pull the hooks out of a Stripe.
On his second trip Captain Brett decided to fish Heavy Tackle for 4 days and wound up with an absolutely outstanding 23 Tags from 32 Strikes. All Blues. That’s 5.75 Blues per day. Fingers crossed this keeps up !! On the fourth day Captain Brett actually moved away from his spot and called a couple of his friends in. His sole Charterer was worn out from fighting so many fish, and his two Deckies were worn out from constant work rerigging/ resetting Lures and leadering fish.Hows that for a problem. Now “Mistress” has done a total of 11 days and 3 hrs at Fraser since the end of September and has Tagged 42 Marlin comprising 33 Blues, 8 Blacks, and 1 Striped. That’s an astonishing average of 3.72 per day of fishing.
At the moment there are around 6 boats fishing at Fraser among them Brad Dobinsons “Special K” and Captain Simon Carossi driving “Assegai”. Simon also has his Mothership there.
I imagine that once again there will be a fleet descend on Fraser in November. Some of the Cairns Charter Boats have announced their intention to come down, and there will also be boats from both north and south making an extended visit around their Hervey Bay Gamefish Club Tournament attendance ( Tourny 16th to 19th Nov).
There are plenty of fish for everyone and I expect that as we fish the area more we will all learn more and enjoy an even greater level of success. As if it’s not outstanding already.