Exmouth - 2017 Billfish Bonanza, with Seaforce - video link added

We posted on here a couple of months back looking for a crew to help us fish this years Bonanza before we opended it to the general public. To our suprise we had more than one intrested group wanting to book the boat strait away. We feel we know our stuff when it comes to game fishing, espically for Blacks out of the Coral Bay. But we had never had the chance to fish Exmouth and wanted to get some experiance up there before we contested next years Gamex with the plan to target Marlin and hopefull place in that catagory. Well mission acomplished I am happy to say. Not only do we have a much better understnding of where and how to find the fish in Exmouth, but we ended up with some silverwhare to boot. We know the Bonanza is a very small comp and are not getting ahead of ourselves, but we are happy with what we where able to achive in average fishing conditions and not very hungry fish.

DAY 1

Having tagged a nice 90kg black quite wide on the way up and scoped out the gulf to find a lot of mud and very little bait the day before, our plan was to go wide, cover ground and hopefully find some Blues. Leaving from the marina just before 6 we wanted to be onto blue water before lines in at 8:00am. We passed a good looking current line about 7:30 but decided to stick to the plan and by lines in we where in some good looking water. We did not have to wait too long, at 8:45 we had a small tap on the long rigger and could see a bill in the spread. Our usual speed change and drop back and quick retrive of the lure had him following the lure in and he hit the long coners on the way up. Nice solid hookup saw a quick fight with little need for backing up on the 24kg gear. Tag in and being a small fish decky Matt was easilly able to hold the fish and remove the hook quickly while it was still fresh and in exelent condition. Quick hi five and lures back in this was a comp after all. Radioed it in and the 45kg Black was the first fish of the comp. With the plan to cover ground we did not loop around and kept heading wide. It payed off and within a hour now out wide we spotted a monster in the spread. The fish disaperaed so we did the same routine and I had a perfect view of a huge bill followed by a black hole of a open mouth destroy the long rigger. Before the drag even started screeming I knew this was a real fish. Still clearing the spread just as we noticed we where allready getting low on line we the fish went arial with one huge jump then a 50m long tail dance. But this was way out to the Port side of the boat while we still had line peeling out to Starboard. I knew we where in trouble and before we could do anything about it, with too much looped line in the water and the fish still running the 24kg could not hold the water pressure and gave way. Not even dissapointed we where just pumped to have seen the display. Hard to judge size from a distance but it was a Blue well en excess of 200kg. Happy to be finding fish we where strait back to it and withing an hour had another fish on. Still not that hungry and having to tease him onto the lure agian after seeing the fish first. With a really good first run and a bit of a show, but then behaved very well we had the fish tagged, hook out and gone in now time. We where happy to see a nice 35kg Striped Marlin. For the next few hours we saw nothing except other boats. Heading further south in the cnayons we found at least half the fleet and now knew we where not the only boat after Marlin (at least for now). Trolled back to where we got the Striped and just as we made the turn to head towards home at about 4:00pm (lines out at 5) we had the long rigger go off. No sightings of a fish but with the amount of line taken in the first 5 seconds I knew what ot was. We where quicker on it this time and just as we where cleared had some tight line and the fish slowed down I saw the fish strait out the back. A good Blue, not as big as the last one but we had a nice strait line to the fish and I thought we have this one. Seconds later pop, spat the hook..... It was only at this point I realised that if we had just hung onto that fish (or the eariler Blue) we would of had a Grand Slam on day 1!!!

 

DAY2

Happy with day 1 and after finding out we where the only boat to tag marlin so far the plan was to copy what we had done on day 1 minus the wasted time down south. And that plan worked, at 8:50 on the same sopt as the day before we had another Black. Still not hungry and having to be teased, he took the shotgung just as we thought he was gone. A good fight for the size of the fish we kept the fish out the side of the boat and slowly closed the gap and got onto the leader with some quick and short backdowns. Another good tag shot and the hooks fell out just as Matt grabbed hold of the bill wich is not too suprising after having to change angle so may times during the fight. Nice 55kg Black and we where pumped for a good day. Now thinking we had a good idea where the fish where we headed for our Blues. But the weather had other ideas allready having some good sets stading up from the South and just as we got to a good area the wind turned to the West a bit more and went next level. I remember watching Matt trying to get the long corner length right only to have the lure disappear into a 2m high rolling white water. We where a long way from home and having to keep a bit of angel to the sea I knew it would be a long run home so we started heading that way. But just the at our furthest point out in 800m of water the short coner gets hit for the first time, with a ok run and eating a 14" lure I thought it must be a ok fish. But it started to come in fairly quickly and halfway in it make its first jump. A Sailfish??? We where targeting Marlin and at the time I had never been more dissapointed to catch a 25kg Sailfish. Got it along side and a tag in. few quick photos and back to trying to get home. We ran in to the back of the island hoping it would not bee too bad in tight. But it was not much better and had to run allmost strait on the rest of the way home. Not too bad out the back but had a few good free fall moments in the cab.

DAY3

Final day and lines in at 3:00 today we only had limited time. But I knew if the fish came on our 3 fish marlin lead could be gone in minutes. Very quiet morning and we did not push too wide, not wanting to give the boys another hammering as the weather was up a bit and threatening to come right up agian. So we concentrated where we got our blacks. The wind did come up again on cue but at least we where not too far out. It was about 1:00pm and with no marlin being called in I thought we would just start trolling in untill lines out at 3. But just after that the ocean seemed to come alive. started to see lots of bait and see a few dollys in the spread. and at 1:30pm Long rigger gets a solid hookup with no sighting of the fish. Another good fight and plenty of water over the back with the final backdowns to get on the leader saw a good 70kg Black tagged and finally a bit of excitement after a long day of nothing. Was on a Mack Tuna strait after and at this point I was thinking, the fish are on, somone can easilly tag 4 marlin before 3pm. So no more heading for home but back kept in that area to try and make the most of the late bite. Seeing fish everywhere and the Sailfish tags started comming thick and fast on the radio. We had one more hookup on a 100kg + Black. But we saw it spit the hook on a jump near the boat. And at 2:30 it seemed to calm down so decided to start trolling home agian. Back at the club we where supprised to find we where still the only boat to tag a marlin dispite seeing several boats in simmilar area to us durin the day. Our target was to hopefully at least place on the marlin side of things but it looks like we topped it. At the presentation it was good to see a lot of sailfish had been tagged especially on the last 2 days, and the OnStrike had been killing it on them over all 3. We where happy we had exceeded our goal with the Marlin but during the presentations I found out that that Sailfish that I was allmost anoyed with also made us the Campion Boat Combined.

A Huge thank you to the Exmouth Game Fishing Club. They put on and amazing show. Thank you to all the compeditors and hope you all enjoyed the weekend. Congrats to Onstrike winning overall and Chanpion Team Sailfish, And thaks to Exmouth Bluewater Tackle World for helping out with the prizes.

Sorry I have no photos (not camera safe weather for most of it) of fish but will soon have a few videos.

We ended up with:

Chanpion Team Marlin

Champion Team Combined

3rd On Points Overall

4-4-3 Black Marlin

1-1-1 Striped Marlin

1-1-1 Sailfish

2-2-0 Blue Marlin

We will be back for our Blue!!

 

Video that our decky made up on our fb page

 

 

 

 

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 50ft Westcoaster "Valiant" - Coral Bay - Exmouth - Gnaraloo - Botton - Game - Sport - Deep Drop - Swordfish

2017 EGFC Billfish Bonanza - Campion Team Marlin - Campion Team Combined - 8/8/5 - 4 Billfish Species        

 0429 034 540 / / www.seaforcecharters.com.au

Image Upload: 

Posts: 588

Date Joined: 20/04/09

Awesome

Thu, 2017-10-26 11:59

good start to comp fishing 

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 1450

Date Joined: 12/08/12

Well done

Thu, 2017-10-26 16:51

 We scored a 185kg blue the day before the comp, and that was the end of it for us. Zero Thursday, one sail in the gulf Saturday, back out west on Sunday for nothing with a bill on it.

Posts: 299

Date Joined: 25/12/12

 Sounds real exciting, what

Thu, 2017-10-26 17:26

 Sounds real exciting, what class line do you use? Is there more points or a standard that everyone has to follow?

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 BC

SEAFORCE CORAL BAY's picture

Posts: 108

Date Joined: 09/12/13

 Our normal setup is all 24kg

Thu, 2017-10-26 17:55

 Our normal setup is all 24kg Stand up. In this comp sailfish inside the gulf had to be tagged on 10kg or under so we had a couple of spin setups ready for that if needed. Points where Marlin <15Kg line 500pt >24kg line 400pt Sailfish <15kg line 200pt >24kg line 400pt. So we had little chance with points overall with the boys in the gulf catching sails on 10kg being worth as much as each of our marlin.

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 50ft Westcoaster "Valiant" - Coral Bay - Exmouth - Gnaraloo - Botton - Game - Sport - Deep Drop - Swordfish

2017 EGFC Billfish Bonanza - Campion Team Marlin - Campion Team Combined - 8/8/5 - 4 Billfish Species        

 0429 034 540 / / www.seaforcecharters.com.au

Adam Gallash's picture

Posts: 14870

Date Joined: 29/11/05

Gold

Thu, 2017-10-26 17:49

 Well done team

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Site Admin - Just ask if you need assistance

SEAFORCE CORAL BAY's picture

Posts: 108

Date Joined: 09/12/13

 Video that our decky made up

Wed, 2017-11-22 18:15

 

Video that our decky made up on our fb page

 

____________________________________________________________________________

 50ft Westcoaster "Valiant" - Coral Bay - Exmouth - Gnaraloo - Botton - Game - Sport - Deep Drop - Swordfish

2017 EGFC Billfish Bonanza - Campion Team Marlin - Campion Team Combined - 8/8/5 - 4 Billfish Species        

 0429 034 540 / / www.seaforcecharters.com.au