Port Stephens – Billfish Shootout

Well what a difference a few days can make… Thursday & Friday were very quiet in close & outside with the current still running hard to the south.

For the first time in years there were many options for boats fishing in the Shootout. You could chase the small blacks in close, head for the carpark looking for stripes, head further south to the Norah canyons or our choice which was head wide & north around the Seal Rock canyons.

We headed out with high hopes on Saturday chasing the $12,500 prize for the biggest marlin over 150kg. After bagging a 198kg fish last year & running second we were confident we could find another big fish this year.

With 111 boats fishing in the comp each sked was busy with numerous small blacks tagged & a lot of blue marlin raised that pulled a lot of string before not coming up tight with a couple of captures.

We only raised one blue but got the hooks to stick & after a short 25 minute fight we had a nice blue boatside, we measured it at 2.35m (approximately 130kg) so the fish was tagged & released.

The fishing was great by the end of day 1, we heard of 1 wahoo, 2 x short billed spearfish, some bull dollies, a few boats ran into packs of yellowfin between 30-60kg & plenty of marlin.

After day 1 – Billistic was leading tag & release with 7 fish, followed by Born Free & Game On. In the capture section Port Hacking boat Paceemo weighed a 176kg blue & Doing It weighed a 155kg fish.

Unfortunately for us day 2 started badly when at 6am we had to shut down 1 engine & turn & head for the sheds. Mechanics report today was good & we now have a new water pump arriving in the next couple of days.

The radio continued to be busy day 2 with similar reports to day 1. Billistic went on to take out the tag & release section & Paceemo’s fish from Saturday also ended up being the biggest fish with each boat taking home $12,500 prize money.

The current had slowed a little out wide & the fishing has definitely improved offshore & inshore with plenty of bait holding inside 50 fathoms.

Anyway anyone looking for a charter give me a call & we can arrange a date for you.