The Briefing was on a very eager pitch with everyone rearing to get out to once again, a promising perfect weather for Fishing either inside or outside. With the Formalities complete and all Goody Bags distributed and Calcutta done and dusted, the worrying news was that the Repeater at the top of Fraser Island was out and communications, critical in all Tournaments, was down and inoperable.
The Journey out to Cape Rodney was all GO for us to get the Finalised Teams on the pages and have all, ready for a Busy first day.
What a great relief when we heard Boats using the Repeater and all wondered if this was a ‘skip’ because it had not been used lately and probably would go down in strength…but this did not happen and we were able to use it, even a little scratchy, but it was there !!
The Weather was almost perfect and it was not long before Foreshore was calling in Hook ups and on almost every occasion it was a different species but also included Marlin and Sailfish as well. They were not alone of course as the other Teams in the 41 Boat Strong Fleet, took their turns in this Pristine Fishing Ground which covers ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the Great Sea Spit which has 4 main Bar Crossings to cross to get to the Outside area which also includes light tackle grounds. The Teams that chose to Fish inside were mainly in view of the Mothership Tasman Venture which is the base for Tackle Inspection, weighing of Other Species some convivial meeting up over a cool drink after fishing, Recreation and Dining. The Mother Ship makes this one of the Tournaments that stand out for overall comfort and Safety.
FRIDAY DAY 1. …and the CPUE sheet (collection of all statistics) tells it all 65 Strikes, 48 Hook ups and 34 Fish Recorded as 22 Blue Marlin 3 Black Marlin 1 Striped Marlin and 1 Sailfish – 27 Billfish in all and there were 10 other Species recorded that included 4 Mahimahi, 2 Wahoo a LT Tuna and 3 nq Tuna spp. Checking of Tackle complete, left some leisure time for the Anglers to ‘chew’ over the day with a cold one and get some rest in for day 2 ……..
Obviously everyone knew where they would get the best action and headed to their “area” to set the gear out when the call was made to Start Fishing! The Radio came alive and it was all go with Heavy tackle T&R’s as well as Light Tackle on the Bar and an occasional T&R on the Inside.
SATURDAY DAY 2….and the CPUE sheet confirms that it was a much Busier Day with 126 Strikes, 91 Hook ups and 51 Fish recorded, there were 12 Blue Marlin 5 Black Marlin and 2 Striped Marlin – 46 Billfish in all 41 other Species which included 12 Yellowfin Tuna, 2 Wahoo 12 Mahimahi, a Cobia and a long tail Tuna and 5 nq Tuna spp. Day 1 was 40 Fish altogether and Day 2 now recorded as 92 Fish altogether. Day 2 has a one hour extra as we start earlier and the weather forecast was for a wind Shift and this in the afternoon brought on the Mahimahi and YF Tuna Bite. Checking of Tackle was complete and at least Dinner was over before the wind change hit and there were one o two that inadequate ground tackle and required assistance from the very capable and total competent Crew of Tasman Venture and showed how Emergencies can be handled swiftly and calmly with a voice being raised. It was after 10pm before the squall went through and time for a rest before the final day’s fishing of 4 hours before the Stop Fishing at Midday call.
SUNDAY DAY 3….and most Boats chose to stay and fish Light Tackle on the Inside because of the weather conditions and shorter day gave a good days fishing to what has been a great Tournament all round….but the Fish were here to play and some good catches resulted on everyone’s choice of where to fish and the CPUE revealed another active time in the 4 final hours…52 Strikes, 38 Hook ups and 15 Fish recorded that included 5 Black Marlin, a Wahoo 7 Mahimahi and 2 Spanish Mackeral.
So it reads like this for the overall CPUE…41 Boats with 151 Anglers that included 5 Lady Anglers and 4 Junior Men in ideal conditions had a Total of 243 Strikes, 177 Hook ups and 100 Recorded Fish being 34 Blue Marlin, 13 Black Marlin, 3 Striped Marlin and a Sailfish for 51 Billfish and 52 Other Species comprising 1 LT Tuna,5 Wahoo 1 Cobia, 12 YF Tuna, 23 Mahimahi and 8 NQ Tuna spp.
The FORESHORE SLAM stands at 6 mixed species of Skipjack Tuna, Sailfish, Black Marlin Trevally spp. Mahimahi and Spotted Mackeral all on the Great Sea Spit, for a Trophy to be set up as the BREAKSEA SPIT FORESHORE SLAM;
2018 Inaugural Winner Foreshore Captain, Brad Rocke.
Major Prize Categories went to +7.5M Pole Dancer, 26,500pts; -7.5M Paddy Fat, 13,500 pts;
Champion Heavy Tackle Angler, Daniel Barker 14,000 pts;
Champion Heavy Tackle Lady Angler, Sarah Best 4,000 pts;
Champion Light Tackle Angler, Emma Scholes 4,000 pts;
Champion Junior Angler, Ryan Thomson 8,000 pts;
Champion Hervey Bay GFC Angler, Trent Walno 8,250 pts;
INSIDER ONLY PRIZE, Luke Augutis 300 pts;
Heaviest YF Tuna Dale Penhall 35kg;
2nd Ryan McKinnon 32.5 kg and Biggest Wahoo, Peter Richardson 21.5 kg.
A really big effort to put this Tournament together without a Major Sponsor, but with lots of help from Club’s continuous Sponsors who stand tall as the Club’s stalwarts.
Club President, Brad Rocke and Secretary Shelly Jackson work Tirelessly together to bring a Tournament in this Region to fruition and they are keenly supported by Dave Postan and Daughter Sarah now Committee Member Chris Best’s Bride.
This is as good as Tournaments can be in an isolated region of the most unspoilt area yet to be found .. possibly why it will remain unspoilt because of its location and weather reliant conditions to reach the Pinnacle of Blue Marlin Fishing. Obviously Tasman Venture and Captain Lloyd and his Crew are to be thanked for the service it provides and their care taken to protect the Environment in the area. The Fuel Barge stands out as a necessity underappreciated as the most essential item on the Tournament List ……. Fuel, Ice and Water.
Pauline and I are proud to do what we can for this Tournament.