Saturday, 12 January 2013


Fraser Coast

Debatable from some, skeptical from others, but most  often the topic of strong fish or "Pound for Pound" fighters, from speed bullet fish like  Wahoo through to Acrobatically known leapers such as Billfish. Most fish fight differently.

So what do Anglers head out on trips for? Is it the thrill of fighting the fish? Or is it the glory photos after landing it? Personally I believe that there is no debatable conversation when you speak to any Angler about there own personal addiction to Angling. I could nearly find myself, or more to the point to be actually a man that chases a great fight from fish. Either chasing Bass on 1000 reels and 2 pound leaders and beginning a battle between me and the fish, with the chance of a Bass burying his head and draining my spool to head for snags and actually giving the fish a chance to fight back. Or trolling tirelessly with large reels with 80-120 pound Leaders for Fraser Coast Black Marlin. But either way I'm always chasing that battle!

Lontail Tuna 15 Kilograms
But what I can't get my head around is the variety in different fish strength's and durability of having a spool squeal with fish like Mackeral or Wahoo's "First Run" or to mention head shakes from a wide diverse range of fish like Snapper and Bream. But going back to my previous quote of "Pound For Pound" fish that a seriously just torpedoes of muscle, and in my bag of fish knocked off my bucket list was on Queensland's Fraser Coast, as many of my articles on TheFishCure are on Fraser's Coast just because of the waterways that leaves this place an icon, some say a "Fishing Meca" or "Fisherman's Paradise" but my "Pound For Pound" fighter is the Longtail Tuna.

Releasing The Tuna

I recently came back from a trip to Hervey Bay with my Girlfriend to visit a Family member being Scott Mitchell. Heading out in search of juvenile Black Marlin that definitely do not make there presence in Fraser's waters annually, but in fact roll through around every six years pushing up right on the golden sand flats and balling up bait fish in tight balls of shimmering Silver at Roonies  point in Fraser Island, Fly Fishing Anglers from all around the world travel to these flats for sight casting on the Golden Trevally.

Definitely was a surprising and special moment when Black Marlin were clearly visible to sight cast a lure to land right directly in front of the marlin's bill. In fact a few people in Hervey Bay have successfully fought and landed some of these  Extremely exquisite and impressive fish.
 But after raising and hooking a Black on a skipping Garfish that Scott carefully threaded the night before, only to have been busted off through 80 pound braid that broke at the spool. It was either a great Black Marlin with some sizeable weight or the braid slipped in behind the spool of the Shimano Talica overhead reel and broke off. Either way I lost sleep that night!

This Is One Of The Most Spectacular Fish Anyone Can Ever Battle

With my head hanging with disappointment we began the Hour and a half journey home in Scott's Haines Signature 485SF. Only to find a heap of bait balling up on the Lowrance Sounder followed bit a spectacle of bust ups from tuna destroying the surface of the water with very impressive explosions as they snapped up the bait. I flicked my Soft Plastic in the middle of the bait Bust ups, and brilliant witnessed my the tip of my rod Buckle.

So Amazingly Sleek In Design. Built For Speed

Now I have caught these fish before and I never do I underestimate Longtail Tuna, as for a fish that fights "Pound For Pound" and feels like you have hooked your lure on the back trailer of a Mack Truck the Longtail Tuna is a fish that fights right up until it is lying helplessly out if his fighting ground on the bottom of the boat, and for this, the Longtail Tuna gets my respect. As I said before and many times, if you find a fish that you love catching, try chasing this certain species on lighter gear. I began my battle with this tuna on my snapper outfit, a Shimano Terez and Stella FE 4000. But these Tuna can strip a Stella 4000 of its line faster than you can blink on nearly locked up on 13Kg of drag power. As for weight it fights well above its weight of muscle on light gear, this Longtail was a healthy 15 Kg's of pure red flesh. Battling a fish that leaves you gasping for air and your arms hanging, this is definitely nothing surprising when coming to these species

Black Marlin In Mid Flight

Early morning rises in the second day to chase these Black Marlin's. Looking in depth to tide changes and wind direction and speed the night before then rigging up skipping Garfish with wax threads and floating circle hooks. As far as im aware Marlin take great effect to the feeding on the Tidal changes, but to some recreational Anglers seem to forget that alot of great fishing comes from learning the Tidal changes. After all it is Nature and Science does take effect in some shape and form. We began our one and a half hour journey up the Island for another shot of the beautiful creatures.

Nothing Is Better Than Releasing A Fish Such Like This One
The plan of action that Scott planned out was to troll with our Snapper outfits with 20 pound Power Pro braid and 80 Pound Wind-on leaders with the bail arms of our Stella's open and after the fish strike, let him run with the Gar in his mouth for a good 10 seconds then flip the bail arm over and let the tension take it's own slack, and pin him in the jaw with the circle hook. As Marlin have very tough jaws hopefully this would stick in the jaw.
After Trolling for hours and sighting a fair amount of Marlin right up in the shallows but not having any outfits ready to sight cast them is definately a heart breaking site, we raised a fair amount of them from their depths and had the chasing either the Daisy Chain Teasers and striking the Pushers or chasing the Gars but then turning their heads with no strike. catching us off guard a Marlin began to rise from the depths and chase the Gar on the end of my line. sticking to our plan we let him swallow the bait then close the bail arm. Nearly instantly he began to peal line from the spool of my 4000 Stella.
Words cant began detail or elaborate the site of a Marlin fighting from the air, with its amazing Jumps and arcrobatic skills in any fearful attempt the spit the hook from its jaws. After what would have to be proclaimed as one of my epic but very different battle of any fish i've tackled so to speak we had him beside the boat. But this was definately not your most common capture, he had got him bill stuck inbetween the wax thread that had been used to tie the gar, and the circle hooks were not penetrated anywhere on this fish but was floating on the thread. After having a few photo's with this fish that had given me a smile from Fraser to Sydney was swam beside the boat and successfully released to fight another day and migrate out of the Bay when he actually found his way around the Island on his journey

As lucky as I felt to have the chance to enjoy marine life and giants of the Ocean, this Juvenile was only around 12 months old and already 25 Kg's. But taking into account that these fish have the potential to grow a staggering 1,700 Pounds and a massive 16 feet in length, which makes this fish a special and precious deal in marine preservation and I would not have had it any other way then to watch this fish and personally release it. In fact It would have had to be my most pized moment in fishing. So I would definately also have to add this species to my list of "Pound For Pound' fighters.

Cheers Dale Ward      "Man I Love Fishing"

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