South-East Queensland Australia Summer Marlin Fantastic Fishing
Queensland’s south-east is a mecca for tourists during the Australian summer with plenty of attractions for the whole family including theme parks and miles and miles of golden beaches. The temperatures are moderate and the weather is fantastic.
Whilst the family are off enjoying one of the many attractions there is some serious marlin fishing to be had in the grounds just offshore. Light tackle fishing for juvenile black marlin is a summer highlight with the fish in the 30-50kg range and often in great numbers.
There are also plenty of other pelagic species on offer year-round including wahoo, yellow fin tuna and mahi mahi. Further offshore, heavy tackle fishing for striped and blue marlin is also possible in the cooler months.
February to April
Port Stephens for Black, Blue and Striped Marlin
The idyllic town of Port Stephens lays a 2.5-hour drive north of Sydney and is recognised as one of Australia’s most picturesque locations, as well as action packed marlin fisheries.
Black, blue and striped marlin are prolific in these waters and it is not uncommon to catch all three species in a day. This special event is called a marlin grand slam.
Port Stephens is also home to one of the biggest marlin fishing tournaments in Australia which is held in the last week of March. The tournament is held every year with more than 200 boats and 1000 anglers competing, and literally hundreds and hundreds of marlin are caught and released.
May to August
Townsville Juvenile Black Marlin and Sailfish
The first year juvenile blacks move into the waters off Cape Bowling Green in the winter months, although winter in North Queensland is very mild. The fishery off Townsville at Cape Bowling Green provides is a perfect location for extended live-aboard charters targeting these light tackle black marlin and sailfish. The Cape itself is a featureless low-lying sandspit and provides a good anchorage close to the fishing. And the fishing, well it can be pretty unbelievable.
Some of the best days fishing on these ground include 36 and 32 marlin in a single day’s fishing. The prolific juvenile black marlin offer great challenges for light tackle specialists or a lot of fun for the gamefishing novice.
The season can start as early as April and fishing continues all the way through to peak in August and September when the Townsville Game Fishing Club hosts the Townsville Billfish Challenge, and sometimes even into October.
September to December
The Cairns Giant Black Marlin Season
If you haven’t fished a Cairns marlin fishing season, some may say you haven’t fished at all. Year after year the giant blacks return to this area of the Great Barrier Reef to spawn. The females range from 700 to 1300lbs and with the abundance of smaller males from 250lbs at their side, gives anglers from all over the world an opportunity of a lifetime.
The reefs stretch over 150 miles from Cairns to Lizard Island and are frequented by the giant black marlin from September through to December; and the opportunity to catch a 1000+ pounder can become a reality.
Dawn to dusk the experience never ends – bait fishing, popper fishing, jigging for GT’s, mahi mahi, wahoo, dogtooth tuna, coral trout and swimming and snorkeling on the reef. All this and much more before heading outside the reef to do battle with a giant black marlin.
Kelly is the author/editor of the Black Marlin Fishing Blog which features daily marlin fishing reports. She is also a team member on KEKOA, one of the most popular and well-known marlin fishing charter boats working in Australia. Her husband, Captain Luke Fallon is a veteran of 27 Cairns giant black marlin seasons and the couple are considered a wealth of knowledge on the topic of marlin fishing Australia.
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