Marlin Not Cooperative At Bluewater Tackle World Marlin Cup

Results from the 2018 Bluewater Tackle World Marlin Cup, hosted by the Perth Game Fishing Club.

Tom Schuling

Tom Schuiling landed this quality yellowfin tuna during the 2018 Bluewater Tackle World Marlin Cup.

With the outlook for great weather showing in the week leading up to the Bluewater Tackle World Marlin Cup, and plenty of mahi-mahi on the FADs reported midweek, the Perth Game Fishing Club received some late entries to bring the boat total up to 19 for the competition. The weather did not disappoint, but what seems typical in smooth seas, the marlin were not as enthusiastic as expected.

After Saturday morning’s sailpast, boats headed to the trench loaded with hope, expectation, and 15-kilogram (30-pound) tackle. Matt Fava picked up a mahi-mahi close to 6 kilograms north of the trench. the mahi didn't score, but it was a nice keeper, as was a larger mahi caught by Phil Volich from the Fibrelite Boats FAD.

Shane Anderson and Sarah Coleman had some brief excitement aboard Vanquish shortly after midday on Saturday. They had just trolled south past the FSC FAD, noting a few dollies jumping, so decided to run some light gear for mahi. While pulling in the flatlines, the outrigger lure was hit. It was a very timid bite, so they initially initially thought to be a dollie. Looking up, they saw a lit-up striped marlin jumping. Estimated around 80 kilograms, Sarah grabbed the rod and started to put pressure on the fish while Shane recovered the other lines. After a second jump, the fish threw the lure.

Around 2 pm on Saturday, Johnno Wroth’s Naturaliste’s first strike showed signs of blue marlin strike. About 43 nautical miles northwest of Rottnest in very deep water, they were just putting a new elastic band on the outrigger when the lure was hit. A little interference from the deckie’s hand resulted in some bruising and the line snapping. Johnno lost a favorite lure which has accounted for numerous marlin catches.

Naturaliste’s second hookup was on the way back in waters measuring 500 meters. A striped marlin went from lure to lure without any further attention. Interestingly, the water temperature out wide was over 24 degrees celsius, with some good temperature breaks.

Around 2 pm on Sunday, Dave Thomson on Azura got hooked up to an estimated 80-kilogtram striped marlin on 24-kilogram tackle. With Bob Whitcomb on the wheel, they got the fish alongside where Dave was unfortunately unable to get a tag into it, requiring a non-competitor to tag it. Dave got his first metro marlin and likely the Michael Officer Trophy, but unfortunately not the silverware.

The team aboard Compleat Angler fared well on yellowfin tuna in around 1000 meters in the trench. Tom Schuiling picked up a pair weighing 15 and 18 kilograms on Saturday afternoon — the fish, unfortunately, did not score as they were caught on 24-kilogram standup tackle. The image of Tom won the photographic award.

Saturday evening’s dinner at the Rottnest Lodge was a welcome break off the water in pleasant surroundings. Presentation night was well attended, and although the Marlin Cup wasn’t awarded, there were awards made to deserving winners. In summary, another good competition aided by excellent weather. With more big, noisy boats and a bit more wind, maybe the marlin would have been more cooperative. It all looks good for the Shimano WA Open at Jurien Bay in April.

Prizes awarded:

  1. Highest point scoring Tuna - Kevin Baker – 2.1 kilogram striped tuna on 2 kilogram tackle – Rock’N’Roll
  2. Highest point scoring Mahi Mahi - Brian Arnett – 2.1 kilogram mahi mahi on 2 kilogram tackle – Rock’N’Roll
  3. Photographic Prize - Tom Schuiling – Compleat Angler
  4. Sportsmanship Prize - Dave Thomson – Azura