I’ll start off by saying What a fight!!!
Anyone that has read my reports over the years knows that I love this great sport of ours, and that I love to do it off a JetSki. Over the last year I’ve been preparing, with the goal of landing a Sydney marlin off a JetSki! I know marlin have been caught off a JetSki up north, and down south out of Kiama ect, but I believe this may be the first off Sydney.
The last 4-6 weeks I’ve been on a marlin chase. Keeping an eye on water temps, weather, currents and baitfish numbers. I’ve been joined by a couple of mates on occasion, and other times on my own. I’ve trolled the edge of the shelf in over 650m and in close at some local known spots.
The night before I told myself that tomorrow is the day - I’m catching a marlin! I felt it, I knew that it was going to happen!
My mate had wanted to chase Dollie’s at the fads so he shot straight out from botany at first light, while I launched from Port Hacking. I had wanted to get some large slimies, but only managed yakkas/cowanyoung. Good size though, around 25cm.
I started by trolling an 8 inch skirt out to the 90m mark where I had found large baitballs the previous week, but it was barren this time.
Mate called me up on the radio, and I headed off to meet him at the Hacking Fads. No bait anywhere on the way out, stopped at a few spots that have held bait in the past, a klm before the fads…nothing.
Trolled wide around the fads, slow trolled a large livie too. Again nothing.
Decided to try for Dollie’s as my mate lost 2, and had seen some big ones swimming about, but they just wouldn’t take any baits.
It hit 10.30, so rode over to my mate - told him I was going out for a ride around 3klm past the fads to an area I had sounded up bait in the past, & that I would be back in half an hour so we can head back in.
Put out a couple of marlin skirts, a JB little dingo 8” in Evil colour and a Pakula mini sprocket 9.25” in lumo.
Trolling the lures I noticed a small bait ball around 20m wide, then 500m away a bait ball around 30m wide, and a further 500m I went over one that was quite big - bait stacked around 60m wide and up around 30m off the bottom. I drove over, kept trolling a few hundred meters, then had that voice telling me to go back. Stopped, wound in the lures and turned the ski around.
I traced back and there they were - lots of bait down low. I tie on a 10oz snapper lead using an elastic band to the snap swivel, grabbed the largest baitfish I had ~ 25cm, and down it went to the bottom. At this point a marlin dances out of the water 15m away from me. I hit the buttons on both my GoPro and Insta 360 cams. Grab the radio and let my mate know.
I decide to raise the bait higher, grab the rod start to wind up, and the rod suddenly feels heavy, starts to bend and line peels off for a second or two …. then zzzzzzzzzzzzz and its all on!!! Never heard the reel scream non stop - out comes 250m of line in a few seconds and it starts dancing off in the distance. Aerobatics show like a gymnast!
The surface fight goes on for 10minutes, at which point I get the fish close to the ski, it looks at me and says no! its not over, then the deep battle begins. This battles goes on for 35 minutes - half way through my mate finds me and starts videoing too.
I’m spent, and my arms are dead wrestling it up from the deep. 2m gain, 10m loss as we fight back and forth slowly grinding the line up a hard fought meter at a time. I yell out to my mate “I can’t go on any more” and he yells back some words of encouragement to the likes of “you’ve got to fight on, this is your dream fish”. This gives me the determination to fight on. And fight on I do, and at the point my arms are about to give in…. it comes to the surfaces. I leader the fish around and grab the bill.
It’s spent and I’m spent! My next thought is to get this magnificent creature swimming again. I guide it along side the JetSki, bent over with one hand holding its bill and the other on the accelerator I swim the fish for a few minutes making sure water is running through its gills. I feel it’s ready and I release… I see it swim down and I’m ecstatic! What a rush!!
two thumbs up to my mate and I can’t believe what just happened. My first black marlin!!
approx size was around 2.5m full length, tail to bill. Weight I estimate at around 70-90kg
MC Works 15kg rod DE626TSZ - all that tuna Spin 6’2 PE 5-8.
Stella 14000, 88lb saltiga braid, FG knot to 130lb momoi leader, then 150lb to snelled 9/0 Trokar TK4 circle hook.
Depth 150m, sea temp 24 degrees