Fraser Island, Australia: Emerging Billfish Destination
The following is a guest post provided by Australia’s Barry Aulty. Owner of the Mistress, a tournament-winning charter boat captained by Brett Alty (Barry’s son), Aulty provides a sneak peak an emerging destination that boasts the possibility of super slams and large blue marlin. Add this one to the list of wish list destinations….
By Barry Alty
Fraser Island, located off Australia’s eastern Queensland coast is a National Park with pristine rainforests and inland lakes of varying hues. Stretching nearly 75 miles, Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world.
How to Get There
Hervey Bay is the step off point for Fraser Island. It has a well serviced airport, a range of resorts, hotels, motels and restaurants, and is an easy four-hour drive from Brisbane, Queensland’s capital city. It is a 4WD paradise accessible by barge from the nearby town of Hervey Bay.
Fishing Fraser Island is most popular during the months between July-October. Local runabouts have tagged and released juvenile black marlin, up to 30 a day, near the northern end of Fraser Island just outside of the Breaksea Spit.
The established juvenile black marlin fishery has recently been supplemented by the discovery of a well-rounded adult marlin fishery as well. The waters are marked by the presence of a lot of bait and multiple species of marlin. The blues have averaged around 400-pounds with our biggest to date circa 700. The Stripes have ranged from 240 to 300-pounds. They climb on like blues– none of this tap tap tap nonsense!
Any place where you can catch an average of nearly three marlin a day is a fantastic, world-class fishery. What makes it even more incredible is that there are four species available with Pacific blues and blacks being the most predominant, followed by stripes and Pacific sailfish.
The Mistress, skippered by Captain Brett Alty who has driven Gameboats in Perth and the Gold Coast in Australia, has explored the waters offshore of Fraser Island. Capt. Brett says ” I have never seen anything like this, so many species available and Blues and Blacks in big numbers by any standard. There will definitely be a Grander Blue here somewhere.”
Mistress began fishing again off Fraser Island beginning of March 2017. The day before my 73rd birthday, in December, we tagged our 100th blue marlin for the season (which started in July 2017). As of March 2018, the boat’s total was 136-marlin.
The Mistress is a family affair. Captain Brett Alty is Barry’s son. According to Barry, Brett’s birthday present for his father will be a grander blue. We hope it’s a good birthday and look forward to reporting the present! ITB