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Alex's Column 20 October 2023

If last weekend’s penultimate round of the Top End Billfish Series is anything to

go by, next month’s NT Billfish Classic should be a blinder.

After several weeks of unseasonal blustery conditions, with hardly any anglers

venturing offshore to chase billfish, last weekend’s far calmer conditions saw a

small fleet hit the waters wide of Dundee.

Old mates Peter Dienhoff and David “Brooksy” Brooks were out there amongst

the action.

“I'm excited to report that the billfish grounds were stacked with billfish over

both days,” Peter told me.

“We personally tagged two sailfish with numbers 4-3-2.”

For those of you unacquainted with billfish speak, 4-3-2 means four billfish

raised, three of them hooked and two actually landed.

Ryan Dowling, Sarah Watkins and Jake Laws were absolutely on fire, raising

more than 40 billfish on Sunday alone.

After multiple double and triple hook-ups, they ended up tagging seven sailfish

and a black marlin.

Rodney, Kimmie, Tilly and Max Mychas also had a fat time.

“On Saturday, we raised a large black marlin around 100kg that wouldn’t eat

the lure, and we saw four other marlin feeding on bait balls,” Rodney reported.

“On Sunday, my mate Jake Laws fishing with Ryan Dowling radioed that the

bait and fish are north, so we quickly pulled the gear in and hammered up


“Within 10 minutes of pulling up, Kimmie hooked up on a black marlin around


“From then on it was an epic day, raising over 40 fish with pods of fish coming

up and eating everything,” Rodney explained.

All up, the Mychas family landed six sailfish and one marlin.

“I believe the final tagged numbers reported were seven marlin up to 100kg

and over 20 sailfish,” Peter said.

“The sailfish were encountered in pods, basically hunting in packs and not as

single fish.

“Multiple hook-ups were experienced, including our two fish landed,” Peter


Top End Billfish Series administrator, Doug Saunders, was not surprised by the


Doug said the billfish normally arrive in September and excellent tag numbers

have been reported in the past.

Peter said: “The late arrival of the billfish at the Dundee grounds could be

attributed to the strong winds recently encountered for the month of


“This may have kept the water clarity dirty and not ideal for billfish.

“Whatever the reason, the billfish seemed to have arrived in numbers.

“Doug is taking out Kane Dysart from the NT Guided Fishing Industry

Association this week to the Dundee fishing grounds to try and deploy some

satellite tags into the migratory billfish so we can hopefully establish a

migration pattern and learn a bit more about their movements across the Top

End coastline at this time of the year,” Peter explained.

All this exciting billfish action is great news for the Billfish Classic to be held on

9-11 November, and entry forms can be found on the web page or


The final round of the Top End Billfish Series, to be held in conjunction with the

Classic, should be a real shootout as there are only a couple of billfish

separating the first five placements.

David “Brooksy” Brooks fished the Top End Billfish Series with Peter

Dienhoff last weekend and caught an incredibly-rare wahoo for our NT

coastal waters… and what a beauty it was!

Kimmie Mychas’ black marlin was one of four billfish she caught wide of

Dundee in the Billfish Series.

Rodney Mychas reckoned the billfish were coming up in pods and eating



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