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Alex's Column 4/6/21

Conditions could not have been better for last week’s round three of the Top End Billfish Series.

Unlike last year, when the early rounds were cancelled, it all came together for this two-day weekend round three.

There are 20-plus competitors/teams in the competition, and more than half were on the water wide of Dundee.

Co-ordinator, Doug Saunders, was ecstatic with the result.

“There were 30 billfish tagged and released – 28 sails and two marlin – which is our best result so far,” Doug said.

“I fished Sunday for three tagged and it was glass-out all day.

The sails were relatively small: mainly 7-10kg but there were a few up around 15-18kg.

“The boats were all fishing together on two shoals inside the Witch’s Nose – that’s where all the fish were concentrated.

“I wasn’t surprised at how many fish there were, given the conditions and the good wet season at last.

“The last five years, the sails were more concentrated during Runoff time; this year they were back to May like 10 years ago,” Doug explained.

“There were some big longtails about too; they took my teaser pushers close to boat.

“I reckon there were up to four fish in a pod coming up on the spread, but it was hard to tell with those smaller fish.

“The two marlin were estimated at 30-40kg and 10-15kg.

“It was a relatively slow start to the series – although obviously better than last year – but 30 tagged fish in this round is a great result.

“A highlight was that four competing juniors all caught fish, and for two of them it was their first ever billfish,” Doug told me.

Rod Mychas won the round with six sailfish – two each day.

It was a great way to celebrate his birthday on the Sunday.

The Mychas family did very well, raising at least 18 sails and one marlin, and tagging eight sails.

“We had a few come up through the spread that weren’t that interested, but we had a triple hook-up and two double hook-ups,” Rod told me.

“On Saturday, it was a morning bite and then again late in the afternoon, whereas Sunday there was action most of the day.

“Tilley’s and Max’s sails were both around 10-12kg, and I got one on the Saturday that was 18-20kg.

What an awesome birthday weekend I’ve had,” Rod said.

The next round of the Top End Billfish Series is on 8 Aug, followed by two rounds in September when some hot action is predicted.

Rod Mychas helps his son Max with Max’s first-ever sailfish, caught during the Top End Billfish Series.

Tilly Mychas prepares to release her first-ever billfish.


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