THE annual billfish bonanza is in full swing in the local area from the islands of the southern bunker group down to the Break Sea Spit and westward to the coastline.
The hot spots in the past couple of weeks have been in Platypus Bay on the western side of Fraser Island around Rooney's Point and around Arch Cliffs.
Several small boats including kayaks launched off the beaches have been enjoying the spectacular small black marlin fishing in shallow water and at times within 50 metres of Fraser's western beach.
The forecast for this weekend looks near perfect to venture wide offshore or up the inside of Fraser from Urangan Harbour if you tow the boat down to the Bay.
One of the most effective methods at present is to troll small skirted lures between 6-7 knots close in behind the boat. Colours including blues or purples run in near the prop wash or short and long corners and brighter lumo or orange/green on the outsides or rigger positions.
A hot pink skirt run a long way back is a good bet to pick up a tuna or other pelagics if the billfish are not feeding.
If you have a big enough boat and enough rod holders and crew to clear the lines, a hard-bodied diving lure run directly over the motor and about 20 metres behind the stern will work like a reflective teaser below the prop wash area and take its fair share of billfish and other species also.
An outgoing tide is usually the best time to fish the eastern side of Break Sea Spit around the 13 mile crossing area, because the currents draw out the warmer surface water from the bay and this takes the bait fish with it also to where the billfish will be patrolling.
Searching on the sounder for a ball of bait fish is a sure way to put you in the hot spots, so when running along the contour lines and you see a mid-water show, I would spend about half an hour on figure-of-eight-type trolling patterns through and around the bait shows.
Eight kilogram line or above is suggested and the small black marlin can be landed with a bit of fun on the 8 and 15kg set-ups. It is a good idea to run at least 100lb leader on the lures to lessen the chances of their bill wearing through the leader during the fight.
I hope you get a chance to tow some lures around over the weekend and next couple of months, because you just never know what will take a liking to them at this time of the year.
The Bundaberg sport fishing club will hold its monthly meeting on Sunday at 4pm at the Burnett Heads community hall and will have a team of anglers fishing the ATW fishing competition next weekend. So if you see any club members around, feel free to say hello and you can keep up to date on club activities via the club's Facebook page or at www.bundysportfishing.com.au.