I fished Port Stephens last Saturday with Capt. Billy Bilson on board his magnificent fishing machine Viking II. We set off from Nelson Bay with our charter Spot and his two mates who had previously never caught a Marlin.
We headed for an area known as 'The Car Park' but refrained from employing the technique used in the area of sinking live baits, which, at times can be the most productive but also takes the excitement out of the visual aspect of the marlin stalking. Instead, we decided to trolled skip baits into the area, intending on switching bait if required. Within minutes we had our first marlin of the day take a skip bait and after a short but fierce battle, a 90kg black marlin was released!
Shortly after we had two marlin up behind the boat. One took a skip bait and the other we switched to a live bait - but that’s when Murphy’s law came into effect. What do you do when one marlin wants to go on holidays on the Gold Coast and the other marlin thinks life has to be easier down Bermagui way? Well you do the best you can!
I have been on board Viking II on previous occasions with Capt, Billy Billson when he has experienced double hook-ups and I have witnessed the most incredible boat manoeuvring to release both marlin. At times a decision has to be made to apply sunset drag on one (to release one fast or lose one) and concentrate on the other. In this case, with both reels screaming and rods pointed in opposite directions it’s only a matter of time.
We continued trolling and our other two anglers released their first marlin. Our first angler released his second, giving us a total of four marlin for the day and the smiles on the faces of our anglers said it all.
I am sure that I will see many more double hook-ups on Viking II fishing with Capt. Billy Billson, who is one of the few legends of marlin fishing in Australia, but will always remember those two marlin on that Saturday in February that took off like steam trains in opposite directions.