What a year to run a business let a lone a charter operation, with the Covid 19 sweeping the world and Western Australia shutting its boarders. After the initial shock we realised that the world was going to continue regardless we launched Billistic. It wasn’t until the end of June and a fare amount of maintenance that we were on the water only to get clobbered by gusting Easterlies.
Good stocks of Sailfish proved to be our salvation and with the tournament looming and not much work around I asked my long time friend Jas if he’d like to fish for the then one day tournament & later two day for free.
Of course he said yes and grabbed a crew of blokes who were probably more suited to the golf course than the back of a game boat but after giving them a test run on the Friday before they proved me wrong with 18 sails between them. Good skipper I recon by the 1st day we were leading with 21 Sails which surprised all of us. The 2nd & last day we only managed 10 Sails and missed the accolades by 2 fish, close but not close enough.
The rest of the season has fished very well, best day was a sol charter who managed 17 sails on his own and most fish had to be relocate owing to the grey coat brigade getting tooo friendly. We finished up the year with 28 charters which was amazing and a bloody big thank you to everyone who made it possible.
As for the crystal ball for 2021 I can only wish everyone a positive year ahead and good health, seeyu then.
Probably the year I forgot! Unremarkable to quote our former Premier (Barnett). Sailfish never really came to the party heaps of hungry sharks hens the truck load of cobia that escort the sharks. Crystal ball 2020 will be a huge year with heaps of sails seeyu then
Outstanding year for sailfish and quiet on the marlin front. Started off well with over 100 Sails being released in the first three sets of tides, Ringo went to work in Darwin so Shannon came back for half the season and I finished off with Bec (my first and not last female deck hand).
Had a great start to the 30th Anniversary Billfish Classic with a team of veterans including x deckie’s Rob and Ringo, Jason three time winner and Bec from last yr. Days 1 & 2 probuced over 32 Sails in heavy fog, this was some of the best sail fishing I’ve had in over 30yrs. The remainder of the tournament was in the words of our now X premier – unremarkable
Fisheries are going to have to pull there heads out from the sand and manage the shark fishery a lot better than they are. We relocated over 35 Silfish out of 216 caught this season, this is fine for bigger boats but nearly impossible to execute in smaller vessels. My advise to Fisheries is “Listen to the people who are fishing for a living” I wish!!
Starting the season off a little latter next year and looking for a new Deck hand for 2019 (male or female) so if you know anyone
After a disastrous 2016 season, there was a marked improvement with sailfish hungry and in good numbers, thank heavens. I put this down to NOT tagging the sailfish as its been observed that boats tagging sailfish had sharks all over them.
We’ve been using the Free Release method and re-locate the fish up to 1 kilometre from the problem. The fish is bought onboard a deck wash placed in its mouth and its eyes covered with a wet towel. With the assistance of the customers it’s been very successful and a bonus for those close photos; us one -sharks nil!!
Good numbers of marlin this year saw us come 3rd in the Billfish Classic with 5 caught on Billistic on the 1st day. It was a great effort from our team Andrew, Nick, Gin & Bec who had never fished together and the competition was fierce.
Well done Bec for catching the largest marlin for the tournament.
Crystal Ball for 2018 Big things and the 30th anniversary of the Broome Billfish Classic, can’t wait – Bring em on!!
On the board in 2016 with a convincing win in the Broome Billfish Classic saw Team Billistic (Jason Bull, Joe, Pete & trusted deckie Ringo) doubling everyones score and taking out the classic. Winners are grinners.
Broome is getting over one of its biggest El nino and it shows, hopefully we’ve seen the end of it and things level out in 2021. The Sailfish didn’t start turning up until mid September with large pods, and sightings of over 150 fish cruising the surface but they were decidedly gun shy. They disappeared in late October and our season finished.
Well what a start to the season! Sailfish & bait turned up @ Barred Ck early and stuck around till the start of the tournament in July. Great to see the small boats getting in on the action with good captures only 2-4Nm off shore. The Spanish mackerel also in force & stuck around for most of the year with our best day accounting for over 100 in 5.5hrs on a hot bite in August.
This year we sported an All Girl crew for the tournament, Jenny, Kelly, Mel & Dee Team Allure . The girls are dedicated fisho’s and didn’t leave their positions on the back deck, all day every day which helps win tournaments, they’re welcome to fish with us anytime they like. Sailfish decided to relocate from Barred Ck the week before the tournament, consequently fish numbers were down on previous years.
The sailfish didn’t really get back on their feet till late September when we had some barrel (Tuna) fisho’s from Melbourne on Billistic and after getting the hang of egg beaters showed they really could fish.
I learnt a few good lessons this year, just as well we never stop learning!!. New improved teasers Mark IV that work well, both in deep water as well as shallow (deadly) is probably all I’m going to say on that subject.
2016 Crystal Ball probably a slow start to the season and just as well as my partner Liz turns a young 60 and we’re off travelling till May, season is going to be a blitzed with a truck load of Sails Yeah!!
A Lack lustre year would best describe 2014, Sails were around early April/May in good numbers and didn’t re-appear till late June. Fishing improved right up to end of November when we found good numbers but nearly 40Nm North (No good for anyone) except the fuel companies.
The tournament went well with our team from Mooloolaba winning over 7.5m and champion Angler as well as runner up veteran. Mind you once the boys worked out how to use the spinning reels, things got a hole lot better. I managed to get a couple of weeks off mid season and fished the H.I.B.T. in Hawaii from our win in the AIBT last year. Amazing fishing a beautiful place to do it, but there’s more Sails in Broome, I would however recommend thou that skippers shouldn’t fish on other peoples boats!.
Sailfish definitely found good pastures over the 2013/14 wet season, average size was 25-35kg a big improvement over 2013. However to raise even more Sails I’ve changed the teaser pattern and the results are very impressive. Look out 2015.Crystal Ball for 2015, should be a bumper year with a good mix of fish and hopefully more marlin.
WOW!! what a Sailfish/Marlin season we’ve had in 2013 and the best Marlin season since I don’t know when. Sailfish started turning up in good numbers early June and ramped up to an amazing finish in November. Well they’re still there just need some fit punters to handle the northwesters, it should fish well up to December.
Back at the helm of Billistic with a new deckie Shannon and a hunger for fish, talk about baptism of fire, Shannon went from never seeing a Sail/Marlin in June to tracing over 260 bills for the season. His best challenge was during the tournament with the pressure on the last day and a hot bite that boated us 21 Sails & secured the Sailfish Tournament, A.I.B.T. Champion Boat, Angler & runner up Angler. Top effort fellas & well done Jason.
SHARKs!! mmm there has to be something done sooner than later, someone is going to get hurt. We’ve adopted boating the Sails/Marlin, placing the deck wash in their mouth and driving off when confronted with up to a dozen sharks around the boat. Works well and when the fish are released they don’t muck around, amazing what a shot of oxygen does.
Crystal Ball for 2014: We’re having good rains before Christmas and expecting a moderate Wet so things should be back to normal (whatever that is) neutral El nino for 2014. The Sails were small in size and should have grown to 15+kg so all is looking good.
Just when you thought it was safe to come out and play the La Nina returned mid year & threw everything up in the air. Sailfish were scarce in the early parts of the season & only really showed their faces in late June when I entrusted Billistic to my long time deckie/skipper Rob Robinson & Ringo the man on the Deck.
Both fella’s are Champion anglers & produced some interesting figures on the Sails for the later part of the season. Best day was 16 Sails and several baker dozen’s throughout the year. The Broome Sailfish Tournament fished well, considering they stuffed the good tides up. Line honours went to Waverider II (congrat’s to Pav). It was rumoured that Champion senior angler went to a young fella who’s usually yelling orders on Billistic not taking them, things will be back to normal 2013.
Good numbers of Northern Bluefin Tuna & Spanish Mackerel were everywhere, at one stage I wasn’t quite sure if we were a Game fishing outfit or or a Sport fishing boat.
Crystal Ball for 2013; With the world fishery being hammered, top predator, the shark has to find new grounds closer to shore where prey is easier to catch (man & fish incl.). I just hope the Fisheries dept. get there heads out of the sand & stop telling us that its a healthy fishery and do something about it. As for a sustainable fishery lets just leave it up to government, they know whats best for us??? they can OK a heap of LNG’s along the Australian coast line then no more problems & no sustainable fishery.
According to the BOM we can expect a neutral state for La nina/Elnino in the first half 2013. With unusual action off (unremarkable???) Prices pt. in 2012 fuel burn/travel time will be up next yr and fishing good.
A decided lack of fish & a La Nina can explain a poor season in Broome and why most of our warm water & fish are still on there way back from Perth. The first half of our season was void of our usual mobs of Sails, Mackerel & pretty much anything that had gills and only got slightly better towards the end.
After last years Wintery Broome Sailfish Tournament the weather & fish Gods decided to play ball. Reasonable numbers of Sails started to appear for the tournament, better late than never. Our team of locals fished there way to the top of the pack with consistency, best day fishing bagged them 9 out of 13 Sails but at the end of the day had to settle for third place overall, still a great effort.
Murphy’s law was the case with a 20kg Northern Bluefin Tuna coming to the boat and with pics taken and congratulating all round we slid the fish back into the water to swim another day. The next day found us in the record books finding the WA State record on 10kg was 13 odd Kilo’s mmm.
Crystal Ball for 2012; well after last years prediction falling short, we’re hopefully looking forward to our fish stocks & warm water returning from their holiday down south. Woodside isn’t going away and the Greens have decided to get into the picture, this could see a major effect on our very well maintained and sustainable Sailfishery.