David Granville

Sunshine Coast Fishing Personality

David Granville has made a career out of fishing and fishing photography, having penned plenty of articles and been the editor of Trailerboat and Bluewater magazines at various stages and working behind the scenes on All 4 Adventure. More recently, Dave has taken over the iconic Brownies Coastwatch brand that is so familiar to Queensland anglers surfers and divers..

Dave’s Tips For Sunshine Coast Black Marlin

  • Spring is the time when a mix of sailfish and juvenile black marlin move into Sunshine Coast waters. This can start as early as August some years, but is often a September/October trend.
  • Finding the bait is often the key, as is common for many predatory species. Yakkas (yellowtail scad) are a resident baitfish on the Sunshine Coast, but Slimy Mackerel are the hands-down favourite food of juvenile black marlin. They’re a little less predictable than yakkas.
  • Bait schools are usually holding over structure such as a bit of gravel or wire weed on the bottom. A good place to start is at a depth of around 50m over smallish, flatter structure. The position of the bait in the water can tell you a lot about whether there’s fish there. Bait get pushed higher in the water by predators, so when you find them rippling on the surface you know there’s fish around.
  • If you’re unfamiliar with the Sunshine Coast, just head North East out of Mooloolaba towards the Barwon Banks and when you’re in 50m or more of water you’re in the zone once you find bait.
  • Water clarity and baitfish presence are the key factors on the Sunshine Coast and a calm day or a gentle breeze is beneficial. Water temp is less of a factor because the Sunshine Coast doesn’t get seriously cold. 
  • Don’t run troll more lines than can be managed by the crew onboard. For solo fishing Dave will only put out two rods and a teaser and will keep the amount of line out to a minimum so when a fish is hooked he can clear the other line and teaser quickly. Fish will come very close to the boat to take a lure, so this doesn’t affect the bite much. With an experienced second person on board he’ll run up to four lines at a time.
  • When unhooking and/or tagging a fish it’s important not to kick the boat into neutral, but to slowly motor along and lead the fish. Otherwise the fish can quickly become uncontrollable.
  • Outriggers are great because you can run lures in clear water and give them a better chance of getting hit. 

Dave’s Tackle For Small Black Marlin

  • Dave prefers 8kg tackle for small marlin and for sailfish, but will switch up to 10 or 15kg if he’s solo fishing. He uses a 6′ short stroker rod in the 8kg class, a Tiagra 16 or TLD, Tyrnos or similar overhead reel with a line capacity of 500-600m line is ideal. A 100lb wind on leader is generally sufficient for these smaller fish.

Dave’s Sunshine Coast Marlin Lures

  • You could easily get by with just taking three straight running, cup-faced Pakula trolling lures in the 6-9″ size range. The Lumo Sprocket is a little larger but is usually one of the lures Dave runs for marlin and sailfish. Otherwise a Pakula Cockroach or Mosquito in other colour combinations, particularly pink and purple/black.
  • Moldcraft trolling lures are also good for black marlin at times, although Dave tends to use them more for blue marlin.
  • A single hook rig is much safer for anglers when a feisty black marlin is boatside. Dave rigs his by looping the line around the shank of the hook and crimping, then crimping the tag end again a few inches up the leader to create a stopper for the lure head. He’ll have the eye of the hook just inside the skirt.

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Brownies Coastwatch

David has just taken over the iconic Brownies Coastwatch brand and is rebuilding and revamping the website to launch a refreshing new array of fishing and outdoor content. Check it out at CoastWatch.com.au

1 Comment

  1. Xtremo

    What a cracker episode covering stuff many of us will never experience but may still have wondered about in terms of the logistics, not to mention the unfamiliar language.

    Anyway, after over 400 episodes I’m so glad someone has finally mentioned “Auto Pilot”.

    In truth I’m astonished this tech is not more widely used, not only by solo fishos who need to be skipper, watch, fisho and deckie all rolled into one.
    But also how on the long run out to the shelf bait grounds, one can take a few minutes “hands free” to get a cuppa and a sandwich, or whatever else takes a minute or two.

    I guess Auto Pilot also allow less experience crew to take their turn at the wheel without stuffing up the navigation, etc. That plus the range of auto trolling patterns is amazing, especially when the birds & bait are not giving much away.

    So, a few questions for David:

    What make & model of Auto Pilot do you use and is that choice influenced (or dictated) by the brand of outboard and/or sounder you have?

    You didn’t mention what make & model of sounder(s) you have, or the transducer(s) for that matter. Are these essential an tool for you in locating bluewater game species beyond the telltale signs of birds & bait?

    If a sounder is an essential tool, what mapping do you use (make/model/level please), and how reliant are you on ocean topology to find the fish?

    David, while you admitted to being an old-school ANSA fisho and so inclined to favour lighter line classes (old habits die hard, hey!), do you ever don a gimbal/harness?

    When solo, how ever do you tag? Some tips & techniques would be appreciated … apart from growing an extra pair of hands.

    Finally, why do you favour fighting fish on the Starboard side, especially in a centre console?


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