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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

The toast of the day yesterday was the team on board Top Shot with Capt. Ross Finlayson, Capt. Laurie Wright and Andy and Jay on deck putting angler Stephanie Osgood Choate onto a pending Ladies World Record black marlin on 50lb. The record, which has been unbeaten for 38 years (1976) has been well and truly overtaken by this fish which weighed in at 1,111lbs (previous record was 876lb). Congratulations to Stephanie and the crew!


The fight time was 1 hour and 50 minutes and the fish was caught on the hot spot of 2014, Number 10 Ribbon Reef. This tops off a great weeks fishing for the team who have also put anglers, Stephanie, Tim Choate and Elida Grabowski onto some really nice fish. Hopefully some more details to come.

Elsewhere at the top it was good fishing as usual with plenty of good fish around again.  I snapped this shot of Capt. Corey Hard’s Askari in action nearby. Corey’s been notching up some more good numbers and will have a catch up report from him soon too.


On Capt. Luke Fallon’s KEKOA we released three at 850, 400 and 350lbs and jumped off another real nice one (photo). And nearby, Capt. Tim Richardson’s Tradition released one about 400lbs and lost another nice one after a 90 minute fight.

Capt. Dean Beech on Onsite got another beauty at 950lbs and when we all were heading back into the anchorage to enjoy food and drinks, Capt. Haydon Bell on Kanahoee was still backing out to sea. I’ll try and find out how he ended up!

I had another message from Raffi on the private boat Serendipity with Capt Nick on their way through to Princess Charlotte who stopped in at the rock (Lizard Island) for 1 night and 2 days of heavy tackle. They released an 800lb-er Wednesday for James Whitelaw and then went out yesterday really late after 4pm and had an awesome afternoon hooking up almost straight away releasing one that they put at over 1000lbs for the owner Nicky Irvine (and that performed an incredible aerial display) and followed by a 950lb-er 10 minutes later for Di Baynes. Incredible fishing!

And last but not least, in the Middle Capt. Daniel Carlson’s Little Audrey finished up another top 4 day trip with 5 fish at 950, 700, 600, 500, 200. They almost ended on another big high yesterday losing another big fish about 950lbs after 2 hours.

Many more fish around I suspect and so I’m hunting down the reports!

Update: While its been a little slower down the bottom another report from Andrew Tivey who says that he fished Linden Bank Tuesday and Wednesday this week on Paul Campbell’s private boat Re-Fueled. Andrew says that the fishing was reasonably slow but they did get a nice fish about 800lbs that ate both skip baits on 50’s so it kept the 3 man crew pretty busy with lots of laughs!

Pakula Lures

There were plenty more big fish at the top of the reef yesterday but as most boats are also out of communication, I only have a few reports in. More to come when I hear more.


Capt. Tim Richardson on Tradition got his turn at the big day wheel with 4 fish at 400, 800, 850 and 900lb! They also pulled off a real big one after half an hour, and a second not too long after that. With long term client Greg on board they have released 13 fish now in 6 days and most half of them have been big fish. Well done Greg! Picture above.

Update: a report just in from Matt Fox on board Kaizen who tells me they had a great day yesterday with 5 fish that Capt. Russell Caporn put at 1000 and a 900 (to Dave Trask), 950 to (Mark Hallett) and 900 (to Matt Fox).

And likewise the other Capt. Tim (Dean) on Calypso followed up on his big day on Tuesday with two more yesterday that Tim put in the 4-500lb range for the Texans.

And I also received the catch up pic below from Capt. Damon Gruzdev on Kyrenia of their 900lb-er from last week.



If you’re a regular blog reader you’ve heard the term Linden Stadium – as in, that’s where you go to watch other boats catch marlin… But sometimes its good to be the boat doing the catching (although not fishing at LB).  Capt. Tim Dean’s Calypso was the boat doing the catching yesterday putting on a spectacular show for his Texan anglers.  They caught 4 from 4 beauties inside of an hour that Tim put at 950+, 950, 900 and 850lbs while some other boats watched on! Awesome fishing!

And another big fish, this one on Capt. Ashley Wallis’ Kalira that was sat tagged that Ashley put at 1100lbs. Picture at top.

Up a bit higher, Capt. Chris “Sharky” Miles on Levante caught a nice one. I’ve been promised a catch up report from Sharky soon as its been hard for him to get in touch with the service the way it is this year – stay tuned!  And Capt. Corey Hard’s Askari continues to catch them with another two yesterday.  Corey said they got one about 650 and then another nice 800lb-er late in the arvo which jumped around in the sunset topping of a great day on the ocean. (And it really was! Great weather!)

Also up the top on KEKOA with Capt. Luke Fallon, we started off a new trip with a fish about 700lbs for Andy and missed a smaller model. And Capt. Tim Richardson’s Tradition had the late bite with two fish late in the day after 5 o’clock.

Update: I just got a message from Capt. Brett Goetze on Amokura who was into Port last night on changeover who caught another nice fish fish similar size to the one the day before on the way in!

Gladstone Marlin

A report from Adam Amos who tells me the weather had finally come good enough for them to head out to the 300m contour past Heron Island which they did aboard Sharkcat 1. Two hours into the troll saw a large black launch onto the long corner but failed to hook up. An hour later a blue around the 300lb mark smashed the same lure and put on a great aerial display before winning its freedom. Its awesome to see some big fish in Central Queensland!

Montebello Islands / Dampier still delivering

Capt. Chad Mills on Blue Lightning Charters was lucky enough to see a sailfish free jump, while bottom fishing and popped the lures straight in, teasing up  a black marlin soon after. The guys pitched a bait putting Mark onto his very first 80kg marlin. Not long after Chris and Brian got their first sailfish each. The last day of the trip was spent game fishing off Dampier. Chris was lucky enough to get his second sailfish for the trip, and Tony finished the
day with his very first sailfish as well. The guys were absolutely stoked as never caught billfish before!



Finally the break in the weather we’ve been waiting for yesterday after close on 10 days straight of hard slog.  Now for the current to get back to what its supposed to be doing and for the barry-cuda’s to vacate the marlin premises!

Still plenty of big fish around although not all happy conversions.  At the top, we saw Capt. Brett Goetze’s Amokura catch a nice one (photo) at the top.  Brett says they also jumped off another fish later on. I also heard that Capt. Craig “Sparra” Denham’s Black Label raised an 800 that didn’t eat, then had a really big one on for 20 minutes before they unfortunately got the hook back.

Heading in the other direction on KEKOA with Capt. Luke Fallon, we headed south and into port last night adding another three to the trip tally in the small to medium range, and raised a couple of nice ones that didn’t eat.

That finishes us up with 16 for the trip and a big thank you to Jada, Dan and Chip for their great company for the trip which was an absolute blast and plenty of big fish action for Jada!


Capt. Tom Francis’ Ultimate Lady is on its way back to Cairns for a few days but Tom couldn’t resist one last look on the edge before heading south. And it paid off for a fish about 800lbs just before lines in.  And Capt. Daniel Carlson’s Little Audrey also had a mixed bag. He caught one about 600 but lost the sea monster after a 2 hour fight and jumped off a little fish as well.

Meanwhile down at Linden Bank, Black on The Joker tells me that they jumped an 850 off yesterday and went wide in the afternoon a broke a hook on another 600ish after 10 minutes. They also saw 2 other little ones and lots of dolphin fish and that overall the water is looking better on Linden which is good news!

silverbackAnd one from Townsville as well from Renee who spent the weekend out at Myrmidon with the crew on Silverback. Renee says they managed a black on the last morning around 500lb, a first heavy tackle marlin for Simon Gough! They had an awesome weekend on the water with spectacular weather and plenty of quality bi-catch including wahoo and dolphin fish.