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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

Photo above from the other day of one of Sharon’s 900lb-ers on Think Big with Capt. Laurie Wright.

As I mentioned yesterday, fishing starts quite early today on the final day so I’ll get a quick update in now.

26 tags! That makes a total of 121 tags thus far. One day to go.

Day 6 was an amazing day on the water. Its been a long time since I’ve seen so many fish. Fish tailing in groups of smaller males around one big female again and again. Lots of fish up, lots also not interested in feeding/other things on their mind.  Big school of yellowfin feeding on the surface. Even a school (pod ?) of 10 or so manta rays on the surface. Was really great to be seeing the reef edge like this again after a while.

Capt. Ross Finalyson on Top Shot took advantage of the hot bite and converted fish after fish ending the day with 5 tags to take the lead on 15 overall.  Including another couple of big ones – one that he called 999lb+ and another at 750lbs – again for Tominori.  And while other boats had good fishing, Top Shot just lead from the front all day.

Capt. Bill Billson on Viking II self disqualified a nice fish early in the day and then added two more official tags later.  Iceman hooked up and was seen chasing another big fish that Capt. Bobby Jones put at 950lbs for angler Andrew Wells. And the private boat team on Althaldo had another cracker making good gains on the leaderbaord with four tags for the day including two late back-to-back tags for angler Paul Axisa that Capt. Tiger put at 600 (sat tagged) and 1000+!

Sharon on Think Big continued her big marlin workout with a fish of 700lbs that Capt. Laurie Wright chased right in towards the breakers and Capt. Dean Beech on Onsite also tagged another nice one that he put 850lbs for angler Graham.  Birthday boy Capt. Kim Andersen added to his team on Duyfken’s tally also with a fish of 850lbs for owner angler Reg Moore.

On KEKOA we added another two including a smaller fish for Alex on the stand up early in the day, and another good one that Capt. Luke Fallon put at 800lbs for Brian in the afternoon (pictured). And Amokura also kept in the title hunt adding another two smaller fish for Frank.


And Capt. Dan McCarthy’s Moana III also added another big fish on Day 6 with a 900lb-er tagged in the last half hour of fishing.

There were some unlucky losses including team on Bite Me who fought a fish for almost 4 hours before calling in lost fish. And the team Hellraiser who were hooked up and fighting at cease fishing only to lose the fish later. That was their second missed for the day with two converted (one each for Sue and Sarah) which made for plenty of action on board for them as well.

The leaderboard sits at:
Top Shot is on 15 tags from Little Audrey on 12. Althaldo is on 10 from Amokura and Hellraiser on 9. Kalira is on 8. Castille leads the group on 5 which includes Think Big, Viking II, Kekoa, Moana and Duyfken. Iona II (one sked was 5-4-0) is on 4 with Iceman and Kaizen (who tagged one after cease fishing). On three tags are Bite Me, Illusion, Onsite and The Joker. On two are Reel Easy and Defiant. And Game Over is on one.

Outside the tournament again, competitors on Reel Easy sat tagged a 750lb black marlin after cease fishing.  While I also heard from Capt. James “Jimbo” Bladin on Black Magic who released a real good one with a 950lb black marlin at The Bank yesterday.

Pakula Lures

5 days and 95 tags into fishing with another 13 added yesterday.  And while the good weather run has come to an end (actually quite sloppy out there yesterday as you would expect on the first day of a blow), the fishing is still pretty good and the big fish are still plentiful. (Of the 95 tags so far, a massive 22 fish are over 800lbs!) Most of the fleet is fishing up the top of the Ribbons on Number 10, and this is where most of the action was on Day 5.

Before I get into the standings, just a quick reminder that due to the cyclone and venue change, fishing times for tomorrow (final day) have changed and will be 0800 to 1430 tomorrow. This means that I may not have time for an update before we start fishing. But I will try! Follow me on Twitter to keep up with the tags/point scoring as it happens.

A couple of special mentions in the comp again for fish that were not point scoring, but great efforts none-the-less.  Capt. Adam Jordan’s Iona 2 disqualified a fish on Day 4 of fishing that he put at right up there.  The 69 year old angler did a great job in the chair but couldn’t quite bring her up, so another angler was employed to finish the job.  Later, after they got the tag in their 450lb-er and only point scoring fish, they also had another big one (again right up there at about 1000lbs) for Peter on, unfortunately straightening the hook on the leader before the tag went in. Bad luck guys but some great big fish!

Same yesterday for Janice Eggins on Althaldo who fought a big fish that Capt. Tiger put at well over the mark for just shy of two hours which they DQ’d from the comp.  But Janice couldn’t quite get her head up in the end so again, relinquished the chair to a fresh set of arms who got the fish to the boat and successful release.

And another non-point scoring fish with Capt. Bobby Jones’ Iceman hooking up after cease fishing to one that he put at about 600lbs, that they also satellite tagged.

But in the competition:
The young Georgouras sisters on father Steve’s Illusion got the ball rolling very early into the day yesterday with Elise tagging an estimated 850lb black marlin just 11 minutes after start fishing.  Claudia followed up a little later in the day with a fish of 150lbs to put them on top for the daily.

Not long after, Capt. Ross Finlayson on Top Shot’s angler Tominori Omi was on again with one that Ross put at 750lbs. Next on KEKOA we tagged another big one for Alex that Capt. Luke Fallon put at 950lbs. This time the fish did all the things right for us and Alex was saved another marathon, staying on the surface before giving us a good display on the leader for a sub-10 minute fight. We also added a second for Brian about 400lbs and jumped off a third bigger fish again right on cease fishing.

Capt. Dean Beech’s Onsite also added a nice fish for Grant that Deano put at 850lbs.

The current standings are:
Little Audrey added another tag to retain their lead on 11 tags.  Top Shot are clear on 10. On 7 a piece are Kalira, Amokura and Hellraiser. Althaldo is on 6. Castille III on 5. On 4 are Duyfken, Iona II, Moana III and Think Big. On 3 are Viking II, Bite Me, Iceman, Illusion, KEKOA and Kaizen. On 2, Reel Easy, Defiant (who have provided some great pics below from a couple in the last few days), Onsite and The Joker. And Game Over is on one.


Outside of the comp, I don’t have many reports but Capt. Tim Richardson’s Tradition, fishing among the tourney boats, added 2 fish – one for 11 year old David, and one for his mum Angie. And again, we saw Capt. Haydon Bell on Kanahoee backing around an I got this shot of an energetic mid-ranger!



Jump to results from outside the tournament here.

Tournament report for day 4

So far in this tournament (and even before the tournament), one trend has been pretty consistent. If you’re catching big fish, chances are you can chuck the baits back in, turn around and catch another one. Yesterday, Capt. Laurie Wright, who is at the wheel on private boat Think Big again for the tournament, did just that giving his lady angler Sharon Poulter a real workout.  The first one she did in really good time releasing a 900lb fish inside of 30 minutes.  But I’m sure that put the hurt in her for the next one fighting another 900lb fish for two hours, hooking up just 20 minutes after the first was tagged.  And then Capt. Laurie did it again. Hooking up another 20 minutes later, this time Paul getting a run in a chair for a third big fish that Laurie put at 850lbs.  That put them on top for the day and making their way up the leaderboard!


Capt. Steve Ahlers’ lady angler Sarah Jackson on Hellraiser stays in front with the first fish (500lbs) on the day putting her onto four tags to Sharon’s three.  But otherwise there were good numbers of fish spread between a few boats mostly healthy mid-rangers.  Tournament leader Little Audrey did not add a tag on Day 4 and have been run down a little by Top Shot who added two to be just one fish behind.

The leaderboard is: Little Audrey with 10 tags, from Top Shot with 9, from the Bertarelli Foundation Team on Kalira on 7, Amokura and Hellraiser on 6, Althaldo on 5, Castille III, Duyfken, Iona II, Moana III and Think Big on 4, Viking, Bite Me and Iceman on 3. Reel Easy, Kaizen and Joker on 2. And KEKOA, Onsite, Illusion,Game Over and Defiant on 1 a piece.

Outside the tournament


The reports continue to come in for boats not fishing the LBMC as well. Capt. Tim Richardson on Tradition tagged a 600lb-er for David. We also saw Capt. Haydon Bell on Kanahoee backing round and round chasing a fish on light tackle for his lady angler (record fishing).  Down at the bank, Peter Jenyns and 35 Caribbean Tsukiji owner Jim Stening fished two up for a 400lb-er for Jim.

And I received a report from Andrew Tivey who fished his 5.4mtr trailer boat Hook-In on Sunday with son Ryan and his friend Locky Wood. While trolling south down Linden Bank after overnighting behind Opal, a 200lb fish ate the shotgun dolphin fish lure on a light spin stick with 40lb braid, nearly spooling Locky on the hookup and was successfully released after 1.5 hrs of hard slog.


And then, ten minutes after getting the baits back in the water a large fish charged in from way out and creamed the short skip bait. Andrew says he put it at 6 to 700lbs (photo) and that it did not disappoint on the leader giving a great display!  Great effort on the 24kg stand-up!

And lastly from Townsville with the news that their HT Billfish Bonanza scheduled for this weekend has been postponed to November.  John McConkey fished Monday and says there are some good fish out there and they were unlucky not to get a tag into two good bites. One of the fish was around 250lb and the other too big for John (who still considers himself a novice!) to call other than that the big skip bait looked like a matchstick flapping outside her mouth. John says it was not quite as big as the fish he saw on OB1 last year, but certainly getting up there!

And last but certainly not least, some catch up pics from Lochie on Mauna Kea at the top of the post including their big fish (on the left) from the other day on the leader.

Starting with some great fishing outside of the Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic and a catch up report from Capt. Darren “Biggles” Haydon on Bounty Hunter.   Biggs reports a 1136lb black marlin caught at Escape Reef on Sunday. Biggs says that it was a tough two hour fight for angler John Patterson which they got to the boat at 5pm on Sunday. Congrats BH team!

And Capt. Brent James’ Mauna Kea has capped off a great four days fishing yesterday with a fish that he put at 1200lbs for father Perry.  Their total over the four days was a 9-9-8 to 850lbs besides the big fish yesterday. And Perry tells me that it was daughter Yasmin James that caught 7 from 8 on her first trip to Cairns!

Capt. Tom Francis’ big blue boat charge, the Ultimate Lady is back on the reef (great to see you back Tom!) Tom says the came out from Cooktown in the afternoon and had three bites, breaking the line on a fish about 700lbs and releasing one about 500.

In the tournament: what a start to the day!  The first fish tag was reported less than 10 minutes after start fishing to Capt. Bobby Jones’ Iceman and it was non-stop after that with a total of 27 tags for the day all together! Just a few minutes after that came the first big fish of the day with a 950lb black marlin for Peter on Capt. Adam Jordan’s Iona2 (photo above).

littleAudCapt. Daniel Carlson’s Little Audrey steam-rolled the competition adding 5 tags at 900, 600, 500, 500 and 200lbs to put themselves into the lead with 10 tags.  Here’s a picture of Ken’s fish from Day 2 that Capt. Dan put at 950lbs with satellite tag in shot.

Another boat having a big fish day, Capt. Ross Finlayson’s Top Shot who added three tags to put the team into 3rd place on countback and included a fish that Ross called 999lbs that was also satellite tagged! This was Ross’ second big fish for the day for regular Lizard Island angler Tominori Omi who tagged one earlier in the day already at 850lbs. Getting a workout!

Another having a great day on the water, Capt. Steve Ahlers’ Hellraiser who released three including two nice ones at 850 and 650lbs for Sarah.

Keeping his team in the leader hunt, Capt. Ashley Wallis’ Kalira added another two tags, as did Capt. Brett Goetze’s Amokura including another nice fish for angler Frank at 850lbs. Photo I took of this fish on Amokura below.


The current standings are (provisional): Little Audrey on 10 tags from Kalira with 7 on countback to Top Shot also on 7 in third.  With 6 tags Amokura. With 5 tags Hellraiser from Althaldo. With 4 tags Castille. With 3 tags Viking, Duyfken and Iona2. With 2 tags Moana III, Iceman, Reel Easy, The Joker, Kaizen and Bite Me. And on one tag a piece Think BigKekoaOnsite, Illusion and Game Over.

Whitsundays Little Black Marlin

A report from Russell & Marlene Hicks on Topless who raised 4 little blacks and tagged two over the weekend off Hayman Island Whitsundays. Good to see they are still there!