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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

Capt. Adam Jordan’s Iona is back on the reef and started off BIG with a fish that he put at 1000lbs for partner Alicia. Alicia was fishing with Scott Baker and his wife Fiona from Port Macquarie. Photo and video to come.

And a different kind of big report from Capt. Brett Goetze, this year driving Amokura (are you keeping up with the boat hop?) on their first trip of the season.  Brett says that they started out of Cairns on Thursday with a regular face in Cairns, Game & Leisure Boats’ Graham McCloy. Although their first day was a bit quiet they managed to get one late Friday afternoon and missed another. Yesterday however was great fishing going 6 from 6. The biggest fish was 500lb in which his grandson fought for an hour to get to the boat. Well done all!

amokura

Capt. Alex Johston’s Shikari is likewise fresh back from their first trip of the season. They released two at the Bank yesterday at 600 and 900+lbs – another great season starter!

Capt. Ashley Wallis’ Kalira has been out for the last four days with Gordon and his wife Lisa from the Florida Keys. And they’ve had a great trip on the fish with Ash releasing 6 from 8 over the four days. Yesterday was a top day for them as well with three fish over 600lbs – 600, 700 and 850lbs!  A picture of Gordon’s 700 below.

kalira700

Capt. Chris “Sharky” Miles on Levante released one yesterday after 3 from 5 the day before (biggest 400lbs). The Whitsunday’s Capt. Ashley Matthews is back on the reef, this year on a bigger Sea Fever, a 40 O’Brien.  They were in Cooktown last night and caught a 400lb-er yesterday at the top of Number 1 (thankfully) after getting 2 bites a day for the last 4 days and finally converting one!  And on KEKOA we were likewise in Cooktown on changeover catching one for Jason before heading in as well.  Lots of boats on the reef now and with the fish showing up, reports will be getting bigger and bigger. The Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic (out of Cooktown in 2014) is also less than 1 week away!

Update: Sarah Jackson caught a 300lb, followed by a 400lb black marlin yesterday late afternoon on Hellraiser, missing a third bite at the bottom of the Ribbons. (Photo)

hellraiser

Pakula Lures

A couple of tournaments are kicking off today. Good luck to all competing in the Weipa Billfish Tournament and the Sunshine Coast GFC Spring Shootout! And another tournament, I’ve added the Makaira Bullfight Heavy Tackle Tournament on the 14th-16th November to the calendar as well.

Apologies for the lack of report yesterday. The reef grapevine is still finding its feet in 2014 with a different set of dynamics due to technology.  The Channel 21 repeater in Cooktown is non-functional due to the cyclone early in the year and I’m hearing the phone service is poorly though I find it mostly the same as last year so far :-)

So this is what I know:
Capt. Daniel Carlson’s Little Audrey started his season out with a bang with a 4 from 5 to 500lb yesterday including 3 from 4 in 45 minutes of hot fishing in the Middle.  Great start to season 2014!!

I also heard that Capt. Corey Hard from Askari headed out yesterday morning from changeover and caught a real nice one straight up.

On KEKOA, we caught this one for Josh (photo) on the late bite while nearby Capt. Tim’s Tradition also got a 200lb-er for Pete before lines in.

kekoa_joshy

Catch up reports:
We went past Capt. Haydon Bell who is on the wheel of Kanahoee this season and he gave us a run down of his last few days on the way into Cairns for changeover. He caught three in the middle Wednesday and caught two the day before including a big one the day before that.

I heard Capt. Bobby Jones’ Iceman caught a couple at Lena Thursday as he heads south again back towards Cairns, and Capt. Steve Ahlers Hellraiser caught one down that way as well. Update: Just received a photo (screen grab) of Steve’s fish below – thanks Steve!

hellraiser

calypso

The was some really awesome fishing from Capt. Laurie Wright on the wheel of Calypso yesterday (before handing back over to Capt. Tim Dean today).  Laurie tells me that on their way back south to Cairns, the went 3 from 4 for the lads from Victoria. The fish were 150 and 990lbs+ (pics) for Jason Benbow and another nice 750 for Cookie. What a great day and a great way to end the trip! Congrats guys, great fishing!

Still heading north on KEKOA, Capt. Luke Fallon put another junior angler onto his first big black marlin with Harrison getting his turn in the chair for this one.

kekoa-300

And further north still, Capt. Tim Richardson welcomed regulars Pete and Lydie back to the reef yesterday. Tim tells me that it is Pete and Lydie’s 9th season fishing with him and they were celebrating last night – a fish straight up for Lydie on 50lb (est 300 photo), and big party celebrating the Tradition turning 15 years old.

tradition

I’ve heard it from a few people that the phone service on the reef is a little iffy this year. I didn’t have any phone overnight so there may be reports I’ve missed which I’ll add in once I receive them!

800lbs-kekoa

Cairns Big Black Marlin:
On Capt. Luke Fallon’s KEKOA on Opal Ridge and heading north, we released our first fish for the trip at 800lbs for 15 year old Josh. Josh is returning to fish with us again for his fourth year with regular, father Jason “The Hass” Hassett and Josh’s mate Harrison. And after 4 years, Josh has a new PB – in the past, Capt. Luke has always made the call whether it would be a fish for Jason (bigger fish) or Josh in the chair, but on this one, Josh didn’t even hesitate beating everyone to the rod and giving no mercy. Go Josh (photo above)!

And another youngster and keen young angler from NZ, 13 year old Harry Green caught his first black marlin, yesterday at the bank on board Capt. Steve Ahlers Hellraiser at 80 kg marlin, followed by a slightly bigger one at 100 kgs (photo below). He’s out to increase his PB again today!

Up further to the north, Capt. Laurie Wright on Calypso released a smaller fish and had a bite out of another.

And a catch up report from some great fishing late last week on private boat Reel Cross. Keith “Stretch” Heaney spent 3 days aboard releasing four fish including a couple of nice ones at 800 and 750lbs on Blue Dog lures and a 300 and 150lb-er. They also lost two more on lures and raised 3 that didn’t bite at the Bank.

hellraiser

13yearold

Yorkey’s Knob Light Tackle Slam
We had 10 boats competed this year with 9 billfish tagged as well as 23 game fish including a pending women’s record for a 16.9kg yellowfin tuna caught on 10kg line.

The Champion Boat over 7.5m went to Sharon and Paul Poulter’s Think Big with Sharon also taking home the Champion Female Angler award. Paul tells me that one of Sharon’s fish (2.2m sail!) was caught on the 4kg eyre rod which they won at the briefing and completed with a Talica reel and spooled with 4kg on the shot gun gave her a tough fight!

Other winners were:

Champion Boat Under 7.5m Reel Nice Mike, Darcy & Thomas Hallam.
Champion Male Angler Dean McMahon, Ka-Ching.
Champion Juniors Darcy & Thomas Hallam, Reel Nice.