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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

Cairns/Cooktown/Lizard Island Black Marlin Season

There are plenty of fish showing up in good time in the lead up to next week’s Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic. And there were a few more big fish – giant black marlin – reported yesterday as well (more to come).

One was on board Capt. Chris “Sharky” Miles’ Levante who has been keeping a low profile so far ;-) with Bevan and Jason on deck. Bevan tells me the fish was caught Number 8 from a 4 o’clock bite on mac tuna in short. The angler was Gary Primm, who at 74 years old, has been coming to the reef for ten years trying to weigh a grander.  And it took him only 10 minutes in the end weighing 1,016lbs (11foot 9 long, 6 foot 4 girth and 20 inch tail). Well done Gary and the crew!

Update 2: A report from Glanville who is spending the next couple of weeks on deck on board Capt. Bill Billson’s Viking II and who has hit the deck running with two granders in the last two days of fishing. Glanville tells that the first one was one of three fish and Bill called it over 1000lb on Sunday. The other from yesterday that he called knocking on 1200lb. Its been a great trip for them so far, slaying the reds in the morning and the marlin in the afternoon! Awesome fishing! A shot of the 1200 at top and the 1000lb-er below with a shot from my angle as well fishing nearby.


Update: Report just in from Capt. Damian Colette on Saltaire on a day trip out of Port Douglas yesterday and caught an 800lb-er on the Bank. Damian says that he also saw Live Wire catch one next him and reports that he saw 3 smaller male marlin free swimming together and was lucky enough to raise the female and get her to bite! And also a report from Capt. Tim Dean’s Calypso who went 2 from 3 at 10 to 500lb.

Capt. Brett Goetze’s Amokura finished their trip with one fish on the last day to put them on 10 from 11 for the entire trip. On Capt. Luke’s KEKOA, we release two from three bites and saw a few more. And Capt. Tim Richardson’s Tradition released one from three as well for Lydie.

Catching up from the day before, Capt. Steve Ahlers’ Hellraiser released a nice fish that Steve put at 800lbs for Sarah Jackson before heading into Cooktown on changeover.

And another catch up – I have a photo and video from Capt. Adam Jordan on Iona’s grander black marlin for Alicia from Saturday. The photo is a video still. Click on the still to watch the video on Youtube.


Yeppoon Little Blacks

A report from Scotty from Bite Me Marlin Charters in Yeppoon who christened their new Blackwatch 40′ Amphibious Raids over the weekend with a hand full of little black up to 20kg to get his charter season off with a bang.  Scotty says that he’s also hearing from people getting in amongst them from the inshore grounds to the 50nm reefs and shoals out of Yeppoon from Goodwin shoal down to Heron Island so there seems like there are several around.

Coffs Harbour/Solitary Coast Stripes

Solitary Islands Game Fishing Club boats continue to find the striped marlin off Coffs Harbour, with Alcatraz going three from six on Friday, including a triple header with just Club president James McGinty and Pete Mallia on-board. Fortunately in some ways, this was reduced to a single fish, but the bites kept coming during the afternoon.

Hemingway fished wide and found the yellowfin they were looking for. Although the two caught weren’t quite big enough to make the grade on 37 kilo, the 90 kilo blue marlin was a nice bonus.

Back on the water after a refit, Better Than Vegas had a frustrating day. They went north and wide, pulling the hooks on a blue, then came down to where the action was off Sawtell, watched Alcatraz catch two, and lost two themselves, one on a Rapala minnow.

Foreign Exchange fished Saturday and found the stripes were still there, but couldn’t get one to stick before the weather forced them home.

Sounds like plenty of action!

Hopefully some tourney reports to come as well soon from the comps held over the weekend!

Pakula Lures

Cairns, Cooktown, Lizard Island

Capt. Corey Hard’s Askari had a top day yesterday catching 4 fish including a 950lb-er. They caught the first three before a short intermission, and then headed back out only to get straight onto number 4 for the day!


Capt. Tim Dean’s Calypso also got into the fish releasing three from five heading north. Likewise same direction, Capt. Tim Richardson’s Tradition released two from three. Capt. Adam Jordan on Iona and Capt. Brett Goetze on Amokura stayed on the fish going 2 from 2 each with Iona 400 and 550lbs and Amokura 250 and 350lbs, both fish for Graham.  Brett said they also missed the bite out of quite a nice one.  On KEKOA we went one from one after a busy day of bait fishing :-)

And that is all the reports I have received for today!

Photo above is a catch up shot of Sea Fever’s (Reel Easy) 400lb-er for Lloydie from Victoria on Friday.

Weipa Billfish Tournament

Final day of fishing today. The first two days have seen some good numbers with 19 sails and a black marlin on Day1 and 28 sails on Day 2.  Darryl French’s Wine Down is on the lead with 8 tags from Capt. Kim Andersen’s Duyfken on 7.  Look forward to hearing how they end up!

Sunshine Coast Spring Shootout

Treelcapturehe Spring Shootout is likewise heading into the final day with boats enjoying some glamour conditions. All billfish have been heavy tackle thus far with blues, a black and a stripe.

Pic of a blue marlin released for SCGFC Club Captain Brent Higgins on Reel Capture held up by Grant Cooper caught on a Pakula Sprocket.

Gold Coast

jugsMatt Caelli reports a good day on Jugs on Saturday, when it seemed like the rest of the Coast was competing in the Flattie Classic, tagging a 250kg+ blue (pic) and good by catch of yellowfin and dolphinfish. On Sunday they followed up again introducing a new boat owner to gamefishing with 4 yellowfin, a 24kg dolly and 120kg blue marlin and missed a stripy as well! 

As Matt says, the Gold Coast is showing great diversity at the moment!

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!


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.


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)


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.


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!