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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

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!




Pakula Lures

Waking up to gorgeous weather on reef yesterday, everyone on board (well for us anyways) was dreaming of big marlin and great seas and that’s certainly what the reef produced for us. Proving again why they call it the home of the Giant Black Marlin.

Day 2 of the Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic was another example of the great big game fishing that can be experienced here on the reef, any time from late September to early December each year (thinking of booking for next year? Visit the boat directory.) Yet another top day with a total of 23 tags reported for the day including 2 fish at 1000lbs, 1 at 950lbs and 2 at 900lbs!

And outside the tournament, another big fish with one that Capt. Chris “Sharky” Miles on Levante put at 1100 plus yesterday as well for angler Warren Keinath as one of 2 from 3. Well done all!

In tournament fishing it started off quite quickly with Bite Me the first to get on the board with a 500lb fish at Number 10 Ribbon, but soon after there was a steady bite at Number 7 Ribbon which started off with a 300lb-er for owner Reg Moore on Capt. Kim Andersen’s charge Duyfken and then got bigger again.  Capt. Bill Billson’s Viking II hit the scoreboard with a 500lb-er at Number 7 and Capt. Ross Finlayson’s Top Shot with a 750lb-er.  And that was all just in the first hour of fishing!

KEKOA big marlin

And for the rest of the day it was steady steady.  Some highlights were a 900lb black marlin for Paul Axa on lunchtime.  Then the early afternoon bite started. On KEKOA, we hooked up a nice fish for angler Alex Kaiko that Capt. Luke put at 900lbs getting the fish satellite tagged as the call-ins came thick and fast. About 20 minutes later, we hooked up to another bigger fish that kept us, and angler Brian, very busy for the next two hours. And although we didn’t get a tag in her for the comp, we got her up on the leader for Ben who was instructed not to let go for a very relieved Brian.

During the time, Castille III settled in for a fight with a fish that Capt. Brad Craft put on the mark at a 1000lbs for angler Stewart Burroughs that was also satellite tagged. While Capt. Ashley Wallis Kalira was notching up the numbers with his third tag for the day to put him ahead on countback from Capt. Daniel Carlson’s Little Audrey who also scored three for the day including a big fish for tournament regular Ken Klein that Dan put at 950lbs, also Sat tagged!


And again with more than an hour to go, right up the very top at Hicks Reef, Capt. Dan McCarthy’s Moana III had also hooked up to a big fish, that they got a Sat tag in just after cease fishing 1.5hrs later, that Dan put at 1000lbs for angler Richard White.

And its not only about points on the board. The Zac team on the 28foot Defiant were unlucky not to get on the board. Changa reported a couple of encounters including a big fish that ate the little skip scaley on shotgun cleanly and they settled into the fight nearly having her to the boat within 5 mins. But with only 3 on board it was too hard and she took off and sulked low and rubbed off close to the leader after being on sunset for most of the fight.

What a day!

The standings are: In the lead, Kalira on 5 tags, on countback to Little Audrey also with 5 tags.  Top Shot is next on four from Amokura also on 4. On 3 tags Althaldo from Castille III. Next are Duyfken, Viking II, Hellraiser and Moana on two. And on one each are: Think Big, The Joker, Iona II, Reel Easy, Bite Me, KEKOA, Kaizen, Onsite, Iceman and Illusion.

Once again you can follow the action on my Twitter feed. I’m also feeding the tag reports back to tournament base in Cooktown who are updating the LIGFC website with the results which you can access via the homepage here.

I haven’t received any pics from other boats from yesterday as yet but I will add in tomorrow if I do. (Updated: received from Castille of their big fish and added in.)

Tournament Report Day 1:

Well the radio skeds weren’t too bad yesterday and I was able to get each tag up for those following from other locations.  If you want to join in and follow the reports fish by fish you can do so on via my Twitter feed. Just click on my Twitter handle below. And for those who were following yesterday, thanks for the nice comments and support!

Well another year, another Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic and even with the challenges the event has met this year firstly with the relocation to Cooktown (due to damage from Cyclone Ita. And Cooktown Fisherman’s Wharf and 1770 and the whole town did such a great job for the briefing and sailpast. It was lovely to see so many people come down to see us off! ABC Open’s Gemma Deavin took some great shots of the festivities you can see on the ABC Far North’s Facebook page here.)  The other challenge has been the radio skeds also due to damage from the cyclone to the repeater station, but we managed even if we did have to use 3 separate channels to do that!

A shot of Little Audrey's 650lb-er. They were unlucky not to get a tag into a third fish.

A shot of Little Audrey’s 650lb-er. They were unlucky not to get a tag into a third fish.

As for the fishing, well, its been many years since the event has started off on such a high. The first fish was reported only 40 minutes after start fishing – a 200lb black marlin for Sarah Jackson fishing on Capt. Steve Ahlers’ Hellraiser – and it was pretty much non-stop throughout the day from there.  Capt. Brett Goetze’s Amokura has streaked to the lead with three nice fish at 800, 850 and 400lbs all for angler Frank Padoin. They also missed a fourth later in the day.

A regular from the private fleet, Lachie and Janice Eggin’s Althaldo (150 & 400) leads the group on two tags on countback from Capt. Daniel Carlson’s Little Audrey (650 & 250), Capt. Brad Craft’s Castille III (300 & 900), Capt. Ashley Wallis’ Kalira (700 & 950) and Capt. Ross Finlayson’s Top Shot (80 & 150). Boats on one tag a piece are Hellraiser, Moana III, Think Big (another nice fish at 850lbs for Sharon), Iona II, Reel Easy and Duyfken.

A photo of Phil’s fish on Castille III below that Capt. Brad put at 900lbs.  As Brad says, “Phil the Pom comes good!” :-)


It’s worth noting that Ash’s anglers on board Kalira are representing the Bertarelli Foundation this year – and while I’m not sure if these were first marlin for Daniel and Marco Meister, they were certainly very nice fish. This year once again, the Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic is taking part in the IGFA Great Marlin Race and satellite tagging program and for the first time (world first), every member of the fleet has been issued with one Satellite Tag free of charge
which will hopefully enable the scientists to learn more about these magnificent creatures.
These PSAT Tags cost Aus $5000.00 each and is funded by the enormous generosity of The Bertarelli Foundation and The Peter Teakle Foundation.

Heading north

I had a quick report from another Cairns season regular who is currently on route north from the Gold Coast to join the rest of the fleet.  Capt. Jared Weir on Shaka reports that he had 10 blue bites off Sandy Cape straight lining north. Two were doubles and all of them had multiple shots. They only caught 2 as the rest either never hooked or jumped off with the biggest around 450lb. Jared says that it would have been fun to stay in the area and switching them as they all kept coming back.  So some fun ahead for boats who have time to spend out there.

Another Coffs Update

Richard O’Ferrall with more from Coffs: After a quiet winter, the Coffs Coast game fishing has started to wake up from the doldrums with more promise than we’ve seen for some time.

The East Australian Current was missing in action for several weeks in late winter, and is only now starting to flow normally again. So far, it’s brought masses of bait into the northern NSW coast, and with it, one of the best early striped marlin bites seen for some time. The stripes are still proving to be a bit erratic, but if you can find some mid-water or surface bait and work it for a while, the chances are you’ll raise striped marlin. This spring, the stripes are working in large packs, and a high proportion of multiple hookups on lures have been a feature of striped marlin fishing here for the past month. In the last three weeks alone, my records and reports from the game fishing community here show 49 striped marlin raised, which for this time of year is well above average, and is almost certainly not the full picture.
Read the rest of the report…


Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic

The Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic starts today and for this reason I have few reports from fishing yesterday as most of the competing fleet were in port (with the exception: Capt. Alex Johnston on Shikari who went 1 from 4 at Jenny Louise yesterday).

In the past as you all know, I’ve live tweeted tags for the event but due to some communication issues that remain courtesy of Cyclone Ita that went through the area in April (and causing the tournament to relocate to Cooktown for 2014 – photo), I’m not sure how well we’re going to be able to hear each other.  I’ll be helping out with the scheds myself so we’ll see how it goes. Today will be a good indication. Black Marlin Blog on Twitter is here so you can check and see how its going.

Little Black Marlin


Some great reports of the little blacks that are still making their way down the coast. Nathan Green converted 8 from 10 on board Pelagic yesterday (photo above) fishing the grounds north of Yeppoon (photo). Nathan said the fish were all int the 10-20kg range. I also heard that Aaron Concords’ Mabuyu also went 9-7-3 on the little blacks off Fraser yesterday. Great to hear they are making their way through.