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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

After an impressive 91 tags reported on Day 1 of this years Cairns Bluewater GFC Billfish Tournament hosted out of Fitzroy Island, all eyes went north! And although the following two days of fishing could not match the first day’s results, it was still a very impressive showing with a total of 178 tags (168 black marlin and 10 sailfish) over the three days of tournament fishing.

Captain Darren “Biggles” Haydon’s team on Bounty Hunter lead from the outset with 8 from 12 on Day 1 and left the rest of the fleet playing catch up. But following up with 4 tags a piece on both the following days they couldn’t be overtaken and took the trophy with a total of 16 tags from 22 bites – all little black marlin for the team consisting of Greg, Dan, Denise and junior angler Morgan who took out the Champion Junior gong.

Cairns based Black Magic took out second place with 11 tags. Cameron Bartlett was the skipper, with one brother Tommy deckie and the other brother Ryan angler with his wife Kellie – keeping it in the family! Ryan won the Champion Angler award and Kellie was Runner Up Champion Female angler. The breakdown was 1 sailfish tagged and 10 black marlin (thanks Victoria – who missed out on fishing – for the update!)

Some other teams in on the mix included Capt. Chris “Sharky’ Miles on Levante who kicked off with 7 tags on Day 1 to be hot on the BH heels and finished the tournament iwith 11 tags as well (actually 12 but self disqualified 1 fish!)  Capt. Damian Colette’s Saltaire shook off an unlucky day 1 (1 from 7) to add 7 tags on Day 2 to put him into the mix as well (finishing just behind on 10).

And a very good showing from Masterbaiter’s Jay Edwards with son Jet and Weipa’s Darren Lee who fished all three days – and in true 25knots on Day 3 – in Jay’s 5m tinny!  Young Jet caught his first marlin on Day 1 (thought he’s already a record holder so not a newbie to fishing by any means!) and followed up with his first sailfish and another black on Day 2 to take out Runner Up Champion Junior with his three tags. Jay and Darren accounted for another 4 between them to total 7tags for the Masterbaiter team to take out the Champion Small Boat Category.


Last year’s winners, Capt. Steve Ahlers Hellraiser tagged 8 all up including 6 tags for Sue which gave her the Champion Female Angler award.

And two Sunshine Coast GFC teams fished as well including Heath Irvine’s Kamikaze with Curl Foster, Jay Graham and Brett Barton. Despite spending much of Day 1 in port with engine issues, the team enjoyed another great event with 1 from 3 on Day 2 and 4 from 5 on the final day with all 4 caught in the first 2 hours!

I also heard that the big boat, The Boss was on hand for some great entertainment including a live band on Saturday night on the water in the bay!

With thanks to the Cairns Bluewater GFC for the official results which are:

Champion Senior Male Angler - Ryan Barlett – Black Magic
Champion Senior Female Angler – Sue Ahlers – Hellraiser 2

Champion Junior Angler – Morgan Brown – BountyHunter
Champion Team/Boat 7.5m & Over – Bounty Hunter
Team/Boat Under 7.5m – Master Baiter
Champion Overall Team – Bounty Hunter


Pakula Lures

If you’re on the newsletter mailing list (sign up here or read it here), you’ve already had a sneak peak! But here it is, my (Kelly) list of the top Australian marlin fishing destinations – 10 of them in fact!

It’s not a ranking list, but I’d be interested in hearing what you think! Except for Cairns of course. In my opinion, Cairns is THE TOP AUSTRALIAN MARLIN FISHING DESTINATION full stop. There I said it!

What’s on the list, aside from this sneak peak..well, you’re going to have to read it. Read it here.


Read the rest of the report…

Great fishing for teams competing in the 2014 Cairns Bluewater GFC Billfish Tournament our of Fitzroy Island with 91 tags reported on Day 1 from approximately 40 boats competing.

On the leaderboard Capt. Darren “Biggles” Haydon’s Bounty Hunter is in front with 8 from 12, from Capt. Chris “Sharky” Miles on Levante who tagged 7.  Last year’s winner, Capt. Steve Ahlers on Hellraiser is in the hunt with 4 tags on Day 1.  And the small boats are keeping up with the big boats with Jay Edwards’ Masterbaiter also on 4.

Good luck to all competing for Day 2!cairnsbw


We are at T-minus one month until some of you will begin your journey to Cairns for the start of the 2014 Giant Black Marlin Season. Are you excited? We all are! With good numbers of the little juvie blacks set to run right through until fishing for the big girls gets underway, there’ll be plenty of marlin action from the BLACK MARLIN capital from this point on!

Angler Richard “Rocket” Rocchi

Can you give us a brief description of your angling history?
Started fishing at 5 years old in Sydney Harbour and have never stopped. Fished Cairns from 1996 as my first visit on The Hooker and then again on Calypso from 1998 -2013 inclusive.  Recently fished Kona in 2013 and 2014.

When was the last time the you fished in Cairns?

What was your best memory of any Cairns trip to date?
Highlight as been fishing with my son Jim Rocchi and Steve Norris and his son James for a number of years. But I have been fortune to fish with Chris Jolly, Steve Tomas, Jeff Rankin, Mark Ryan, Phillip McCloy, Graham McCloy, John Poole etc… and naturally Tim Dean on the Calypso. And let’s not forget all the great Deckies over the years Trent, Andy, David, Brad, Dean, Dave, and so many more I have not mention…so to sum it up the best memories are family and friends.

>Here’s a report from Rocket’s trip last year with Capt. Dean, starting the trip out on a high!

What are your hopes for your trip to Cairns this year?
Good wine, good food and great weather…..

When can we expect to see you here this and how long are you staying who are you fishing with?
Back in 2014 for Lizard Island on the Calypso with Capt. Tim Dean.

Tim has been fantastic and a credit to your industry and Cairns. Great skipper and person… hence why I have been coming back every year since 1998!

Read the rest of the report…


therapyMore reports from the weekend:

Cairns: A first marlin for Tina fishing with partner Anthony and Chris Henderson on Therapy fishing the wide grounds off Yorky’s Knob on Saturday. Well done Tina!

Meanwhile, Darren Ross also reports a fantastic day off Oyster Reef on Saturday with Darren and Nick Connor, both catching their first black marlin on board No Name II. As Darren says “Bring on the light tackle slam!” (postponed due to weather!) Photo of  at bottom.

And Capt. Alex Johnston’s Shikari was also out on Sunday going 2 from 4 on the little blacks.

Meanwhile off Townsville yesterday, Michael Winterton reported a 8-4-2 on fly. Mick says that the tease was fun with just the two of them aboard his September Blue and the bite was hottest between 3 and 5.  With the weather forecast the way it is, the afternoons look like the time to be on the water this week. (Photo at top.)

And another from the west, Blue Lightning‘s Leah reports that the weather has been giving them a rough run over that way but Dingo was happy he got his very first marlin on the last trip in 25 knots. Dingo was lucky, he got the rod as 3 of the other guys on board had already had their share previously as they were on board with Captain Chad when they top scored for the day with 31 billfish (in one day!)


Would love to see some of these fish left in the water guys! Just saying…