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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

How often is your first marlin a grander?


Prestige Charters’ Kim Prater with partner Mike Schmidt have a fantastic story to share from the recent Denarau GFC club comp the weekend before last.

Kim and Mike were fishing together on their 27 foot Grady White and Kim had already landed a mahi mahi for the day which put Mike on strike. But courtesy of the fact that Mike had already landed his own big blue earlier in the year (weighing 216kg /476lb  and a Denarau GFC club record), it was agreed that Kim would take the fish should it be a marlin…and the next strike was!

Kim says that in split seconds she had the Black Magic belt back on (yes this is on standup!) and the fish was screaming line off the reel and heading straight down. In fact it didn’t jump until an hour and 20 minutes into the fight. Chasing her around a 2mile area from the front of the boat for the first hour and 45 minutes, they were able to get a tag in on the 2 hour mark.  Unfortunately another 20 or so minutes later when they had her back to the boat she could not be revived and so was taken back to the island and to the scales weighing in at a massive 496.2kg (1094lbs)!  On 24kg standup tackle!

Congratulations Kim on an outstanding fish and fight!

Pakula Lures

Hi all – back on deck now after a few days away! And a catch up report from while I was gone:

From Townsville: A quick report from Curl Foster and the Graham brother’s on their new boat, Chaos, that recently arrived on the big ship in Townsville from the US. They are taking the boat back to the Sunshine Coast but stopped at Bowling Green for a quick fish on the way through going 5 from 7 before a small hiccup saw them returning to Port. Am sure they will have another go on the way through once the weather improves again!

Off Cairns: Over the weekend Capt. Alex Johnson’s Shikari landed this one from a double header off while I heard yesterday that private boat Kyrenia went 4 from 7 off Port. Capt. Damon Gruzdev reported that all the fish were between 10 and 15kg except for one bigger fish they lost that wore through leader.

And Marlon Batty sent me this pic of a little brute caught on a handline. Marlon said that it was the first marlin on his boat and goes to show you don’t need a big rod to catch marlin!

bounty_hunterMore juvenile black marlin reports from north Queensland with Askari owner Shane and family enjoying some time on board with Capt. Corey and team last weekend and picking up a few juvies in the process.

Yesterday the junior girls on Bounty Hunter were also at it again with a black a piece to Lilly and Morgan by 10:30! They ended the day with 4 tags from 8 bites.

Harvo on deck holding up one of the micro blacks on left.

Anyone interested in hearing the latest from Captain Josh Temple and the team on the Carol Libby will be amazed at how these numbers just keep growing! At last update at the start of July, they were up to 522 marlin in a single season (a world record number!) Well the latest is in. The total now stands at 1,153 raised, 938 bites and 690 successful releases in 78 days fishing (Feb – July 2014)!

The bluefin have been biting down south (hot then cold, hot then cold!) and congratulations to Karen Wright on Tantrum who weighed a potential Australian Ladies and World Record bluefin tuna at 143.7kg on 15kg line! Sydney GFC reports that Karen hooked up late in the afternoon just inside the well known ‘Heaton’s Hill’ and fought the fish for just 30 minutes. Well done Karen!

I’m out of phone/internet range for a few days now. See you on the flip side!


I had a quick call and update from Broome GFC’s Jeff Cooper this morning. Jeff is fishing on board 3XL, who after some standout fishing on day 1, hold onto a narrow lead at the end of day 2. But the talk of day 2 fishing yesterday was not of the top of the leaderboard, which is mostly made up of sailfish T&R points, but rather of a very much larger than average black marlin tag and release.

Shane Minshull, on board the 5.9m ‘The Shag’, fought the fish on 10 kg for 4.5 hours before finally getting the tag in and with a short length 3.3m they are estimating the fish at around the the 350kg mark which is an amazing fish on the light tackle! (Photos below!)

Jeff told me that this fish was one of many (though mostly smaller) blacks that made their way into the spread yesterday. And while they are calling day 2 for a quieter day fishing, they expect it to only get better from here on in for the final three days.

Narrowly behind the 3XL team on the leaderboard are Karratha’s The Wench, Billistic, Makaira and Team Dare.

The stats so far are 135 sails raised for 50 tags and 13 marlin raised and converted to 4 tags.  Great fishing as always!


Save the date – Cairns 50th Anniversary Tournament

The Cairns 50th Anniversary Tournament, commemorating 50 years since the very first 1000 pound black marlin capture, which put Cairns on the world stage. The 50th Anniversary Tournament will be held:
25 – 30th September, 2016

Download the announcement flyer here.

The history

On the 26th September, 1966, American crewman Richard Obach and Captain George Bransford on Sea Baby 1 were fishing a crew day off Cairns when they caught a large black marlin. The fish turned out to be a new World Record of 1064lbs on 80lb tackle, and historically was both the the first marlin over 1000 pounds to be caught on 80 pound tackle, and the first 1000 pound fish caught on rod and reel in Australia.

This capture put Cairns on the world fishing map, and was the catalyst that made Cairns the fishing destination that it is today. Since that day tens of thousands of visitors have enjoyed the fishing in the Cairns region.

While the industry has evolved and the vast majority of fish nowadays are released, Cairns is still the number 1 destination in the world to fish to catch a 1000lb black marlin!

50th anniversary tournament
Subscribe to Cairns 50th Anniversary Tournament announcements and updates on the website.