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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

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.



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.

Pakula Lures

Cairns reports: I heard from Capt. Brett Alty on Mistress who has been catching some more big fish. Will try and get the details on those. Also a report from Capt. Laurie Wright who is at the helm of Calypso this week who went 2 from 3 yesterday with an 800lb-er and 200lb-er for Damien and Bud from Victoria at St. Crispin’s. Congrats guys!

Up higher on the Ribbon’s, reports are few but the fish are around. Capt. Tim Richardson’s Tradition saw 4 Sunday jumping 2 off (and got a nice 60 lb wahoo for the table). Yesterday Tim says they pulled off a reasonable one and had the bite out of another.

I also got a message from Gus Kennedy who is fresh back from five day charter with Capt. Bill Billson on Viking II.  He’s done a ‘quick’ edit of a day on the reef – well worth a watch! The angler was Dave ‘Bagwah’ McPherson with a helping hand from Brett Richards and Gus Kennedy. Gus said they started with one at 450lb at Lena and another at 400lb in the capable hands of Dave ‘Bagwah’ McPherson.

Viking II // A Day on the Great Barrier Reef from ASK on Vimeo.

The results from the weekend at Weipa – thanks to Andrea Kennedy for sending!

weipa-sailfishReg Moore on Duyfken 8-6-5 sails
Darren Lee on Tag Team 4-3-3 sails
Gaven Roberts on Striper 3-2-2 sails
Darryl French on Wine Down 6-6-4 sails and one black marlin
Kristy Philliskirk on Mofo 6-5-4 sails
Duane Jay on Get n Any 10-7-7 sails

Photo: Weipa Billfish Club’s Junior member Emmi Roberts (8 years old) with her second sailfish for the season.

And here’s a photo of Ash Warland’s sailfish at the Whitsunday’s as mentioned in yesterday’s report.


Off the Gold Coast Ashleigh Haigh reports that there is still no shortage of big tuna busting up on the Gold Coast. After the potential record last week he found another nice one that weighed in a 58kg east of the Seaway with another Gold Coast GFC members Darren Malaquin on board Reelaxation owned by Keith Sleeman who was angler on the fish, his first yellowfin.

Cairns – North and South

Yorkey Knob FC held their annual Light Tackle Slam over the weekend (which was originally postponed due to weather, results still to come). Although Saturday was a quieter day, it seemed like there was a bit more action yesterday with the weather better than forecast as well which is always a bonus!

Overall though it seems like the juvenile black marlin have now headed south well and truly.  Ross Martin told me of some action in the Whitsundays – Ash Warland went 1 from 4 with another 1 from 2 with a few free jumpers around – and I also saw Johnny Mitchell got 6 solo off Gladstone (1770).  Look out SEQ!

On the heavy tackle side, reports have been few and far between.  On the Ribbon Reefs up the top, I heard that Capt. Corey Hard’s Askari found fish on Number 10 Ribbon Reef releasing three smaller models in straight line down from the top (no doubt a full trip report to come from Corey when he returns to port). I also hear there’s plenty of fish being marked so it’s just a matter of time until they start biting.


Down off Cairns, on KEKOA we enticed one from two at the Light yesterday releasing this energetic model for Andre on the bait rod which gave him a tough fight – we couldn’t believe the braid held in there!

Weipa Sailfish

Several reports from sailfish encounters off Weipa over the weekend and just in time for this coming weekend’s Billfish tournament.  And when you’ve moved from Townsville to Weipa for work, you’ve just moved from one light tackle playground to anther. Ex-Townsville angler Chris “Davo” Davidson and partner Marnie went 7-6-3 on sails out of Davo’s barra boat on Saturday. Davo said they saw around 20 fish all up and it was action stations from the outset with a pod of around 8 fish up just after lines in.

And a Weipa local keeping fishing in the family, Kristy Philliskirk’s Mofo (Kristy is daughter of well known local Alan “Fish” Philliskirk) treated two billfish novices to their first fish each with a 6-5-4 on sails yesterday as well!  Hopefully some more reports and photos from Weipa to come!

I was having a chat last evening to Capt. Brett Alty on Mistress, who has made great time on his journey north from the Gold Coast to Cairns (and a blue marlin on his new Tornado lures within an hour and half of them going into the water off Fraser – watch the video), and fished his first day of the Cairns Giant Black Marlin season yesterday at Linden Bank. And it was another great day with two fish at 200 and 800lbs!  (Updated.)

Anyways, Brett was telling me all about it when we had to cut the call short. You guessed it, another hookup! And another big fish. Although they weren’t able to quite convert it fishing in the dark – what an awesome start to season 2014! (Images to come.)

kyrenia400lbI also heard of another nice fish on private boat Reel Cross on the Bank yesterday as well while Port Douglas private boat Kyrenia with Capt. Damon Gruzdev released this one on left at St. Crispin Reef that Damon put at 400lbs.

And up on the Ribbons, Capt. Tim Richardson on Tradition, on the first day of a new trip released a 700lb-er for his guest Steve from Texas, his first black marlin today, and his biggest fish ever. Tim says it was 1 from 2 for them today and they topped off with coral trout for dinner! Pic at bottom. And although I didn’t catch up with him after yesterday’s fishing, I heard from Capt. Chris “Sharky” Miles on Levante early yesterday who released a couple of smaller fish on his trip so far as well.