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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

With some big fish showing up over the last few days it was just a matter of time until we had the first report of a successful grander black marlin release for the Cairns giant black marlin season for 2014. And it came just after lunch yesterday from Capt. Tim Richardson’s Tradition with a fish that Tim put around 1050lbs released after a 2 hour fight.

The big fish was one of three bites for the day and the only successful release (jumping off two smaller fish), but certainly the one that counted!

Tim tells me he is fishing David McCallum and his wife Tammy from the Gold Coast on their first ever trip to Cairns to find a big one.  They were fishing at Linden Bank where the fishing has been good the last few days and had the early bite in the day on the run out tide as has been most of the action over the past few days.  He marked a couple of fish 200′ down and up she came on the bluefin tuna. She had a big lunge and missed the bait on the first inside-out bite, and then spun around to try again. This time she didn’t miss!

The fish did a big jump after eating the bait and then just headed out to sea for the next 45 minutes before they had her up close to the surface. At this stage they could see that the leader was around her mouth and lassoed behind the dorsal, which would explain why she was so tough with maximum drag.

Finally, after 2 + hours at sunset, they finally got the fish to change its direction and started to get some angle and got the double out of the water, and then Paco got the leader on his first black marlin (and a pretty nice one for your first!) which Tim says was a real nice big fish over 1050 and very thick all the way through. A really great fish that gave Dave a real tough fight and one he will remember forever, and great outcome for everyone with the fish swimming off with a TBF tag.

Congrats to David and Tim and crew. What a great start to 2014!

(I didn’t have any other reports of fish from yesterday from the other boats fishing.. it is still early!)

And so because I think this is quite early in the season, I did a look back through my old blog reports and notes for the first grander reports for the most recent seasons which I thought might be of interest to you all (you’re welcome ;-)). And here are the results:

(This is by no means gospel, but rather just what I have recorded.)

2013 – Oct 1 (Capt. Bill Billson/Viking)
2012 – Oct 7 (Capt. Bill Billson/Viking)
2011 – Sept 22 (Rick Eustace – Billfish)
2010 – Oct 10 (Capt. Tim Richardson/Tradition)
2009 – Oct 11 (Capt. Peter B Wright/Sea Baby IV)



Photos are still from the video footage which we look forward to seeing soon!

Pakula Lures

Following up from Saturday’s report, it seemed like the fishing on Sunday kicked it up another notch with reports filtering in from the Ribbons off Cooktown and south to Linden Bank.

tarmacSome familiar faces are back on the reef such as Capt. Ian “Wobbles” Ford but with a new charge, back in 2014 this time on private boat Tarmac.  Wobbs had his turn on the action yesterday at Linden Bank with an early (pre-lunch) big one, this fish that he put around the 800lb mark. He followed up with another conversion at 200lbs ending the day with 2 from 4.

(The ol’ photo of a photo trick – low tech solutions on the reef!)

Capt. Steve Ahlers on Hellraiser went one from two with this fish that he put at around the 850lb mark for angler Ray  Martinez  from Western Australia (photo below).
Read the rest of the report…

Another report we had been waiting for came through last night from Capt. Ashley Wallis’ Kalira fishing at Linden Bank indicating another ‘wave’ of big fish have moved in.  Fishing his first heavy tackle day of the season, Ashley, with Will Pritchard on deck, kicked off with a huge “yee-haaa” releasing 3 from 5 at a massive 800, 800 and 250lb for lucky angler Alan from New Zealand.

If you remember (like I do), Ash has a habit of kicking off his seasons in style. This is what he did last year.

Great to hear more fish are moving through!

By the way, want to read my “Predicting a black marlin season article for Fishtrack” about the season ahead as it relates to the juvie season which still continues – see below.


Also a report from Whitsunday GFCs Ross Martin of the little blacks down there. Ross tells me that Ash Warland, on his boat Gamester (above) went 1 from two yesterday while Marlene and Russell Hicks Topeless also released 1 black.

I put a call out for Broome reports – and I have had an update come in!

It seems that the fishing in Broome, like the rest of the West, is predictably quite hot at the moment as well. Steve Palumbo, who was recently in NQ fishing the Mike Carney Toyota Billfish Challenge in Townsville with Sharky on Levante, tells me that they had some good action on Thursday finishing with 13 sails released. Steve also reports that his good mate, Jeda Ellens from Makaira Game Fishing backed up from his result on Thursday releasing 11 sails on Friday. Steve predicts that its going to be a cracker next month or two!

And more from WA, the Exmouth Australian Masters Billfish Tournament results are in. The tournament was held over the weekend with three days of billfishing specifically for anglers over 55.

7 teams with 13 master anglers and 17 crew participated raising 66 billfish for 47 hookups and 17 tags over the three days.

Navigate through the slides to see the full results.
Read the rest of the report…