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Larva Lure - Change it, lock it, catch it

Seems like over the past day things are starting to turn around after a quiet turn. For boats fishing the Port Douglas Marlin Challenge, there was a bit more activity with 4 tags recorded for the day.  Heff reports that there were a total 9 hookups resulting in the 4 tags for Gorilla (100lbs at Escape Reef), Wild Turkey (100lbs at Opal Ridge), Moana III (300lbs at Opal Ridge) and Rat Bag (800lbs at Ribbon No 3 – photograph above.)

The current standings are:
1st – Moana III 2 tags
2nd – Saltaire (Joker) 1 tag
3rd – Gorilla 1 tag
4th – Wild Turkey 1 tag
5th – Rat Bag 1 tag

Outside the tournament, more activity for the marlin fleet as well. Up the Top, Capt. Tom Francis’ Ultimate Lady caught two including a nice one about 800lbs wide of Number 10 Ribbon and tells us the Capt. Haydon Bell on Kanahoee also released a real nice one the day before that he put at 1100lbs! Capt. Tim Richardson’s Tradition also tagged one at 300lbs for Chrissie.

In the Middle, Capt. Tim Dean’s Calypso released two at 250 and 350lbs from four bites. And on KEKOA with Capt. Luke Fallon, we also released one about 600lbs for Matt from Shellharbour GFC on the first day of our new trip (photo) and raised a couple more.


Down the track at the bottom of the Ribbons, Capt. Brett Goetze’s Amokura had a look out wide and went 2 from 4 on blues, both around the 200lb mark. Brett says they also jumped one off around 500 and got stuck into some nice yellow fin up to 50kg.

On the Bank, the big three boat 30 day extravaganza ends today after such great fishing for most of the trip, Capt. Corey Hard on Askari tells me its been a bit tough for the past four days with a bite a day only resulting in one small fish.  Corey promises to update on the trip stats after today but here’s hoping they finish it off on another high today!

Catch up reporting again from Capt. Brent James’ Mauna Kea who was back in Port yesterday after a few days out. Lochie says that they started out with a nice fish at 400lbs on the first day.  And then on the last night of the trip, around 5:30pm and put Perry (Brent’s dad) on the leader! Some screen gabs from the video footage below.


And lastly, a quick report from Michael Umback at Cape Moreton who says that when he could keep the skipping gar away from the packs of kingfish and wahoo, he went 4-2-1 on billfish catching an estimated 15kg black marlin and also pulling the hooks on a nice sail. Good to hear for the summer ahead!

Pakula Lures

The Port Douglas Marlin Challenge is on for another year with 13 boats competing, and had the first day of fishing. Although I was on land for the day (see below) and missed the skeds, Heff sent me an update from the tournament fleet fishing mostly to the south on Linden Bank and Opal Ridge.  Heff reports beautiful weather conditions 10-15 knots and moderate fishing and a quite a few hard luck stories and 11 hookups and 2 completed tags.

Currently leading is Capt. Daniel McCarthy’s Moana III with an est. 700lb blue marlin from Capt. Damian Collette’s Saltaire with an est. 800lb black marlin.

Outside the tournament, a bit of dirty water on the tides has slowed the bite but with better water coming through, most skippers are confident of the fishing’s return.  In the Middle, Capt. Tim Dean’s Calypso released one from two at 300lbs and at the top, Capt. Tom Francis’ Ultimate Lady released one as well.  And that is all I have! :-)  We’re waiting for the switch to flip back to on!

Apologies for the lack of reporting yesterday – I had to drive to Cairns for the day and was out of service for much of it. But back to Cooktown last night and out again on the reef today!


Another good weekend and another opportunity for Townsville club boats to fish the waters surrounding Myrmidon Reef (which for those who don’t know, the heavy tackle grounds are a fair bit of a slog further from the coast off Townsville than they are off Cairns so a lot more weather depending).  O’Brien Boats boat-building father and son duo Peter and Leigh O’Brien were one such boat out in search of the big fish with the family on board. Just the two bites but one was a quality fish (photos) about the 900lb mark for angler John McConkey, which comes just a week or so after Renee’s big 9 hour battle.

Meanwhile up off Cairns, reports are few and far between today but certainly still big fish up here too. Capt. Kim Andersen on Duyfken topped off what was already a big fish trip with another big fish yesterday on the way in.  And Capt. Tim Dean’s Calypso got a small one in the Middle as did Capt. Tom Francis’ Ultimate Lady  up the Top.

Black Marlin Research

Sam Williams tells me that they have now set up a Facebook Group to help research target areas for sampling with users encouraged to share and identify where little black marlin have been caught/seen. If you fish in such an area, join the group and help out / share information here.


Not too many reports from yesterday when the bite may have shut down a bit, but those I heard of were big fish!

Capt. Kim Andersen on Duyfken has done the big trip up to Number 10 and was yesterday heading south again.  But the miles paid off for guests Jake and Darren Wright with fish that Capt. Kim put at over 1000lbs for each – 1000lbs+ for Jake and a bit bigger for Darren – aptly on Andersen Reef.

And Capt. Dean Beech on Onsite also heading south got an nice one too at 900lbs to put his father and son anglers a 950, 800 and 900 for their trip!

I also heard that in the Middle Capt. Daniel McCarthy on Moana III got two at 800 and 400lbs – and that was all I have for the day. And at the top, Capt. Tom Francis’ Ultimate Lady released a small one early in the day.

Some catch ups:
Its been since mid-October that I’ve heard from the team on Mauna Kea but I got a quick catch up report from Lochie on deck for Capt. Brent James this morning as they have been enjoying the fishing as much as the rest of the fleet. Lochie says that in the last two trips since they have recorded 10 fish on the first trip up to 850lbs and another four on the second to 900. A couple of action pics below.


And last but not least, some great recent catch up pics from Capt. Tom Francis of Capt. Ross Finlayson’s Top Shot, Capt. Tim Richardson’s Tradition and from the Ultimate Lady herself.


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