The Cairns heavy tackle marlin season was again another beauty for us, our circle hook techniques are still proving hard to beat, and for the 3 rd consecutive season we have been in the top boat category.
We started our season in early September, with the Jeff Jennings Generosity Tour. Jeff is one of my regulars whose generosity and of course good business sense, shouts certain colleagues a trip to the reef. His generosity was rewarded with some great fishing off No 10 Ribbon Reef catching 10 marlin for his trip as well as Large Dogtooth Tuna up to 50kg and Spanish Mackerel up to 40kg. Jeff also picked up a few new orders for his business.
We than started our giant marlin site seeing tours, fishing 2 weeks using a mixture of fly fishing tackle, light tackle, and poppers to catch sea monsters. As usual as soon as you put out the teaser baits without hooks the big ones nailed us. My Japanese friends Moto and Hiro had some amazing stories to tell when they got home. Long fights with marlin close to 800lb on 20lb tippet, fulfilled Hiro’s dream of seeing a giant marlin eat a fly. Moto’s 4 hour fight into the early night in 25 knots plus of breeze with a 650lber hooked on a popper, was a feat in itself especially as he got washed off his feet more than once. Both boys experienced blown away fishing.
The big guns came out again and clients Malcom Summers, from the UK, Kevin Cook and his team from the Gold Coast, and Matt Sanders and his 3 mates, all chartered five days separately up to the 16 th of October and had a ball. 25 black marlin up to 800lb were tagged and released.
The Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic rolled around again, our first day was beyond belief, 3 fish over 950lb jumping on the leader, we managed to get a tag into 2 of the big fish, with the 3 rd breaking the leader just before the tag found it’s mark. A 450lber just before knock off on the first day set us up for another great start in this prestigious tournament.
The fish kept coming for Henning Hasle and Nils Christian Foss from Denmark, and again we were in contention for yet another win. On the 4 th day Henning Hasle from the USA hooked up on a nice one which had plenty of length and could put him in contention for largest fish. We elected to keep this fish, but unfortunately the fish lacked condition and only pulled the needle down to 970lb still a nice one but not beating the 1060lber already weighed.
At the end of the 7 th day we had caught the 2 nd most fish, our weighed fish could not go against our tag score, to officially put us as second, but we were still more than happy with our results. We had won two of the days and runners up for champion male angler. This makes our results over the last 4 years in this tournament quite amazing. 2001 Champion Boat, 2002 Champion Boat, 2003 Runner up Champion Boat, and the 2004 results. No other boat can come close to Viking II’s results over the years in this tournament.
While I am on the subject of the results
DON’T FORGET MY WORKSHOPS. Our popular Sport fishing work shops are on again this April in Port Stephens, one weekend is already full so get in quick. As a special offer this year, one person from each workshop is invited to come aboard Viking II for a week during the heavy tackle season as my guest, to learn the ropes up there. THAT’S RIGHT FREE. Just have to get yourself up there. All details on the workshop can be found on our website www.australianmarlin.com
Tracy Melton from Melton International tackle again joined me up on the reef this year. Tracy has caught a 1000lb blue marlin on standup and was chasing a Black. We came close one about 900lb maybe 950lb, gave Tracy a hard time, but he did an outstanding job keeping 45lbs of drag on the whole time. Beautiful fish, swam away real healthy after the tag went in. Love those circle hooks.
Well we didn’t get our 100 fish this season, slowed a little in November due to excessive long periods of calm weather.
We topped out at 83. I think only one other boat may have beaten us, so I can’t complain too much. We were well above a fish a day. Considering the days we were playing around with light and fly fishing tackle, it was still a great season. I was more than impressed from the emails we received after the season (see below) .
We left Cairns on the 11 th December, south bound for Port Stephens. I think the best trip I have had with winds behind us most of the way, and some great fishing as well. From Lady Musgrave Island to the Gold Coast we were having consistent Marlin and Sailfish bites, mixed in with quality Wahoo and Mahi Mahi, and a grand slam down the NSW Coast.
Remember you can come on a section of these transfer trips, for only fuel and food costs, many have done it and loved it.
That’s about all for now folks hope you all have a great year, and some special fish come your way. We hope to see you soon aboard the Viking II