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Fishing Styles › Heavy Tackle Game Fishing

The mere mention of the name Marlin conjures up a vision of the most splendid of creatures. Glistening and shimmering through the air on a gigantic leap from its blue ocean home, thrashing the ocean surface wildly and powerfully as it tries to rid itself of that intruding offering connected by a spindly thread to the anglers screaming reel.

The smell of diesel fumes and smoke as the skipper gainfully backs down on the line in a valiant attempt to stay connected to the speeding monster. The deckie barking orders to the angler, still in shock at the mere sight and power of that fish.

The surge of adrenaline numbing all senses until the reality finally sinks home - I've got a hell of a fight on my hands here!

The Cairns region has long been recognized as the Black Marlin capital of the world with the area stretching from Lizard Island in the north, to just south of this beautiful modern tropical city, the envy of many fisherman, and regularly rated the number one gamefishing region on the planet.

Shimano Game Reel
Shimano 130lb Custom Game Reel
The preferred technique for catching the giant Black Marlin is to troll large whole fish baits such as Scad, Queenfish, Rainbow Runner, Tuna and Mackerel. These baits are rigged to either skip across the surface or swim within the surface layers.

We have a lot to live up to here and this challenge has seen the development of the most modern, well equipped and experienced fishing fleet available. Magnificent custom built craft fitted with all forms of safety and communication gear, air-conditioned state rooms and offering the most comfortable lodgings available on the water. A once in a lifetime trip, or the never ending pursuit of the most revered gamefish of all, the elusive 1,000 pounder.

Marlin Every year commencing in early September, the giant female Black Marlin arrive from the Pacific Ocean to spawn along this 250 km stretch of the Great Barrier Reef. The rich waters off the reef and near by continental shelf offering these breeders an abundant food supply. The Marlin season extends through to late December and an impressive array of gameboats and mothership options are to be found on the outer edge of The Reef and Coral Sea.

Charter options include share and sole charter, day trips or live aboard with 1st class accommodation, highest standard meals, scuba and snorkeling equipment, laundry facilities, seaplane transfers and modern communication facilities.

Class Act (Seeing Graeme Walker from Class Act supplied us with the photos on this page, we should give him a plug as one of the local charter operators. As you can see, things get fairly exciting at his place.)

Day Boats

Modern fast day boats leave Cairns harbour approximately 8:00am and return early evening. These 35' to 55' vessels are ideal for the land based visiting angler wishing to experience the many and varied tour options available in this tropical paradise. Quality line class outfits, hand made rods and the finest of professional reels are assured.

Liveaboard Game Vessels

Various extended charters are available with 2-5 day options. Your all inclusive charter will become more than just a fishing trip with options including a swim / snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef. Night fishing, just for fun, and perhaps a visit to a tropical island.

Refer to our Rigs And Baits section for more information on successfully fishing this habitat.

Charters And Packages

We have a range of charters and packages available to suit every style of fishing and every budget:


40 Years Of Game Fishing In Cairns

On the 25th of September 1966, American crewman, Richard C. Obach fishing on a crew day with Captain George Bransford on his game fishing vessel “Sea Baby 1” caught a large black marlin off Euston Reef, approximately 30 nautical miles from Cairns. This marlin, weighing 1,064 pounds was caught using 80 pound (37 kg) line. It turned out to be a new world record, eclipsing the old mark of 871 pounds and the first marlin ever caught on rod and reel over 1,000 pounds using 80 pound line.

The capture of this fish put Cairns on the world game fishing map, and was the commencement of international tourism that Cairns is now famous for. Since that day, tens of thousands of anglers have enjoyed the fishing in the Cairns region, injecting in excess of 60 million dollars annually into the local economy. Bob and Dolly Dyer, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman are just a few of the well known personalities who have fished for the Black Marlin in Cairns. Boat and engine manufacturers, equipment suppliers, tackle shops, maintenance services, service providers, airlines and hotels are just some of the businesses that have benefited directly from this industry. The flow on benefits to other related business and individuals also runs into tens of millions of dollars annually.

To celebrate this historic event, The Cairns Professional Game Fishing Association Inc. will host a week of events to showcase the industry involvement in the community since that momentous day, commencing on Saturday September 23rd, 2006 and finishing on Saturday September 30th 2006.

For more information contact Laurie Wright, Chairman, Cairns Black Marlin 40th Anniversary Committee.


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