Well it was bound to happen, after a run of unbelievable fishing seasons, the 2006 Giant Black Marlin season was much slower than usual, but I can’t complain with the amount of big fish action.
We fished most of September which has been excellent in the past but the marlin were sparse, so we spent a substantial part of the day giving the clients great entertainment with large Spanish mackerel, dogtooth tuna, yellow fin tuna, red emperor, and coral trout. Yes we did catch a few marlin in the afternoons but nothing over 300lb.
Early October bought our first Run of nice fish, and the Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic soon rolled around. We had a shocker of a start on day 1 and day 2, but our lucked changed on day 3 when we tagged 4 black marlin up to 750lbt, talk about going from the shithouse to the penthouse. At the end of the 7 day tournament we ended up being one off the pace, and client Brent Morehouse was champion angler. Brent has done 10 seasons with me and caught some great fish, many we have called 950lb, and he was always keen to weigh a 1000lb plus black marlin. On the last day in the last hour Brent hooked the biggest fish he has ever seen, I called it over 1100lbs, Brent elected to tag and release the magnificent fish to put him in front for the champion angler award. You know what they say it’s never over till the fat lady sings.
Another big fish story ended with a not so happy ending, another client wishing to weigh his first big fish hooked a monster off Lena Reef at the bottom end of the ribbons, the fish did some spectacular jumps and than sounded, an hour later we had her close but even with 85lbs of drag could not quite get to her, we felt she was tied, how wrong we were, she again bolted to the depths and stripped 400 meters of line off the big 130H Penn International. This was one of the biggest and most impressive fish that I have seen in my 25 year history. It was all hard yards but we managed to get her close again, I could see the huge fish paddling 25 meters down, than I spotted the brown shapes next to her. I was about to yell cut her off, but it was too late they made there move. We got her on board as quick as we could. The Black Marlin had a huge girth, but the shark eaten tail end left us devastated.
The 3rd of December our last day arrived, it was calm hot and steamy, 16:30 had not seen a fish behind the baits or on the sounder, and starting to count down the minutes to seeing my family, when the fish alarm sounded. I changed my focus from the baits to the sounder, and saw the 3 small boomerangs holding at 50 meters. Might get lucky yet I said to myself, I looked back at the baits just in time to see a big fish engulf the big scaley mackerel. It was than I realised that I had only marked the small fish that were accompanying the big mother.
An hour later we released our 4th fish for the season well over 1000lbs a great way to finish. In the wash up we ended up [with 55 black marlin, 4 over 1000lbs 6 over 900lbs and 9 over 750lb and a sea monster without a tail.