Category Archives: Fishing Report

25th Giant Black Marlin season on viking and viking 11

Hello Folks

Yes I Still have a pulse, In fact better than ever, been in the refit Gym for some time down to a new low in weight from my high score of 128 Kg now at 109 kg  and feeling great. The Viking 11 has also been getting a big tune up, and she is now the most amazing boat. My Good friend and Partner Beau Kuok, told me he wanted a special boat, and I believe we have achieved that after 4 months of fine tuning.

I am currently at Old Reef 50 miles SE of Townsville, we have had a nice day with the Spanish mackerel and the Boys who do the trip north from Hamilton Island with me every year, are now out the back catching a few trout.

The 2011 Giant Black Marlin season is about to begin it is my 25 year as Captain of Viking and Viking 11 and 30 years of being part of this amazing fishery.

Wazza is with me again, to help celebrate my  25th year, and my old boss when I was on the tools, Neil Francis, has let me grab his son for a season, Jake and I go back to when he was a pup and the Francis boys would Charter me in Port Stephens. Jake and his Dad on Dealne Took out the Champion boat Capture in the Port Stephens Interclub this year, and he is a very talented young man, and I am very Happy to have him aboard.

I will endeavour to keep my Blogs up to speed this season so stay tuned, I have some of my great regular clients with us again, and with the Current climate happy to have a very busy season.

Thank you to all my dear friends, and fishing buddies for their continuous support.  I can guarantee I will be giving all of my 25 years of experience and  dedication to give you a trip, you will remember. Stay tuned.

30th September 2009 No 10 Ribbon

Hello Folks

Currently fishing regular client moto from Japan, Targeting the world record on 8kg, 631lb and the smaller fish he casts a popper to after the tease, and if its a grander he will have ago with the 130lb tackle. All fish are teased and switch baited. Yesterday we raised 3 and had 2 bites on the switchbaits, One we coud’nt get off the teaser and the other woud’nt come in. Another boats fishing No 10 released a nice fish of 800lb and The release went 2 for 2.  

Gold Coast Heavy Tackle Tournament

20th April 2009
Results for the heavy Tackle tournament run from the Gold Coast.
Day 1.  Weather wise it was a cracker but unfortunately the fish were holding deep and very few rose to the offerings, only a few boats managed to get bites,  Yvone was first on the board with a striped marlin, than Mistress skipped on the day by Well known Gold Coast Captain Ross McCubbin put a 200kg Blue on the deck, and only one other fish listed, another Blue Marlin.
Day 2.  With the weather picking up saw many of the smaller boats call it a day. But the ever consistent Graham McCloy caught wife Carmen a potential Qld record Blue Marlin, and only one other blue caught.Final
Results – first boat on the scoreboard took out the honours For tag and release – Yvonne  with one striped marlin.
And largest fish weighed was Mistress 200kg Blue Marlin.

A bit of News from New Zealand. A big blue Marlin has been weighed at Hohoura, North Island,  on Thursday?

It is the biggest marlin ever weighed out of NZ waters at 483.4kg = 1063lbs. (The previous biggest being a black at 473kg = 1040lb.) Apparently the beast was caught on Harlequin with John Douglas by first time marlin angler Ross Jameson.  Well Done.

Port Stephens late bite

26th March 2009

Viking 11 is back on the Gold coast, and available for all charters, The black Marlin season here was the best for many years and also the boats looking for the Big blues were not dissapointed. Great Marlin PicOur season in Port Stephens was a little slow compared to the double didget days, of previous years but we did manage to keep our numbers up with some big blues up to 600lb, I still have the use of a 50ft custom for fishing the waters off Port stephens and of cause as soon as I pulled out of Port Stephens The Stripe marlin bite that Port Stephens is renowned for started. We can offer very competitive rated for fishing either the Gold Coast or Port Stephens so lets get together for some great fishing for either Black, Blue, and Striped marlin.

Bluewater workshop students Switchbait Blues

11th February 2009

Hello folks

Finished my second workshop for Port Stephens, and again the students got to experience switch baiting a nice Blue marlin of around 130kg, it all went to plan as we had spent part of the previous day teaching, and the students were blown away see a blue engulf a skipping slimey mackerel so close to the boat, The blue performed well on the 24kg line class than went deep so I was able to show them some boat driving to assist in the fight, Love these new cummins QSM11 for responce. Another great workshop with great people, Call kim if you would like to join the next group,

Capt Bill

 

Best Blue Marlin fishing for some time.

Hello folks  

3rd February 2008.

I know not enough updates, better lift my game. This year after our Cairns season Kim and myself decided to make the trip back to the Gold Coast with the full family on board. So after a wonderful Christmas at home off to Cairns we went, This would be a first for young Emmie- Rose and Kai. 1000 nautical miles on a boat Kim and I had our doubts, my elder daughter Holly joined us in Cairns, and we all enjoyed such a great family experience, and hoping to make it a regular family excursion.  

Back to fishing! Viking 11 is now at Port Stephens, We did our reposition trip from the Gold Coast with Clinton and his Dad, Clinton was aboard last year as well, and had such a great time that he dragged the old Man along for this years tip. Fishing was a little slow but, a Blue Marlin off Yamba of around 150kg gave us a great performance, and broke the Ice. A gorgeous night made the night time travelling a treat, But the Morning revealed that the current had spun around to the north, not the best snenero, for our target species Blue Marlin.

It was not untill Crowdy Head that things Started to Change around, and by the time we had reached Seal Rocks, it was smoking, and looking great. We never got a bite but I marked enough fish that I could not believe we did’nt. It was enough for the boys to decide to take another day, to spend were we marked the Blue Marlin the Day before.

It was a great call and Clinton and his Dad experienced some great blue Marlin fishing with 5 bites on blues up to 500 LBS, our hook up rate was not so wonderful though with only one of these tagged.

My first Port Stephens Workshop for the year was a great success, 9 fun students that worked in well together. I made the call to spend our day on the water switch baiting, and headed out to my marks.

I had the boys all tuned up and that it could happen any time so be ready, well we had barely got the the teasers set when their he was, I made the calls, but at first the Boys thought I was kidding, the tone in my voice soon changed that, and the boys experieced the excitement of switch baiting a 200kg blue, a great fight and the fish was along side for all to admire. The atmoshere on the boat was estatic. It was our fish for the day, but the workshop team were more than empressed.

We were out the next day with 3 American Clients, and at 1600 pm we had caught 2 beautiful blues 350 lb and one that was heading towards 600lbs both fights were extensive and put a big smile on Chris’s dial. It was a great day for quality fish out of Port Stephens.

I still have some great days available out ot the Port so I will be updating the site regularly to keep you updated.

By for Now

Capt Bill

  

Season wrap up.

Firstly folks sorry for the lack of updates, the laptop finally stopped all together, so lets catch up. Overall it was a great season with some mighty fish with many boats getting amongst the giants, Viking 11 ended up with 3 definitely well over 1000lb one of which could have been over 1200lb. My log also shows that I called two 950lb, and 5 over 800lb, we also let many of my clients get amongst some great reef fishing with red emperor, and coral trout, in the evenings and early mornings, and the large spaniards were in abundance.

We ventured far and wide, when the fishing on the edge became slow, we were out with the tuna long liners getting amongst big yellowfin, big eye, and Black and Blue marlin and there was some monsters of both species there. One boat did battle for 7 hours, only to have the line break.  Clients that have been with me since viking 11 was launched, got to experience the boat with the new QSM11 Cummins engines in it. What a machine it is now, so responsive, so clean running, even well seasoned crewmen were amazed how the boat can stay with a fish on the leader, I am always proud to hear the statement that its the best marlin Boat in this country.

Although we did not come close to 110 fish as per one of my big number seasons, we were well on our way to 60 fish when I greated Kim my wife and my 3 beautiful children, Holly, Emmi-Rose, and Kai, at the dock in Cairns at the end of the season. Marlin fishings great but nothing beats the feeling of seeing your family after a long season, and the pleasure they give you.   I will put up a few shots of the high lights, To all my clients a big thank you for your support, and the great times we had together, to my crew Jay and Andy, You guys are the best Thanks for the hard work and your abilities. I wish all a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. 

 

 

 

 

Struck it lucky in two days.

My old apprentice from my Trade days, Will burrell  brother Dave and mate phill, Had their first trip to the reef this year only a short two days, but struck it lucky with a 950 lber as well as some great red emperor fishing at night and some good spanish mackerel in the morning there booking more days next year.

 

 

Finish of a great trip.

Hi folks

Just finished my seven day charter with Americans Terry, Doug, and Ron 11 fish for the trip including a 750 800 850 900 and a 1100 pound plus,  One to remember.  The season had a little late start proper, this year but from all reports  it is well and truly underway with many boats enjoying great fishing, and now the weather is great their is no better place to be.

 

These clients are on fire.

Hello folks
Well These guys are so lucky another big fish, I would say with no hesitation one of largest I have seen. We had it on the leader inside the hour and crewmen Andy Dow did an out standing job, 5 big jumps on the wire than got it close for a gaff shot , only inches and the shot was their. She moved from one corner to other but just out of reach of a gaff shot, my controls in the tower pulled out of the consul as I tried to stay with it . There is such a big difference between keeping a big fish and tagging it. The fish than went down and dogged it on the wire and Andy made the right call and let go. She went deep and 88LBS of drag could not stop a blistering 300meter run. The size of this fish had its tail beat hitting the end of the wind on and cut it off. The clients were blown away and exhausted angler Doug is ordering the largest fish cast he can. A small 300lber in the morning brings my clients total to 8 for this trip with one over 1000lb and 3 over 850lb. 

Gday folks.
 
Another good day on the bank for Big Fish. We let go a solid 850lber and also hooked up on a fish that angler Terry and crew wanted to put in the Boat. Than a Bazzare thing happened we were about to grab the Leader when one of the following Male fish got the line caught in its mouth and started jumping next to the boat and got caught up in the whole program breaking our attachment to a donkey of a fish. The small fish was released  while caught up in the line and leader. And the Big girl owed it’s male partner a big thankyou. In my 25 years up hear I have never seen anything like  it .   

Finally calm weather and giant fish.

Hello folks.

Sorry about promised Pictures, put having trouble with the bloody computer,

Yesterday started with New American Clients for 7 Days working off the Mothership Alantic Princess, glamour, great day good weather for a change and on his first day Terry Caught a cracker, Knocking at the door one could say, we had 2 other bites on small fish But hooked the big one late, came in behind the reef at night with everyone on a high. Their has been some other nice ones also caught recently from Moana, Little Audry, and Iona 11, all on Linden Bank.

 

A mixed bag of Quality from the GBR.

Hello Again folks.

Well the wind has finally given us a little break and my clients gave me the go ahead to venture outside the reef after lunch for a crack at a Marlin. The morning had already been sucessfull with some quality Red Emperor and large spanish Mackerel, the day before the reef fin closure. Well what a great mixed bag for the day. Pictures tell a thousand words. As well as show a thousnd pounder on the leader. 

 

 

 

 

Some nice fish for some nice Guys.

Hello boys and

Well on the Viking 11 not much to report on the marlin front, with the wind still very strong and good friend and regular client Beau Kuok happy to do light tackle for spanish mackerel and get amongest the trout before the reef closure. From the rest of the fleet Capt Jared on the Sharka let go a solid 850lber in the middle ribbons,  and New boat Watchdog with Capt Crusty at the wheel let go a very healthy 700lber on Lindon Bank, The Current is still going to the north which is not what we really need  but It is about to change. The wind is being a pest, but as we know in this game we have to take the good with the bad. Their has being some patches of small fish up to 400lb, and if in the right spot at the right time catching 3 a day is possible.  Thats all folks.

Highs and Lows as the wind blows.

Well our luck had to change. after the 3 weeks of our marlin season enjoying over 90% hook up rate the Monkey jumped on our back in the Lizard Island Tournament. Even though we managed to release a beautiful fish well over 1000lb our hook up and catch rate declined dramatically. For the seven days of the tournament we had 17 bites with one being another monster but only managed to tag 2, one fish charged the boat and got cut off before we could tag it, if it could go wrong it did, Top boat finished with 6 in a relative slow tournament this year. You know what they say. ” The sun dos’nt shine out of the same dogs arse all the time “

Regular client Paul Kelly catches 8 Blacks for 3 day trip

Well he has always been lucky and this year was no exception.  Paul Kelly has fished with me now for 24years, and was the original owner of my first boat Viking,  and is one of my closest friends. Just completing a three day trip paul managed to release 8 black marlin, not bad for a guy who religiously will not start Marlin fishing till after a swim, fresh fish lunch and a bottle of wine, Paul normally will take a week but he is a little at edge with the market at present. Good on you PK always great fun with you aboard.

 

Told you it was going to be a cracker season

Hi folks,

Well the reef is doing what it is famous for, producing big fish, already their has been some giants released, up and over the Magic thousand lb mark, I started regular client the infamous Paul kelly yesterday and we had a cracker 2 hour session as soon as we put the baits in the water. Tagging 4 Black marlin to 350lb. marked the big girl but she did not interupt her smaller friends from their feasting. A lot of fish now are starting to arrive and it will be a big season

CAIRNS GIANT BLACK MARLIN SEASON REPORT 2006

Early in 2006 found Viking II heading south for it’s season in Port Stephens. Our ever popular cost of fuel only trip from the Gold Coast to Port Stephens where we troll the continental shelf of NSW presented some great fishing for Warrick, Tony, and big Mike. The boy’s had a ball catching all 3 species of Marlin as well as some quality yellow fin.

Port Stephens again proved itself to be an outstanding destination, my regular fly fishing clients were kept busy on the long rods with the perfect size stripers and blacks and were blown away by the odd nice blue.

Conventional tackle clients had some big days, with double figures and the odd grand slam not uncommon. But without a doubt the biggest highlight of the Port Stephens season was winning the NSW Interclub Tournament Champion boat Tag and Release. Kim, my hard working wife, was relieved of her mother and office duties to fish this tournament. And fish it she did, taking out not only champion female angler, but also champion angler over all. A feat never before achieved by a lady. I achieved a personal milestone in my career, having now won this tournament four times as captain in the capture as well as the tag and release divisions. Again a feat never before achieved.

Four of the Billson’s Blue water Sport fishing Workshops were held in 06. Two in Port Stephens and two on the Gold Coast. As always these were highly successful. Held over weekends these workshops are not only for the new comers to the sport but also for the experienced, yes I can teach some old dogs some new tricks. Click here for this years dates if you want to join the fun!

I had a break from the fishing program for a few months this year, to refit the charter boat Mauna Kea. The Mauna Kea had been purchased by good friend Jeff Jennings, well one thing led to another and I found myself back using my old trade’s tools again, refitting the whole engine room and designing and overseeing the installation of its new tower. A lot of hard work but I am more than happy with the end result.

The Viking II departed the Gold Coast in late August for my 20th Giant Black Marlin season as a Captain and the 40th anniversary season of the first black Marlin captured over 1000lb. We kicked off on the 7th September and found there was no shortage of small to medium fish to keep the clients entertained. By the middle of September we had released our first nice one. Simon Atkinson the angler was ecstatic over the capture, and the boats first nice one for the season put smiles all round.

The 40th Anniversary Tournament with its 65 boats made it one of Cairns largest ever tournaments. Anglers Henning Hassle, Nils Christian Foss from Denmark who had been so successful in a previous Lizard Island Tournament were trying there luck with me again. The boys took 3 days prior the 4 day event to get there hand in. At the end of a tightly fought tournament the Viking II came in second place to Mauna Kea. (I knew I spent too much time on that refit). Never the less a great tournament, and a good result. Congratulations to Jeff and the boys, and my team.

Robert Ell and his team from Sydney were back again, their 4 day trip produced 24 bites for 10 releases. We had a ball too Rob.

Matt Sanders, and Greg Beard, mixed up a spear fishing trip with their marlin fishing, 3 days of marlin fishing for 6 releases and no shortage of trout for the table.

Beau Kuok another regular, normally a Lizard Island guest, this year decided to experience staying on the reef live aboard. Beau enjoys fishing the reef in the mornings and employs his Chinese cooking skills to prepare the fish for lunch. His steamed coral trout or red emperor is to die for. Beau still managed to average a Marlin a day during his afternoon session and will be spending more time on the reef in the future.

The Lizard Island tournament rolled around again Murray Hansen and the boys from NZ utilized the comfort of a mother ship for the 7 days, and put there trust in me to give them a result.. I have won this gig 4 times prior but this year was not my year. The boys were great sports and we had plenty of laughs. You know what they say the sun doesn’t shine out of the same dogs arse all the time.

I had to leave the Viking to Capt Steve Haygarth ( Hoggy) to run for 10 days while I attended to some other commitments. Hoggy has done many seasons with me and he did a great job for clients Michael Hayes and friend and Jeff cooper and friends. I saw the video footage and believe some of the fish released during this time were well over 1000lb. Good Job Hogg.
John Houghton and mate Steve Woods took 6 days at the start of November. John celebrated his 50th birthday on the reef, Steve got a 900lber and John caught his share of smaller fish.

Bruce Yancey did his second trip with me, and utilized the Atlantic Princess for his Mother ship. I must say at this point that the AP’s service and food is second to none on the reef, and our 3 nights were thoroughly enjoyed. Bruce still has not been lucky with a nice fish, but wins the party animal award every time.

Richard Draper, Chris Hevelston, John Staley only took 3 days but got real lucky, 2 over 900lb and 4 in total. This started a nice little roll for us.

Roy Sayman also only took three days, but caught 8 fish including one over 800lb and one over 600lb. By 14:30 on Roy’s last day, we got an early mark; Roy was a little worn out to catch another one.

The husband and wife team of Bruce and Laurie Bosley took 6 days a wonderful couple who were passionate about their fishing. They were rewarded with 10 fish for their trip, and each achieving a dream of 2 big ones around 900lb.

Regular’s Paul Kelly Uncle Doug and Rodney, love there bottom fishing and light tackle and had a great first day with a 20lb red emperor and 40lb Spanish mackerel. When the marlin baits were put in Uncle Doug hooked up to a sea monster, the big fish took its toll on Doug who is not a big man, he looked a little relieved when after a succession of unbelievable jumps the big fish got rid of the hook. Still puffing after the first encounter, Uncle Doug, who is not a fit man. (Sorry Uncle Doug) was on again this time to a 500lber on steroids. I will say one thing about Uncle Doug, what he lacks in size he makes up for in heart. The boys each caught a marlin and plenty of other action on the other tackle.

Jim Wild and friends were to finish off my season, we were on 95 fish for the big fish season and sights were set on the three figures, alas it was not to be. I took a punt and went out wide to the sea mount, plenty of big Wahoo and Dorado and bait but no marlin, a missed opportunity on the way back in, and one fish on the edge was our finish. Jim and his mates were great guys and loved their trip.

2006 was over 82 days of heavy tackle marlin for 96 fish, I think close to top boat we had some great times with you guys and hoped you enjoyed our company and efforts. Thank you so much.

CAIRNS GIANT BLACK MARLIN SEASON REPORT 2005 – 2006

Our 2005 heavy tackle season started on the 6th September and finished on 1st of December 87 days straight chasing the giant black marlin that migrate to the Barrier Reef every year. All of our clients went away with some amazing memories and extremely happy so much so that on returning home in December my wife Kim informed me that our book was full for the 2006 season. Some highlights were.

Regular client Brent Morehouse from the US topped off a great week by catching another grander with us. He is getting towards double figures with nice ones now, but still won’t put one in the boat unless a definite 1100lb.

Ferdi Pistirious from South Africa got 2 over 850lb in the Lizard island classic. Bill Holt also from the US letting a monster go over 1100lb. Old time friend and partner in the original Viking Paul Kelly had a blinder 4 days catching 5 over 900lb and 9 in total.

Dan Percy also from the US followed on the hot early November bite, with a total of 9 for his 5 days. His first day a 750 lb’er he lifted the ante on the second day with a 850lber than the next day a 950lber and to really put the icing on the cake let a monster go well over 1000lb in his last hour of his last day.

December saw us moving from Cairns to the Gold Coast were we are now calling home. Our young family Kai now 2 ½ and Emmi-Rose nearly 4 are loving it and having the Viking 11 parked out in front of the house makes life much easier, and lets me spend more time with the family.

By early February this year, we were doing our southern season out of Port Stephens, we started our season and the fish started snapping, Up to 10 billfish a day was not uncommon and all 3 species Black, blue, and striped marlin could be caught in a day. Neil Delaney caught a Grand Slam for a single angler, and had some hot fishing for his 5 days.

Our 1ST Workshop was held on the 11th and 12th of February, I would have to say my best ever, they are becoming very popular and from the remarks from the students they are more than impressed with what we teach them. There fishing day on the Sunday saw many of the students putting into practice what we taught them, and catching there first ever marlin.

Regular Japanese Fly-fishing client Hiro had booked his usual 7 days out of Port Stephens. The fishery stayed strong and we hooked some nice fish on the fly. A 600lb Blue, which blew us away on 20lb tippet, and a weighed 125 lb black on 16lb tippet just a little under the record were a few of the highlights.

We fished the NSW interclub tournament last weekend in February and the 1st weekend in March. We have won this event 3 times prior with capture, and I was keen to take out the Tag and Release section. To our delight we achieved that feat this year, to the best of my knowledge I don’t believe this has ever been achieved before. 13 black and Striped marlin tagged and released in the 1st weekend of the tournament did the job. My Wife Kim took out Champion overall angler, and also Champion female angler. She did a great job on the rod and we were more than delighted.

Thats all for now but check back soon for some more news

Hope to see you soon

Captain Bill

CAIRNS GIANT BLACK MARLIN SEASON REPORT 2004

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

Capt Bill

2003 FISHING REPORT

Another World Record, top boat for the 2003 Cairns Heavy Tackle season, for the 2nd year running. As well as another top placing in the prestigious Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic. No other charter boat in Australia comes close to their results again VIKING II CONSISTENTLY CONSISTENT.

Captains report

Early January 2003 saw us in transit to Port Stephens, the World Record capital of Australia, for our southern season. The waters off Port Stephen’s were alive with pods of striped marlin in late January and captures of up to 10 fish a day were not uncommon. Tom Evan’s, multiple world record holder with fly fishing tackle was again with us and clocked up his third World Record. This time a Black Marlin of 68.5 kg (151lb) on 8kg tippet (16lb). This gives Tom the Black, the Blue and the Striped Marlin Records for tippet classes 10kg and 8kg, all on Viking II. All our clients enjoyed their fishing but I would have to say that the highlight of our Port Stephen’s Season was our combined Bluewater Sportfishing Workshop with fishing trip. These were highly successful and with the testimonials listed below everyone was more than impressed.

“I picked up more tips in 2 days than in 10 years”

Gary McDonald New Zealand.

” Awesome the amount of info I took away, has done wonders for my fishing and rigging skills”

Josh McCue Kurnell

” How Many Crews of this Caliber are happy to share their secrets?” A fantastic weekend both social and informative”.

Lee Williams
Enter your details below if you would like to learn more about Marlin fishing at one of our workshops.

Our fuel only transit trips, allowed for anglers to fish certain legs of our trip south and north at lure trolling speed were again popular and amazing value. Some of the more popular legs produced non stop action.

We were back in Cairns in June 2003 and kept busy with day trips, reef fishing and light tackle sport fishing.

In late July we received a contract to travel to New Guinea and work along side a 45-metre White Boat called Lion Wind. Taking the owner and clients fishing around the untouched waters of this area, we visited such places as Alotoa, Rabaul and Kavieng. The fishing was outstanding to say the least. What an Experience!.

The 2003 Cairns Heavy Tackle season was upon us once more, with 83 days in the book it was going to be a big one, and that it was. As I sit here remembering the highlights it would be hard to mention them all. 105 Black Marlin for the season my greatest result in the 17 years as Captain of Viking and Viking II. With last years result of 101 makes two consecutive years we have topped the magic 100. Great fish, Big fish, (7 around the 1000lb mark and 2 over 1100 LB). Many double headers, Tournament Placing, great clients, funny moments and great friendships. Already I can’t wait till next year.

To all my Clients and my crew thank you for making 2003 another special year and I look forward to our time together again in 2004.

Capt. Bill Billson

Viking II fishing report 2002

Undoubtedly the 2002 season would go down as the most amazing year that I have experienced as a charter boat Captain.

The year started off with Viking II traveling to its southern destinations of Port Stephens and Ulladulla. Our first charter was with a guy specialising in fly fishing tackle chasing world records. Tom Evans, from America, was targeting striped marlin, blue marlin and black marlin with fly fishing tackle with the emphasis on trying to achieve world records on the individual tippet classes. At the end of Tom’s charter we had achieved 2 amazing feats; the first being the largest striped marlin ever caught on fly fishing tackle. The fish weighing 104.7 kg, 231lb, blew away the existing world record and created a new benchmark for the 16lb 8kg tippet class. But the fish that got the world talking happened on the last day of Tom’s charter. We were out wide in the canyons east of Port Stephens looking for blue marlin, when the fish appeared behind the long teaser lure. The blue marlin attacked the lure and managed to get teased close to the boat. Tom did his usual perfection cast and the blue marlin engulfed the fly. After 20 minutes of the most spectacular fight between boat, fish and angler that anyone could witness the fish was gaffed. The atmosphere on the boat was electrifying as all on board knew that we had achieved an amazing milestone not only in saltwater fly fishing history but in general sportfishing achievements.

Our results out of Port Stephens were not only constrained to saltwater fly fishing; many clients caught some magnificent fish on 16kg and 8kg conventional tackle. Captures of blue marlin upwards toward 200kg on 15kg were not uncommon and striped marlin exceeding 85 kg on 8 kg line class were also caught.

Viking II returned to Cairns in June and continued operating light tackle sportfishing charters out of Cairns.

The Heavy Tackle Marlin Season which Cairns is famous for finally came around in September and from all reports up and down the reef it was going to be a great season. The first tournament for the Heavy Tackle season was held in late September sponsored by the Mediterranean Shipping Company and after 4 days of hot competition Viking II came out winners and was champion boat for the tournament. Angler Patrick Helmy from New Caledonia took out the award for champion male angler and went back to New Caledonia $20,000 richer.

This was a great start to our heavy tackle season but it didn’t stop there! All clients fishing onboard the Viking II had some outstanding fishing with many catching their first 1000lb marlin. The Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic which is known as one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world circuit was again won by the Viking II. We tagged 24 Black Marlin and weighed one fish in this 7-day tournament. Some very large fish were released, the largest of which I estimated at over 1200lbs, anglers Dave and Daniel Bedford and their friend Terry Kuzma, from Canada, could not believe the week they experienced. This was the second time in consecutive years that Viking II has won this tournament and we have now won it a total of 4 times. No other vessel can come close to these results.

A full commitment was made this season to the use of circle hooks. With more and more people keen to release even the big fish it is imperative that these fish be released in good condition. The use of circle hooks certainly assists this and we have refined our technique to achieve over 65% success rate with these hooks.

Gary Carter from America chartered the Viking II for 10 days with the emphasis on targeting black marlin on 16lb 8kg and also 4lb 2kg conventional tackle. Although the world record fish was not caught our results were staggering. Gary had 5 fish on over 800lb on 16lb 3 of these fish would have easily been over 1000lb. We also had numerous long battles on the 4lb tackle and came extremely close to capturing a 400lb fish on this tackle. With the fish only metres away and in trouble we had a control cable failure and we were not able to get the boat to the fish on time. It was Gary’s first experience of the Cairns Black Marlin fishery and to say that he was impressed would be a total understatement.

Towards the tail end of our season the number of our fish that we had released was getting into the 90’s and we were starting to think about the possibility of breaking the milestone of 100 fish for the season which has rarely been done before. When our last day finally arrived, the 5th of December, we were sitting on 97 fish for the season. An early bite and early fish put us on 98. Another fish at 3 o’clock in the afternoon put us on 99. We were thinking how long would we have to fish that day to catch the 100th fish. Obviously after an 80-day marlin season the boys and I were quite tired. So with light fading at the end of our last day of our 2002 season, the reluctant call was made to bring in the baits. Then the unbelievable happened. While the last bait was being retrieved only metres away from the boat, I thought I saw a shape under the bait. I yelled from the tower, to “free spool” and 15 minutes later a 350lb black marlin was released giving us our 100th fish for the season.

A remarkable ending to a remarkable year.

A day trip a week later resulted in a 400lb black marlin being tagged and released giving us 101 black marlin for the season.

Viking II’s Statistics

101 black marlin for the season
100 black marlin released
1 black marlin weighed
24 fish over 700lb
3 fish exceeded 1000lb
10 double headers

Champion Boat both tournaments

2001 Giant Black Marlin Season Update

The 2001 Giant Black Marlin Season will go down as one to remember. In total there were 8 marlin weighed over the magical 1000lb mark and 4 of those 8 fish were over 1200lb with one very close to 1400lbs. Congratulations to the following anglers:

Craig Caughlan 1389LB
Adam Atkins 1288LB
Norm Ennis 1260LB
Jack Owens 1256LB
Hugh Wiley 1170LB
Max Warrick 1070LB
Parke Berolzheimer 1058LB
Steve Chicolo 1025LB

But more importantly there were over 30 very large fish released. Cairns leads the world for the release of large marlin and is pioneering the use of circle hooks and sonic tags to assist in the preservation of the species.

The Internationally renowned Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic, was run over 7 days, 21st to 27th October. No other tournament on the calendar can boast the results of this tournament since its inauguration, and the 2001 classic was no exception. New president Bob Lowe did an outstanding job in the organization and running of the Classic, and with the help of major sponsors the Caughlan family and Firth Insurance put together a tournament to remember. As always the tournament promotes tag and release and it has become a Captain’s etiquette not to keep a fish under 1000Llb. The amazing highlight of the 2001 classic was the weighing of 3 fish over the magical 1000lb.

Viking II again proved that we are consistently consistent, winning the tournament for the 3rd time. With many second places in previous years, and winner of the biggest fish award twice, no other boat can boast such results in this prestigious tournament.

Over the last five seasons the Cairns’ Giant Black Marlin Fishery has seen some changes. The charter fleet is now prepared to move away from the traditional grounds, when the current and water clarity are not favourable. The walls, bay’s, points, and openings of that 160 mile stretch, on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, from Lizard Island to Cairns, that has produced such phenomenal fishing for over 30 years, has now been extended to include vast area’s of the Coral Sea. Captains that are fortunate enough to have powerful sounders have found new under sea structure that is consistently producing quality fish. This structure which includes canyons, seamounts, and plateau’s, can be found as close as 4 to 10 miles east of the reef, and in many cases is an extension of the surface shape of the reef itself. The recently named Flattery Plateau, which produced two of the largest fish weighed for the 2001 season, and was also a big fish hot spot in 2000, is the perfect example. Another example is the grounds wide of the famous middle Ribbon reefs, between no. 3 and no. 7. East of these reefs, is prominent structure that ranges in depths from 1200 to 1900 meters. From one of these extensions at the bottom of no. 5 Ribbon Reef, the first Grander for the 2001 season was caught.

The new out wide fishery off Cairns, as well as the existing fishery is again proving that no place on this earth can compete to this destination for the size and number of quality fish. A great season at another top destination is like a good day here. I am often amazed at how little publicity the Cairns area receives. I guess some people are just trying to keep it a secret. Well the cat’s out of the bag again. Not only can you catch Giant Black Marlin out of Cairns but the 2001 season produced some large Blues, and not to mention the fun you can have with large yellow fin tuna and big eye tuna while searching for the big blacks out wide.

Viking II averaged 3 bites a day during the big fish season, and as always was one of the Cairns marlin fleets top boats.

2001 Giant Black Marlin

Season Update

The 2001 Giant Black Marlin Season will go down as one to remember. In total there were 8 marlin weighed over the magical 1000lb mark and 4 of those 8 fish were over 1200lb with one very close to 1400lbs. Congratulations to the following anglers:

Craig Caughlan 1389LB
Adam Atkins 1288LB
Norm Ennis 1260LB
Jack Owens 1256LB
Hugh Wiley 1170LB
Max Warrick 1070LB
Parke Berolzheimer 1058LB
Steve Chicolo 1025LB

But more importantly there were over 30 very large fish released. Cairns leads the world for the release of large marlin and is pioneering the use of circle hooks and sonic tags to assist in the preservation of the species.

The Internationally renowned Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic, was run over 7 days, 21st to 27th October. No other tournament on the calendar can boast the results of this tournament since its inauguration, and the 2001 classic was no exception. New president Bob Lowe did an outstanding job in the organization and running of the Classic, and with the help of major sponsors the Caughlan family and Firth Insurance put together a tournament to remember. As always the tournament promotes tag and release and it has become a Captain’s etiquette not to keep a fish under 1000Llb. The amazing highlight of the 2001 classic was the weighing of 3 fish over the magical 1000lb.

Viking II again proved that we are consistently consistent, winning the tournament for the 3rd time. With many second places in previous years, and winner of the biggest fish award twice, no other boat can boast such results in this prestigious tournament.

Over the last five seasons the Cairns’ Giant Black Marlin Fishery has seen some changes. The charter fleet is now prepared to move away from the traditional grounds, when the current and water clarity are not favourable. The walls, bay’s, points, and openings of that 160 mile stretch, on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, from Lizard Island to Cairns, that has produced such phenomenal fishing for over 30 years, has now been extended to include vast area’s of the Coral Sea. Captains that are fortunate enough to have powerful sounders have found new under sea structure that is consistently producing quality fish. This structure which includes canyons, seamounts, and plateau’s, can be found as close as 4 to 10 miles east of the reef, and in many cases is an extension of the surface shape of the reef itself. The recently named Flattery Plateau, which produced two of the largest fish weighed for the 2001 season, and was also a big fish hot spot in 2000, is the perfect example. Another example is the grounds wide of the famous middle Ribbon reefs, between no. 3 and no. 7. East of these reefs, is prominent structure that ranges in depths from 1200 to 1900 meters. From one of these extensions at the bottom of no. 5 Ribbon Reef, the first Grander for the 2001 season was caught.

The new out wide fishery off Cairns, as well as the existing fishery is again proving that no place on this earth can compete to this destination for the size and number of quality fish. A great season at another top destination is like a good day here. I am often amazed at how little publicity the Cairns area receives. I guess some people are just trying to keep it a secret. Well the cat’s out of the bag again. Not only can you catch Giant Black Marlin out of Cairns but the 2001 season produced some large Blues, and not to mention the fun you can have with large yellow fin tuna and big eye tuna while searching for the big blacks out wide.

Viking II averaged 3 bites a day during the big fish season, and as always was one of the Cairns marlin fleets top boats.

2000 Giant Black Marlin

Season Update

Viking 11 is currently fishing off Cairns for the 2000 Giant Black Marlin season and again proveing to be one of the top boats. With the season only half over the results have been excellent with Viking 11 again finishing in the top 2 boats in the THE LIZARD ISLAND BLACK MARLIN CLASSIC a tornerment Viking has won twice and placed in consistenlty including a 2nd place last year. This year Viking 11 came within literaly a few minutes of winning again eventualy finishing in 2nd place on countback a close and exciting result for US Anglers Rodger Torino and Rich Hassberger who tagged 5 fish during the tornerment including 2 over 900Lbs in one day!!

Other notable captures so far include a 960 pound Black Marlin caught and weighed by Bruce Morehouse of South Carolina USA and the release of a monster 1100 Lb Giant Black by a very happy David Palmer of Texas. In total Viking11 has released or captured 2 Marlin over 1000Lbs and a 5 over 900Lbs for its lucky anglers so far this season and the season still has a long way to go! Viking 11 still has good slots available for the 2001 giant Black Marlin season and remember that in the new year Viking 11 heads south to the exciting grounds off Pt Stephens NSW for the southern season with limited bookings still available
if you act quickly.

Viking II commenced fishing out of Port Stephens in the last week of January 2000. Already the fishing from the previous week’s report was red hot. We were keen to concentrate on bait and switching as this time of year produces vast quantities of striped marlin. Our hook up rate on bait and switch runs close to 90%.

The Port Stephens area has a prominent tournament season. Our first tournament we finished my good friends Alan Bridge, Dennis Goldspink and Rob Southhall. The boys normally fish on Alan’s boat however Alan’s new boat is still in production so the tournament was fished on the Viking II. The boys were happy with our results, coming in 2nd place with tag & release of black, blue and striped marlin.

Some of my Japanese anglers wanted to have a go at switch baiting but instead of switching the fish to take a live or dead bait, they decided to attempt to get the fish to take popper lures being cast just on thread line outfits. It was very exciting, we raised 11 fish, again black, blue and striped marlin. We hooked 4 but only managed to get 1 to the boat; a blue marlin around 300lb.

Other tournaments Viking II fished while in Port Stephens area were the Broken Bay Invitational, the Port Stephens Shootout and the largest tournament of it’s kind in the southern hemisphere; the NSW Interclub Tournament. We took our Champion Boat in this tournament last year and came very close to achieving this feat again but we were “pipped at the post” by just 2kg. We were more than happy with 2nd place result after last year’s win.

A 1st place in the Broken Bay Invitational, in the Light Tackle Tag & Release section, added to another very successful season out of Port Stephens this year.

Port Stephens attracted many international anglers this year, some targeting the perfect sized billfish on fly and others attempting to enter their name in the IGFA World Record Book utilizing ultra-light tackle. Some of the results were remarkable with new world claims for black and striped marlin on 2lb, 4lb and 6lb line classes. I am sure you will hear more of this remarkable fishing in up and coming fishing bulletins.

2000 Giant Black Marlin

Season Update

Viking 11 is currently fishing off Cairns for the 2000 Giant Black Marlin season and again proveing to be one of the top boats. With the season only half over the results have been excellent with Viking 11 again finishing in the top 2 boats in the THE LIZARD ISLAND BLACK MARLIN CLASSIC a tornerment Viking has won twice and placed in consistenlty including a 2nd place last year. This year Viking 11 came within literaly a few minutes of winning again eventualy finishing in 2nd place on countback a close and exciting result for US Anglers Rodger Torino and Rich Hassberger who tagged 5 fish during the tornerment including 2 over 900Lbs in one day!!

Other notable captures so far include a 960 pound Black Marlin caught and weighed by Bruce Morehouse of South Carolina USA and the release of a monster 1100 Lb Giant Black by a very happy David Palmer of Texas. In total Viking11 has released or captured 2 Marlin over 1000Lbs and a 5 over 900Lbs for its lucky anglers so far this season and the season still has a long way to go! Viking 11 still has good slots available for the 2001 giant Black Marlin season and remember that in the new year Viking 11 heads south to the exciting grounds off Pt Stephens NSW for the southern season with limited bookings still available
if you act quickly.


Viking II commenced fishing out of Port Stephens in the last week of January 2000. Already the fishing from the previous week’s report was red hot. We were keen to concentrate on bait and switching as this time of year produces vast quantities of striped marlin. Our hook up rate on bait and switch runs close to 90%.

The Port Stephens area has a prominent tournament season. Our first tournament we finished my good friends Alan Bridge, Dennis Goldspink and Rob Southhall. The boys normally fish on Alan’s boat however Alan’s new boat is still in production so the tournament was fished on the Viking II. The boys were happy with our results, coming in 2nd place with tag & release of black, blue and striped marlin.

Some of my Japanese anglers wanted to have a go at switch baiting but instead of switching the fish to take a live or dead bait, they decided to attempt to get the fish to take popper lures being cast just on thread line outfits. It was very exciting, we raised 11 fish, again black, blue and striped marlin. We hooked 4 but only managed to get 1 to the boat; a blue marlin around 300lb.

Other tournaments Viking II fished while in Port Stephens area were the Broken Bay Invitational, the Port Stephens Shootout and the largest tournament of it’s kind in the southern hemisphere; the NSW Interclub Tournament. We took our Champion Boat in this tournament last year and came very close to achieving this feat again but we were “pipped at the post” by just 2kg. We were more than happy with 2nd place result after last year’s win.

A 1st place in the Broken Bay Invitational, in the Light Tackle Tag & Release section, added to another very successful season out of Port Stephens this year.

Port Stephens attracted many international anglers this year, some targeting the perfect sized billfish on fly and others attempting to enter their name in the IGFA World Record Book utilizing ultra-light tackle. Some of the results were remarkable with new world claims for black and striped marlin on 2lb, 4lb and 6lb line classes. I am sure you will hear more of this remarkable fishing in up and coming fishing bulletins.