This Sunday we are on our way north to Cairns, for the Big fish season Keep turned to my blogs on the home page of website www.australianmarlin.com to keep up to date with the action on Viking 11.
Capt Billy Billson
CAIRNS DELIVERS BIG GIRL SEASON
By, Captain Billy Billson
26 Giant Black Marlin seasons as Captain of Viking and Viking 11, yes I have experienced some amazing fishing, and as I rekindle the memories of the season just completed, south bound for home to the Gold Coast, the realisation that it was certainly up their as one of the best, or if not the best season for large and very large fish I have fished, became aware to me.
Seeing the first big fish of a season, certainly makes you realise were you are fishing and what you are fishing for. This happened on the second day of my first charter of the 2013 season. Normal privateers from the big Riviera “Jag” Mick and Deano, decided to charter this year, and left Jag in her berth.
Our first day was fruitless, although a large fish mark on the sounder, certainly got my interest. 2nd day we headed for the Ribbon reefs with a spread of lures in tow, A 250lber broke the Ice, and we settled in to working the opening between 3 and 4 ribbon for the afternoon with some baits, the big fish bite happened at 5.00pm, she game up from the depths fast and aggressive and crashed the Scaly Mackerel bait. All went perfect except she managed to blow it out, without the circle hook finding its mark. The boys were still very excited by the action, and it was nice to see our first big fish this season.
Some more small fish action kept us entertained, until the start of the boys last day. The baits were in the water less than half an hour, when we came tight to a real nice one, Deano was up, and he got his first true taste of a Giant Black Marlin on the Barrier Reef. Deano’s peak physical condition from years of training drinking the amber fluid, soon took its toll on the fish. It is always entertaining to see unbelievably fit anglers like Deano doing battle with large fish. Our first fish over 1000lb for the season was released, and congrats all round was halted as the bait being put back out got eaten by a 800lber, Mick jumped in the chair and before lunch we had already had a great day, with 2 quality fish, and our first grander for the season on the board. Cooktown for changeover and a toast to Deano’s first grander.
Regular lucky client Dave McPherson was next up. Dave past record is impressive to say the least. Mutable Grander releases including 2 well over the mark in a day. This year Dave wanted to make a movie of his trip so bought along Brett Richard for the movie camera, and Chris Yu from Fishing World for the stills. Dave Macpherson’s first day on the reef resulted in a 250lber a 500lber and our second fish well over 1000lb for the season, Dave gets a tattoo of a large marlin on his arms or legs for every time he get a grander, he is quickly running out of room. More action on small to medium fish took lucky Dave’s tally for his 4 days to 6 fish.
Charter No 3 and our three Texas clients got what they had travelled all this way for, on day 4 of 7 a truly big girl left a hole in the water as if a bomb had exploded on top of the stinger bait, this was a very fat and healthy fish and I had no trouble calling her over 1100lb a tough fight with magnificent jumps, and our 3rd Grander for the season was released.
The Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic was next with my regular clients Jim Wild and Rick Pollock on Board from Canada. Jim and Rick have experienced the pleasure of being the anglers one of the 5 times I have been fortunate enough to win this prestigious tournament. Day 4 of the 7 day event was our day, Heart break corner on No 10 Ribbon reef again proved to be a great fishing hole. A Double header in a heavy tackle tournament can make a quick adjustment to the score, but with heavy tackle everything has to go your way. One angler has to fight a fish with a heavy duty stand up harness with a 130lb chair rod, while we try and catch the fish with angler in the chair as quick has possible. The double header we hooked at Heat break was not going to give us the break we needed this time, Jim lost his balance and the rod touched the covering board, now that fish would not be a legal capture, the call came to cut him off so we could get after Rick Pollock’s big fish, another great fight and another great fish released our 4th grander for the season. Our day was not over and an 850lber for Jim Wild had us in the hunt with smaller fish caught on previous days. But day 4 was ours for Champion boat Day 4. Another 850lber for Jim Wild on Day 7 which was the last fish in the tournament put us in the top 10% for placing, with our big fish results we were more than happy. .
Charter No 5 Newcomers Paul Harper and Matt Smith joined us for 3 days, Day 1 the score is a 350lber and a 850lber, Day 2 and Paul releases our 5th 1000lb plus fish for the season, this trip was already a mind blower for the boys first time on the reef, and the performance of Pauls fish had us all overwhelmed. It looked like our luck took a big turn for the worst when the port motor just stopped for no reason the morning of their last day. We had to fish on one motor until the fault was realised. Yes Murphy played his part and yet another very large fish created a large blue tube of oxygenated water as it ate the mackerel tuna being skipped on the left rigger. One engine a very large marlin it was time to put the 26 years of practice into play. Fortunately the fish made all the wrong moves and we made all the right ones and we had our 6th fish over 1000lb for the season what a cracker 3 day trip for Paul and Matt. I did a MacGyver on the Port engine and got it back to life, and yes back to Cooktown for another debriefing and cocktails.
In 26 years as skipper of Viking and Viking II in the Cairns Black Marlin Season, I have never had a run of big fish as I have had so far this season. We have fished 25 days so far and have caught 10 fish over 800lb and I totally believe 6 of those fish were over 1000lb.
Charter No 6 my business partner Beau his wife Ying and friend Gee arrived from Hong Kong for 6 days. I was happy to have a rest from the cooking chores utilising the mother ship Aroona. Beau and Ying enjoy reef fishing in the mornings and light tackle, so the marlin fishing is kept to the afternoons. I could not have been more pleased when my Good friend Beau released our 7th grander of the season. Not to be outdone Gee in just another hours of trolling was hooked up to a larger than large black marlin. It was an extremely tough fight and this wise fish new all the tricks, and after 2 hours even though we had the leader early, but could not get the release, the 650lb leader had chafed through. It was a big effort by Gee but he was more than happy with the experience.
Charter No 7 past contenders Henning Hassel and Nils Christian were aboard for 6 days, and we got amongst some nice fish again, 3 over 900lb, the highlight of the trip was day 3, a 900lber a 950lber and a 650lb fish, and all fish performed like you would not believe.
Charter No 8 I was joined by my mates from the Gold Coast, Joel, Stuart, Colin and a laugh a minute, Ashleigh, for 4 days. The action finally slowed and the boys managed 3 fish for the trip, great reef fishing, and of cause good mates having a few cocktails in the evenings. The last day was the highlight we got a double header on fish around 700 lb, one of these managed to escape, and when we got the other alongside, we were amazed to see the other identical fish swimming with his mate, both fish lit up like Christmas trees, a wonderful sight.
Charter No 9 Back for a second trip this season is my business partner Beau and we settle into the same pattern as we did on Beau’s first trip, plenty of reef fish trout, red emperor etc, the marlin fishing had slowed for the whole fleet, we went wide with the lures searching, and got a blue marlin around 350lb the last day Suzy a young female friend of Beau’s family had allot of fun on a active 500lb Black.
Charter No 10, some more close friends from Brisbane arrived, Ben Gripski, Dad Paul and business colleges. Again the fishing was not red hot but considering what was happening 4 fish to 450lb not bad, the boys also love to spearfish and had a ball in the mornings.
It finally came around the last trip of the 2013 season, Herve and Daniel from Abidjan Ivory Coast, Daniel had weighed a Blue Marlin over 1000lb in his younger days and on the bucket list wanted the black. The boys only booked 4 days at the end of the season, and for these lucky anglers our big fish run kicked back in again for the finally . First day a 950lber second day an 800lber third day the monster over 1100lb and last day well a rest. What a way to finish, myself and wonderful crew, Westy and Carl, were tied but so pleased as to the results, The anglers who spent so long in the plane to get a crack at a large black, were so impressed they are already looking at next season. A great party at the dock with other boats that had just completed the season that evening followed, and we were rewarded by many great comments on the special season we had just completed.
Big fish results Viking 11 Cairns 2013 season.
18 marlin over 800lb
14 marlin over 900lb
9 marlin over the magic 1000lb
Just finished a four day gig with my good mates, Joel, Stuart, Colin, and laugh a minute Ashleigh, always a great time, The first day on Linden bank only produced one small fish, and the boys were keen to get up to the beauty of the Ribbons, a bit of sinker bouncing and snorkling. The first half of day 2 saw us light tackle fishing for bait, and mackerel for dinner and did great on Northern Bluefin, Mack Tuna, scaley Mackerel, and Spanish Mackerel for Dinner. We started the marlin fishing program at Lena the bottom end of the Ribbons at 2pm, but although the water looked pretty no bites.
Day 3 a morning bottom fish resulted in Red emperor, and other quality table fish, The afternoon marlin fishing got another smaller fish. Oh I should mention the party night rafted up along side Askari.
Day 4 of cause everyone a little quitter, a bite and missed fish got everyone on the ball, and all saw the lovely bite as a 700lber eat the short skipping tuna, than the skad got hit, and we looking at a double header. The right hook came out and we got the left rod to the chair, a short fight had 2 fish of around the same 700lb mark all lit up at the boat, one was hooked and the other, the one we obviously lost earlier alongside her, what a site for the boys to see, very spectacular. The hooked fish was released, and both fish departed the scene of the crime. Nice finish to a fun trip.
This season is becoming one of my best ever big fish seasons of all time. As the heading above would contest. We have just finished a trip with Henning Hassel, and Nils Christian were we got amongst some nice fish again, 3 over 900lb the highlight of the trip was the 3rd day a 900lber a 950lber and a 650lber, all fish performed like you would not believe and my clients who have done a couple of trips in the past with me, loved the experience again. It has certainly been a wonderful season for the big girls, and all my clients have seen what this place can produce, If the big fish keep coming as they have been it will certainly be one to remember.
Capt Billy Billson
My partner Beau wife ying and friend Gee just finished 6 days with us. We had the Aroona for our mother ship and my girlfriend Kay also came along for the ride. The Aroona was a wonderful experience, and a nice break for me.
Fishing wise, as always the first half of our days were getting amongst some great reef fishing, Red emperor and Coral trout keep the team very happy. The marlin fishing was still producing quality fish and on our second day after a morning of pulling on large Red Emperor and a fish feed behind the reef we ventured out. Before long Beau was hooked up to our 7th Grander for the season, I was having trouble believing the run I was having with these huge fish. The big girl was released and Beau and all aboard were ecstatic.
Our day was not finished than it was Gee’s turn another Big fish, This girl new all the tricks and headed out to the deep water, it was a tough fight for 40 minutes and we had the serious drag on her than it was over she won her freedom, the 650 lb leader had chafed through. Gee was still happy for the experience and we made our way back to the mother ship after a amazing day of reef fishing and Giant marlin fishing.
Gee’s luck with the big fish didn’t change and late on day 3 another beauty attacked our skipping Mackerel Tuna, This time she just blew out the bait after 15minutes, she was not properly hooked.
With some smaller fish action during the trip and a bite out of another big girl, all round it was a wonderful time, great fishing great people Beau and his team left very, very happy, They will be back for another week in a couple of weeks time.
Trying to put some photos up but having problems hope soon.
Capt Billy Billson
26 years of driving Viking and Viking 11 in the Cairns Giant Black marlin Season, I have never had a run like I am having with the big fish, we have fished 25 days so far and have caught 10 fish over 800lb and well I believe that 6 of those fish were over 1000lb and pushing 1100lb. Now some of you might think that my years are starting to play with my judgement, but my seasoned crew are also amazed at the results.
Just fished new comers Paul Harper and Matt Smith. for just 3 days, straight out of the Box we caught a 300lber, but the baits back out and a double header the smaller of the 2 fish earned its freedom and the 850lber was Matt’s first ever Marlin.
Day 2 the action started at 2.00pm when a classic big fish bite on the left tuna bait had us all screaming half a hour later Paul Harper let go a beauty, again over 1000lb was my call. Another high light of that big fish it was caught on one engine, as a electronic issue put my port engine out of commission. It put a new meaning to crazy boat driving.
Day 3 things seemed a little slower, and a lost rare blue marlin for on the edge of the reef which eat a lure while heading up the track for some bait fishing, was our only action. Than when I was just about to call wind up, another real nice one climbed on the left bait again. After some great action explosive runs and aerial performance we let the big girl go.
What a finish to a amazing 3 days, the boys were blown away, and so was I.
2 over the number a 850lber a small 300lber and 3 other jump off of smaller fish.
Can this continue. Put some pictures up soon
Just to wet your appetite hear is a few great shots of the last fish of the tournament I called it 850lb the Iona 11 boys were along side and my mate mustard got some shots thank Mustard.
Another Lizard Is Black Marlin Classic has been run and won. Congratulations to Capt Ross and the boys on Topshot. As for Viking 11 we had a wonderful tournament with the big fish again. Day 4 Heart break corner worked for me and a larger than large fish engulfed the bait, than her male companion also decided to have a feed, a double header one angler in the Chair and one the stand up harness. Jim wild who was in the stand up gear with a 130lb chair rod lost he’s footing and the Rod hit the covering board so had to be disqualified, No point in wasting time so I told the boys to cut him off, so we could go after the big Girl. We tagged our 4th fish over 1000lb for the season and Rick Pollock’s first grander, so far we have had 4 charter groups and a member of each of these charter groups has caught a grander. Ricks day was not finished and 2 hours later he was into another nice fish we called 850lb it was also tagged and released and gave as the daily award most fish tagged Day 4. We were back in the hunt.
Than our luck turned still finding the fish and getting the bites, everything that could go wrong did, a big backlash from a crazy bite certainly had the frustration building, than I was amazed when I watched a another nice fish eat a tiny scad and somehow the circle hook missed its mark.
Our luck turned with only half an hour left to fish in the tournament. Another good fish great action on a big day as the shots contest, Jim wild got the 850lber in the pictures good to end on a high note gave us 5 for the tournament, but happy to be in the top 10%, we had a wonderful tournament and the big presentation night at lizard Is was one to remember, Thankyou to my great crew Westy and Carl and anglers Jim Wild and Rick Pollock. Out again this morning 25 knot trade wind should be fun.
Capt Billy Billson
Well its been a interesting week to say the least, a motor shut down on the way back in from the last charter so a couple of days fishing on one engine, working back to cairns for repairs and a lost day in port while all strings were pulled to get a new high pressure fuel pump up from Brisbane, which somehow got lost in transport. No stress in this job.
Any rate all ended Ok and we were off very early the next morning, and I headed straight for the Ribbons. We managed only a 300lber on that day, the next day I had a feeling about No 8 Ribbon so I worked up there and gave it a solid day another small fish and a few marks keep my interest, but at 5 30 it was looking like the small fish was going to be it, Than it happened a truly very large fish left a whole in the Ocean as if a bomb had exploded on the stinger bait, Half an hour later we let a third grander for the season go this was the largest so far, and I had no Hesitation in calling it well over.
The Texas clients were amazed at how huge it was having only seen fish up to 750LB and they achieved what they travelled all this way for, the broken boat on the first few days was well forgotten.
On way at present to lizard Is, for the prestigious Lizard Island Black marlin Classic, Keep turned to see how we Go.
Capt Billy Billson
First day of new charter, Dave Mcpherson, Brett Richards, Chris Yu, baits went in and another very large fish, instantly climbed on the big bait, again my call over 1000lb great jumps spectacular fight, and next to the boat little blacks around her everywhere all lit up what a sight, Dave Mcpherson’s third grander since fishing with me. the day was not over a 500lber and a small fish capped off a great day.
Just finished a 5 day charter with the boys from private Boat JAG that they left home this season. Mick and Deano, we had a ball great fun guys, although the fishing was a little slow, luck was on the boys side, with a couple of small fish to wet the appetite on the third day we jumped off our first nice one for the season, the last day off the trip arrived and we got started, only 30 minutes into the day and a very large fish had a soft bite on the tuna, the second bite was a bit more aggressive and we came tight.
The true size of the fish was not realised, than she did a set of amazing jumps down the side of the boat, a real nice one I saw enough to make me believe that we were hooked up to our first Grander for the season, within 30 minutes we had this beautiful fish on the leader, a couple of great jumps on the leader, and she was released. Jubilation all round, Big Deano had caught his first grander and although a little out of breath, the smile was from ear to ear.
Than once we got set up again, I went back to my mark and again another nice fish jumped on, This time Mick was in the Chair and a solid 800lber was released, what a last day. The boys got into the celebration drinks, and myself and crew Westy and Carl joined them in Cooktown that night.
Well as forecast the little marlin dominated the fishery out of Port Stephens this season, although some larger species up to 150kg were encounted,which were testing on the 10kg tackle, the small blacks were around in big numbers this season, the striped marlin as of yet have not turned up in the large numbers as previous years, although on some days, we had some great fishing with larger than normal striped marlin, but unfortunately the consistantancy was not there. The Viking 11 is still in Port Stephens until around the middle of this month, and still working and getting as usual great results, I am having a little break and will known Port Stephens Captain ShaneWilson is at the helm giving the clients some Great days. The South Alligator River is where I will be chasing Barra.
Speaking of Barra, I got a call from my eldest daughter Holly, 19 years old a couple of days ago. Daddy I just caught a 1.16 meter barra was her opening words, I was so stoked and proud as punch, Rhys Moore Holly’s Partner put her on the fish, and from all reports gave holly a hell of a fight, until the net went under the fish.
VIKING 11 is currently at Port Stephens where as predicted, this season’s amazing run of small black marlin has made its way.
Read the full article here.
Viking 11 is currently at Port Stephens, and as predicted the amazing small black marlin fishing on the East coast of Australia this year has spread down to this fishery. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Port Stephens, It is a got to go there place. My first true experience of Game fishing still in primary school, was at Port Stephens, and memories of giant fish hanging from the Shoal bay weigh station in the late 60’s are still in the depths of my mind. My first ever marlin I caught off Port Stephens, and later in life The largest tournament in this country The NSW Interclub held off Port Stephens we won, and as history would now show have won a total of 4 times. It is also a destination regularly mentioned in the IGFA world record book many times for outstanding Captures on light, Ultralight, and Saltwater flyfishing tackle, The largest fish ever to be caught on flyfishing tackle ( 138 kg Blue Marlin on 10kg tippet ) was caught out of Port Stephens on Viking 11.
So as you can see, it holds as a special place for me, and many others who have experienced the sort of fishing this place can produce. Black Marlin, Striped Marlin, Blue Marlin Grand slams .
Days of double figure striped marlin are not uncommon, and this season with the large influx of small black marlin, so much fun on lighter tackle, Both species big number days, will be possible.
The few days that I have already done out of Port Stephens, have produced some big number days, with the clients having a ball, some of this excellent fishing is only a few miles out the front of the Bay, making it very easy, The big tournament month of February is upon us, and itis peak season hear now, so come aboard for the Viking experience, off Port Stephens .
Capt Billy Billson
Sorry for the big delay since last blog, The boats wireless system had a hick up, so comunication has been hard. The viking 11 arrived back on the Gold Coast on the 10th of December so playing catch up with every thing, including my Children.
As per some previous years, the fishing moved a little out from the reef edge, during the later part of November, and besides marlin to entertain the guests ,we were also ambushed by some big yellowfin tuna. To move around and find the pods of fish, lure fishing was the go. One special day we had out wide we had all of the 130lb outfits screeming at once, marlin in the air as well as yellow fin over 100lb, it was mayham to say the least.
The giant blacks were amongst all the comocean, and some very large fish were encounted by some lucky anglers. Giant marlin on lures are a blowout!, and the water that these huge fish move when chasing down a lure, resembles a submarine, arriving to the surface.
Our season was spectacular, some mighty fish, great times with my clients and crew, and Viking 11 ran like the machine she was built to be.
Being conservitive we released 4 marlin over 1000lb plus one of these over 1100lb plus, 2 marlin 950lb to 1000lb, 3 marlin 850 to 950lb Total just below 50 fish for 62 days, we had other days were we were not chasing marlin.
I will be working out of the Gold Coast untill the middle of January, than off to Port Stephens, untill April.
May I take this oportunity to wish all a happy and safe Christmas and New Year. And look forward to seeing you aboard with us real soon.
Fishingworld wishes to apologise to Kaorina for mis-spelling her name on video.
Beau finished his first trip, with 8 marlin good on a trip that half of it is dedicated to catching Coral trout and Red emperor. Beau’s Daughter’s first time trip caught Two and friend Sussie caught her first two as well. Biggest fish of the trip was caught by Eduardo that I put at 800lbs. We ae looking forward to having them on board again next week.
Started new trip from Cooktown with the Tatham’s from Karratha WA who are on their 4th trip on the Viking and day 1 started a blinder. An hour after lines in, a nice fish took the stinger and Steve took the rod. Due to his wealth of experience, Steve has no hesitation in applying maximum drag and after a drenching going backwards, a 950lbs was released with a dancing salute back to the boat. Day 2 saw the weather take a turn for the worse and the fishing became testing. After a long and uneventful day, headed back to the reef to try again today.
EAST COAST MARLIN SEASON SHAPING UP
CLICK ON ABOVE LINK.
Greetings to all.
Johan my new Swiss friend finished his 6 days on board with another big fish to his name, A little earlier start due to his last day and earlier finish saw us catching some nice fresh Bonito. They were put in the water at 10.00 and soon after a very active 200lber was released.
Another fresh morsel was put out, and a quality 8oolber grabbed it. Johan was more than impressed, with his trip, 8 for his 6 days a 900lber a 800lber and came close to keeping a fish well over 1000lb.
Beau my partner owner of the Shangri la chain of hotels, Started his trip on the 4th, Beau this time bought along his daughter for the first time and regular young couple Susie and Eduardo. A nice lunch on the Mothership Galaxy, and we started fishing at 13.30. What a after noon we had.
Sussie was put on strike first by Beau, and a hot hour of fishing began. Susie who has never caught a marlin before was hooked up to a very active 600lber, than Beau’s daughter who also has never seen a marlin, got a 400lber, Beau jumped in the chair for a 300lber all in a very active hour.
Things settled down, and Eduardo was wating his turn, and at 17.00 it happened a nice 800lber grabed the long bait, and the fun began again.
What a great afternoon Beau was ecstatic, He yelled up to me” Bill back to the mothership to celebrate ” Which of Cause I obliged!!
Love this job.
Another catch up on whats been happening on the reef with Viking 11. The lizard Island Tournament has been another amazing success, especially with the number of big fish Caught. A total of Seven black marlin over the Magical 1000lb number were released during the tournament, My client Jim Wild who was my angler when we won the tournament for the 5th time in 2010, caught his second black marlin over 1000lb. It was not our year this time and Top shot with Ross Finlayson at the helm taking out the the major award, But again we were on the podium with Champion boat day 1 and runner up Champion Angler.
Swiss client Johan Christensen has had a great trip so far with 6 marlin up to 900lb, he is keen to keep a real Giant and 2 days ago we had her on, the big gaffs were made ready but she knew all my tricks, the serious drag was put into play, and Johan was amazed at the power of these fish.
Alas it was not to be, another fish went though the line, while under maximum drag and it was over. We have one more day to try and make Johan Dream a reality, and with some sea monsters out there hear,s hoping.
Capt Billy Billson