Tag Archives: Black marlin Blog

34 In 25 days 2 @ 999lbs

Hello All

Our success is still continuing, Just finished 6 days with Graham Mitchel, Son of pioneer angler from the early years out of Cairns Basil Mitchel, Graham got 7 in his trip including a nice one that could have been well over the mark, He is enjoying getting back into his fishing again, after a long stint of being out of it. He has son wonderful Movies, stills, and of cause stories from the early years. The lizard island Tournament starts Tomorrow hope luck stays with us.shot for blog,.

IOOOLB Black and Blue on Viking 11

Hello Folks

Heading for the Great Barrier Reef tomorrow, still mid December keep turned for regular blogs and up dates on www.australianmarlin.com, Both shots below are from the reef but two species.IMG_13882005 heavy tackle season 306.jpg cropped


Port Stephens a mighty place.

Hello folks

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


2012 Giant Marlin Season wraps up.

Hello folks

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.

Our score

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.


Great workshop, and succesful teanage girls

Hello Boys and girls.

Jus tfinished my second workshop for the season out of Port Stephens, and from thefeed back I got it was another great success. It was nice to have a couple o fthe female gender on board this time. The Two girls were keen to lean all the tricks, and were soon tying all the knots and rigging like seasoned crew. The day at sea saw us spending allot of time with bait and switching technique, as the strong current on the normal grounds had the fish stocks spread out, the class got very excited when they saw how the whole concept worked, when we teased a striped marlin right to the back of the boat and switched it to a skipping mackerel. It is without a doubt the most spectacular way to fish, and as well as highly successful when one becomes accustomed to it. Another marlin to a first time angler, and with one lost during the day and a few other sightings,the students were kept entertained as well as occupied.

You may remember lucky Steve Pennisi, who caught the 836lb blue Marlin off the Gold Coast earlier this year. Well Steve decided to get his family interested in his new sport, and got me for a couple of days charter out of Port Stephens recently. Steve put his young teenage daughters up on strike first. I don’t know what it is with the Pennisi’s but would you believe a blue in the 180kg to 200kg class climbed on the skipping mackerel,and the young lady did a amazing job on the 15kg outfit to land her very first marlin. Later in the day her sister also caught her first marlin, a very active stripy of around 80kg. The girls are now hooked, and on to Dad to get them out.again, God I love it when a plan comes together.

frustration has a whole new meaning.

Frustration has a whole new Meaning

Hello Folks

The first weekend of 50th anniversary NSW interclub tournament is now history,and as I  ponder on the wording for this blog, I realise how much the luck factor can play in the sport of game fishing.

We were on the Board with one of the first tag and realises of the tournament, a solid black marlin, then with in another half an hour, we were again hooked up to another over size black for this fishery. This fish well over 200kg gave us a early chance with the Tag pole, but it did not find it’s mark, and it realised that it better keep as far away from that screaming engine noise as possible.

The hours ticked by and another couple missed opportunities, and then after four hours of what I could only call now wasted time the inevitable happened. Obviously feeling a bit flattened we were back on the spot, the sked report made me aware that we had wasted too much time and the pace was getting away from us.

When it rains it pours and again within minutes we were hooked up again, this time to a very large Striped marlin that took us all around the fleet in hot pursuit. Then it took off down sea at top speed for what seemed an eternity. Again when the opportunity arose, the tag shot went astray and made contact with the line. I remember saying something like bad luck or maybe something along those lines.

We had been hooked up most of the day and yet our result at the end of day 1 was one tag, well off the pace of 5 for the top boat.

Well with that day out of the way, you would think that, things could only get better. I arrived on the grounds at 0630 due to the crazy time they start fishing in this tournament. (leaving the entrance to Port Stephens at dark with another 170 odd boats of all sizes departing at
similar time is a navigation night mare, and it looks like they will not change this criteria until someone has a collision at sea, which could have a disastrous outcome. I only hope that this stupidity does not cause a loss of life.)
The baits went in the water at start fishing 0700 and immediately we were hooked up to a double header, both going in opposite direction, and we were getting smoked, I made the decision to lock up one or lose both. With one fish gone I was just about to do chase to the other fish, and due to the amount
of line out the line parted. It appeared the Monkey had not got off my back.

Well my old mate Percy veer came to my aid, and our luck finally turned, after a shocking start we finally started catching. At the end of the second day we caught 5 striped marlin for the day, up there with a good result for the day, but our 6
fish total for the 2 days is well off the pace. The result for the Tournament so far in general is outstanding, good results both in marlin of all sizes and extremely large sharks. It looks like the 50th anniversary Interclub will be one to remember. Stay turned.

Port Stephens is going off.

Hello folks

I arrived in Port Stephens a week ago and started fishing, and have done my first workshop and a charter day, The fishing has been nothing short of amazing, we have caught 14 marlin black and striped, and the students on my workshop experienced a phenominal day.

Sunday the 5th of February, was our day at sea for the students in the workshop, and what a day it was, it was also the second day of a tournament being held over the weekend, we started out letting the students use the rigging skills they got tought on the first day to present skipping baits, and also try there hand at switch baiting, it did not take long and we started marking fish on the sounders. The students  could not believe how clear the fish marked on the large screen TV in the saloon. within minutes we were hooked up to 3 striped marlin at once, a bit of Chaos followed and we were soon unattached.

Due to the amount of boats fishing the same area and everyone else socking live baits, the fish were very finicky on the skip baits, but it was important for all to see all the technics they were taught the saturday at the dock. Soon after we released our first striped marlin on a skip bait, rigged by one of the class members.  But it was becoming obvious that to truly maxiumise on the amount of fish in the area we would soon have to soak some live baits, down deeper in the water colume.

By lunch time we had finished all the tutorial with rigging skip baits, and teaser and switch baiting.  The students were keen to start catching some number’s so with the help of the Viking 11’s excellent electronics, and our own specialised live baiting arrangement, we started catching in big numbers.  By knockoff, we had caught 10 marlin for the day, not bad for a group of guys who many had never seen a marlin before, and were working the deck of a marlin boat for the first time.

Port Stephens is gong off this season so get aboard the mighty Viking 11 and experience a magnificent boat and unbelievable fishing.

Phone Capt Billy Billson on 0427183159

19th September 2011 Plenty of Action

Hello Folks
Well after the Boys had their quota of fish to take back home in the fish boxes, we thought we put in a solid effort looking for Marlin. I decided to work the top of No 5 ribbon, the water looked fantastic, and with a nice a solid set to the south, and some tuna showing up on the points, it was’nt long before we had our first bite. No luck with the hook up but soon after our second bite proved to have a better result, the action kept rolling and as the fish were no bigger than 300lb we decided to use light tackle for a bit more sport.

Having to meet a plane out of Cooktown, meant we had to finish at 1500 so my first charter for the season, managed 3 black marlin for their last day one which was caught on a bait rod, so with a bunch of quality table fish, in the freezers and 3 marlin for their 3 day trip the lads from the gold Coast were more than happy

First trip 17th September 2011

Hello Folks
We have started our season, with 4 Clients from the Gold Coast, the plan was to leave from Cairns and fish our way north and finish in Cooktown, Our first day resulted in raising 2 Marlin, one around 600lb and another small fish, Both fish did not really want to eat.
Day 2 the Boys were keen to get amonst the action behind the reef, with some sportfishing and reef fishing. we had a great Half day, with some quality spanish Mackerel, and putr the boys on one of my Red emperor spots, and did they have a ball pulling on these top of the line reef fish. We bagged out and left them bitting, Than it was off to behind the reef for a fish feast, and swim.

We did not get into the Marlin fishing programe untill 3.00 pm and just trolled down sea to our anchorage at No 3 Ribbon, but we couud’nt put the iceing on the cake of a great day by catching a marlin.

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.

Catching up again!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hello to all my fishing friends.


After a very sucessfull heavy tackle marlin season, including winning the Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic for the 5th time catching 14 marlin over 800lb and 4 over 1000lb. I am back at work after a nice break seeing my children.


I will be going to Port Stephens in a week, and will be chartering out of this great Port for 3 months, this is a great fishery with Black, Blue, and Striped Marlin abundant at times, and double figure days not uncommon.  I have some great packages availabl,e Jump on my Website under destination and have a look. If you havn’t fished Port Stephens it is a magical place, when it fires can be the best medium fish destinations in Australia.


My  regular Cairns Clients and clients wishing to experience fishing on Viking 11 are starting to take spots in the Giant Marlin Season, Unfortunately My regular Client for the Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic, last years Champion Team,  has to miss this year, so the tournament is available. As well as some good time in peak season if you get in quick.


My new partner and I have decided to throw some more money at our Beautiful boat, Tow cam, high definition fix mount cameras,  and hard drives to record all action, will now be available. A face lift in the cabins and saloon, a new entertainment system, larger led digital TV, will greet the clients this year.


Also my ever popular workshops are available again out of Port Stephens, These are excellent for the novice as well as some great tips for seasoned campaigners. With over 230 Highly satisfied Students, They have set precedence In the training of all aspects of Sport fishing.  


So get aboard and experience, what 25 years as captain of Viking and Viking 11 has to offer. With tournament results and captures, second to no one in the industry.          


Capt Billy Billson.                    

12th November 2010 Another great day.

Hello Folks

Scott Watson from Brisbane started his trip with a bang yester day, We had been following the reports that the bank was firing, while we were in the ribbons, so we moved quickly when we did our change over to get there. The move paid off, at 3.00 pm it started to happen first with a great fish we let go, after some spectacular jumps on the leader calling it over 1000lb, the action kept comming for us with a 400lber, and to finish of another nice one of around 800lb. Another great day.


30th October 2010 My son's Birthday and Big fish

Hello Folks.

Last trip we had the rubber hook issue, Getting bites every day but on managing to stay attached to a few, But another nice one of around 800lb for good friend Aaron, being his first big marlin put a smile on his Dial.

My Partner Beau Quok is again aboard for 7 days and our first day, we got a beauty right up there in size but one of the hardest fish I have ever caught, The drag went to serious when I spotted the sharks on the sounder, and after some great grey hounding Jumps it wwent deep, and showed she was no pussy.

We had the drag pushing 88lbs around 40kg and she would not respond to the normal programe trying to get her, after a back breaking Battle we got her on the leader and Wazza gave all to lift her.

She was a beautiful fish and once released gave another jump which I could not believe.

Well another nice one for our tally for the season, we have done very well on the nice ones, I will count them up and let you know.

Capt Billy Billson


24th September 2010 Just won my 5th Lizard tournament.

Hello Folks.

Well after a tough 7 days of tournament fishing experience has shined, and we came through as the winners in the 24th Lizard Island black Marlin Classic. This is my 5th win in this prestigious tournament, and would like to thank My Great  Anglers, Jim and Rick and my Crew Wazza and hoggy. 7 fish in the 7 days 2 over 900lb and a double header, That got the better of us. Thank you to the great support my friends have given me.

Capt Billy Billson 

21st September 2010 I am still standing.

Hello Folks

Little bit of wind last night up to 45 knot, kept me and and my crew on rotation for anchor watch, we have managed to keep in frount in the Lizard Tournament, after a 2 fish day yesterday, and winning another daily.

2 days to go and with some very good Captains in contention it will be a typical Case of its never over till the fat lady sings, My crew are doing a excellent job in harsh Conditions, new green Horn Hoggy is the best I have had for a long time,  and long time friend and crewmen Wazza is one of the longest serving still in the industry is as always amazing, in more ways than one.

Capt Bill



19th October 2010 Gout and Marlin fishing.

Hello Boys and Girls.

Those who know me can contest that I love a red wine and rich food and Shellfish, Perfect combination for servere Gout, especially when you do not take the pro gout medication. Well just at the start of the Lizard Island tournament I got the Worst case of Gout I have ever had on my left knee. The tower got abandand and my days have been spent sitting on the helm seat on the bridge leg raised.

The boat driving on fish has been a testing time, and the double header we hooked yesterday was bound to happen under the circumstances,

We have now caught 5 in the tournament 2 900lbers and lost the Double header, we are leading but only by one fish, with 4 days to go, The great news is my gout is improving.


Hot water early and the big ones are here.

17th September 2010

Tim lonsdale first of 5 days was a cracker, Tim fished last year and you may remember that group Caught 2 over the 4 figures in a day, Tim came back as a loner this year, and again has already experienced what Cairns is famous for. I spoted the bite of a nice fish on the left bait, and it was so good to see, the circle hook caught the corner of the jaw, and after a great fight the nugget of the fish was released every one aboard was stoked as it was our first big fish for the season and on our 3 day of fishing.

Tim fished Both Azores and Madiera before comming hear and went 8 days without a bite, well as the day progressed we caught a small fish and towards the end the right rigger with the swimming scad came out of the clip like a arrow from a bow, another big fish started ripping up the ocean, and after 45 minutes I was looking at a fish alongside that had the length to be 4 figures I believe it was a bit lean from what I saw of the Jumpes so 950lb would be a safe call.

What a day the water is much hotter than normal for this time of year, and the water is purple and plenty of bait marking on my spots I love for the big ones keep tuned.

Capt Billy Billson


Madness specials and Billy's Blue water workshop

Hello Folks.

Mad specials for Marlin fishing out of the Gold Coast at present. The Magnificent 46 ft Viking 11 full day charter for only $1650.00. Be quick while madness lasts.

Also Billson’s Bluewater workshop, 30th and 31st of January. A couple of vaccancies have become available out of Port Stephens $600.00 pp Go to web site for all details.      




5 over 1000lb two in a day!!! 14 over 800lb

Well hello to all those who keep checking if I am back with my blog. To be honest I have had some family issues and spending as much of my time as possible with them, over the school holidays. Let me get you tuned in.

My Giant black marlin season was a beauty, we caught 5 over 1000lb, two in one day, and 0ne that I called over 1100lb on a lure, the tally showed a total of 14 over 800lb and in the mid 60’s for total fish caught. Some very happy clients.

Had serious Camera problems as it got wet, but will improve next year with new camera and 2.8 70 200 lens.

I am back fishing on the Gold Coast with viking 11 and so far the season here has excellent, good numbers of Black marlin are showing up averaging 40kg but the odd fish around 130kg are also jumping on, giving the guys fishing 8 kg  a bit of a run for there money. The Blue marlin fishing is a little patchy, but still worth a run out to the wider grounds for a crack at a nice one.

I will be fishing 2 destinations this southern season, Port Stephens and the Gold Coast, Keeping the Viking on the coast and using the INYADREAMS at Port Stephens, have plenty of good time available so hope we can see you on board.

I have just returned from Port Stephens after doing a 3 day review on the new 55 ft Assegai Askari. What a boat, read all about it in a future issue of Bluewater magazine. The even forced me on a rod to Catch a Black Marlin, Rare in deed.

Ok that a quick catch up. they will now be more often, but family always comes first.





22nd November 2009 5th Grander for season.

Been very slack with the blog report, as you would know, Just getting a little tied.

Had a couple of days off with my family, who came up from the Gold Coast for a visit. It was a very pleasant couple of days. We started a new charter on the 19th with Steve and Jo Tatham and friends from WA, They have had a great trip so far with Tim Perry catching a grander, and Steve catching one also very close I called 950lb, with 2 other smaller fish as well, the group have exceeded all expectation. This makes our 5th fish for the season over the 4 figure mark, and with many other top end fish our season has been a special one. About a week to go now and its all over for another year, and looking forward to a break.