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:
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.