There's always something going on in the angling world in tropical Far North Queensland. It's all about the size of fish at this time of year that are on the table.

Firstly we must highlight the 2023 Port Douglas Marlin Challenge conducted in the latter half of November. Overall the Black Marlin season was one of the best starting at the top of the Ribbon Reefs in October extending down to the famous Linden Bank and Opal Ridge during November. The Port Douglas Marlin Challenge over 4 days was at the forefront of this success.

Nine of the country's best Marlin Fishing Boats & Crews competed for the coveted Leon Thomas & Brett Thomas Memorial Trophies for tagging the most Black Marlin. Club President Lynton Heffer said, 'with a combination of sensational weather and with the billfish on the bite it surpassed all previous tournaments. This year 35 Black Marlin were tagged and released eclipsing the previous best of 26 tags. It put Port Douglas well and truly on the world map as the best marlin fishery in the world once again'.

Tournament highlights were a plenty but the stand out moments included the Iluka game boat tagging a 900lb black marlin, Gorilla game boat with a double hook-up resulting in a 750lb black marlin and the Weapon vessel catching a 700lb black marlin on 80lb stand up gear which took 3hrs to complete the tag. The tournament hosted competitors from Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand and from all over Australia, with the furthest vessel coming from Sydney. We also had a strong contingency of local vessels and crew from the Port Douglas and Cairns region. This was the absolute Formula 1 of Fishing, basically the Grand Prix of Angling in the world and locally we produced it in spades.

Tournament Results

Champion Team

1st Place Iluka game boat 8 tags
2nd Place Gorilla game boat 7 tags

Champion Angler

Ben Atkins 5 tags aboard the Weapon vessel
As we move deeper into the summer if the Black Marlin dry up just off the shelf then you need to head wider to where the Blue Marlin will be still playing the game and running big skirted lures as opposed to big skip baits will allow you to travel quicker covering the necessary ground. The light tackle season particularly off the shelf in similar grounds has been conducive to a good supply of yellowfin tuna, wahoo and hopefully a few more dolphin fish to turn up and provide some spectacular shenanigans. 

On the outer reef itself it's all about quantity and not necessarily quantity. Huge red emperor and large mouth nannygai in excess of 10kg are more common, the giant trevally fishing has been awesome with the aid of calmer seas and other usual suspects to tip the scales have been oversized coral trout, small mouth nannygai, golden trevally and the odd big rogue spanish mackerel. Fishing at night time for the  reds is very viable, avoiding any thunderstorm activity.

It's been fun and games in 2023, we thank all our loyal local punters and clients that visit our amazing fishery in paradise. Take care over the festive period.