Here is a short wrap up of our first month on the road for the 2005 Cairns/Lizard Island black marlin season.

Tradition left the Gold Coast and ran up to Double Island Point the first day and then up the inside of Fraser Island and anchored at Rooney Point. While anchored in about 15 foot of sand with no wind I was awoken by some loud nasal noises, only to find that they were coming from outside the boa!!! A group of humpbacks were swimming under a full moon about 50 ft behind the boat. Later that night I was again woken by a really loud noise and found a 40 foot or so humpback swimming right under the boat, he did a full lap of the boat with his pectoral fin actually running down under the side of the boat. The moonlight was reflecting off the sand onto the whales glowing white belly, an incredible sight that everyone on board was able to experience.

Trolled pretty much for the next couple of days, with no marlin bites up to Lady Musgrave Island, then to Fitzroy Reef, Heron Island and onto the SW corner of the Swains Reef system. Tradition spent 5 days fishing through the Swains to end up at Hamilton Island.

The Swains were a totally new experience for me, having never been there before and great use of the tuna tower was needed to get in and out of some incredible anchorages inside full circle lagoons surrounded by beautiful reefs.

Lots of scaley mackerel for the freezer for marlin season, plenty of dolphin fish, yellowfin tunas up to 60lbs and plenty of coral trout for the table.

From Hamilton Island we stayed in Nara inlet for the night where a baby porpoise spent 3 hours chasing bait under our big floodlight, another incredible sight for our guests. We ran to Cape Bowling Green where the baby black marlin bite had been consistent for many weeks, only to have the bait disappear for a couple of days. I found the bait and we managed to tagged a few small fish over the next few days.

The Townsville Light Tackle tournament was again a great success, with exceptional organization. Whilst the fishing was a little slow, with 27 boats sharing the same few bait pods and a limited number of hook shy fish. We tagged one fish out of many bites, and caught some nice cobia up to 14kg , all on 6kg line, a great catch for any angler.

A new group joined us in Townsville for the 8 day trip to Cairns. Ran and trolled to Myrmidon Reef the first day, tagging 2 big sails on the way, along with a bunch of big dolphin fish. Trolled to Flinders Reef the next day, had a couple of bites from marlin but did not come tight, and anchored for the night. The Flinders group is about 100 miles NE off Townsville, and is a favourite for scad fishing as it does not get much fishing pressure.

We spent 2 mornings scad fishing, and the rest of the days catching dogtooth tuna up to 100lbs, wahoos, and lots of big coral trout on jigs, handlines and spearfishing. Trolling across the lagoon to NW Reef, we tagged 2 big sails and had a double hookup on dogtooth tuna, one went about 80lb, the other over 100lb. An incredible place for light tackle testing and lure loosing!!!

Headed over to Flora Reef, the southern atoll of the Holmes complex. Arriving at the corner of Flora we were attacked by about 8 wahoo, all over 40lb, leaping out of the water in a race to destroy my 130 tackle that was out for the long troll from Flinders group. We lost 3 really nice lures and a long night rerigging in preparation of our revenge the next morning. We fished 30 lb line and must have released over 20 wahoo up to 50lbsand 5 more dogtooth up to 80lbs. When one wahoo was up to the boat, there were up to 8 more free swimming around the boat eating chunks that we threw to them. The ensuing loss of many poppers and jigs was expensive, but damn it was a lot of fun!!! I have never seen wahoo fishing like this ever before, and that includes San Salvador in the Bahamas, the place to go for big wahoo. I had a guest who fishes the Bahamas for wahoo all the time , and he had never seen them free swimming and jumping out of the water to eat lures. Next year we are taking heaps of poppers and more jigs to donate to the fish gods, what an incredible place and trip.

Ran back to the edge off Cairns , and fished up to Opal Reef with no bites, then on Saturday we fished back south, tagging our first big black for the season, a really nice fat solid fish of 500lb, and had another shot from a small fish about 300lb in the late afternoon before running back to the Cairns Marlin Marina for the week.

Our Season starts full bore on the 24th of Sept, and then fish thru to the end of November. I have had a cancellation in mid/late October, so there is an opportunity to come to the greatest black marlin fishery on the planet, to fish and learn the techniques of using circle hooks on these great fish. Other openings I have are the end of November, and also open for the trip down the coast, and light tackle fishing off Fraser Island in December before coming home for Christmas.

For more updates during the season check out or feel free to call me on 0427 758768.

Tight Lines,
Capt Tim Richardson

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Shakeel Ahmad

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