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Cairns & Great Barrier Reef

2011 Cairns marlin season recap

Goodbye 2011 Cairns Marlin Season Recap –> Welcome 2012

We finished up our Cairns Giant Black Marlin season on December 21, a late season trip with Frank, Nathen, Daniel and Murphy from the UK. Although the marlin fishing was tough this late in the year, Frank was able to achieve his goal of a marlin just moments before cease fishing (the bite actually came as we were winding them in for the day).

This put us at 77 marlin for the 2011 season (which also included 5 blue marlin). By all accounts, 2011 was the best season in many years and we were happy to be able to catch quality fish for our clients all the way through. There were also a lot of big fish around this year with fish over 700lbs for each of our guests during the main season. And we also had several days of good numbers, (we had 8 four marlin days this year) which is a huge improvement on the conditions of the last couple of years.

So many highlights this year – to mention just a few:

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  • Firstly Jason Hassett, who marked our first grander black marlin of 2011 on October 10th (this is on the same day we raised two more quality fish, an 800lb-er and a 600lb-er for Jason’s mate Bomber who accompanied Jason to the reef for the first time in 2011). This fish was Jason’s third grander class black marlin in his 3 years of fishing with us. He is a machine in the chair and is awesome sight to watch, never giving up and putting in his best effort to get the fish to the boat and released as quickly as possible (the video is here).

    Jason also brought his son Josh along for his first marlin fishing experience a little later in the year and Josh was quick to mark his very first marlin too. Josh and Jason put together this video of the trip and Josh’s first marlin.

  • Richard, Michael and Chase from North Carolina enjoyed one of the best week’s fishing of the year. They went home with wide smiles and as Richard says, ‘Had a very large time’ with 10 marlin in 6 days of fishing including some very big fish at 950lbs+, 900lbs, 800lbs and 650lbs as well as some energetic medium range fishing on standup tackle. Richard first fished with Luke when he was a youngster working on deck and it was great to have him on board with us again after such a long time!
  • And who can forget the trip with Ja-ja, Jacques, Eric and Kevin from New Caledonia who released 4 marlin in a day twice during their trip including some spectacular double headers. These boys know how to have fun and were an absolute pleasure to have on board. And the fish seemed to have fun too. One of the more energetic and exciting fish has made it onto the cover of the January issue of BlueWater magazine – Kelly’s second KEKOA fish cover in the two years. Check it out here.
  • One of our last trips of the season, with Scott and Ian from Brisbane, was a highlight for big fish but also for a spectacular bite and almost triple header (we successfully released two of the three including a 1000lb-er) that was watched in real time by everyone on board.  Big boil on the stinger, twang on the rigger as the scad comes out almost immediately after and then the massive out-of-the-water bite of a 1000lb fish on the big bait on the left — one that we’ll remember for a very long time!
  • We also put many GBR first timers onto some big fish: Cas 800lbs, Colin 700lbs, Kevin 700lbs, Roger 800lbs, Chase 950 & 900lbs, as well as some  for some many-year veterans including Jason 1000lbs and 750lbs, Brendan 850lbs, Richard 800lbs, Scott 1000lbs & 850lbs, Kent 850lbs and KEKOA owner Scotty Taylor’s biggest fish to date at 950lbs+.
  • Our light tackle tournament win in the Townsville Billfish Challenge was a particular highlight for Capt. Luke marking his first win in his hometown comp. What made the win even more special was the fact that tournament major sponsor Mike Carney, who has fished with Capt. Luke for many years, won also for the first time since he began sponsoring the event close to 25 years ago!


Goodbye 2011 – and here’s to another wonderful 2012! We’re putting together our calender for 2012 now. If you’d like to join us on the reef this year, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we’d love to welcome you on board!

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