Cairns & Great Barrier Reef

Light Tackle Black Marlin


Fraser Island, like North Queensland offers light tackle anglers some fantastic fishing particularly in the colder months from May to September. Imagine yourself catching these fish all within sight of the 4WDs on the beach.

Luke and Kelly’s best trip at Fraser Island in 2020 (July) has been 23 black marlin in a single day. On KEKOA in 2019 we caught and released 39 juvenile black marlin in 2.5 days of fishing and 55 in 4.5 days fishing.

The fish, in most cases first year spawn of the previous year’s giant black marlin season, are drawn to the area by the huge schools of bait that inhabit the fishing grounds during the season traveling down the Queensland coast in the EAC (East Australian Current).

Early in the season these fish can be as tiny as 8-10 kg, but as voracious feeders they can grown up to and exceeding 20kg before they leave our waters to head further south.

Read Kelly’s article about the juvie black marlin fishing at Fraser Island for Marlin Magazine.

BABY Black Marlin

In addition to the juvenile black marlin other pelagic species abound such as mackerel and tuna.

Great fun on the light tackle and exciting for both novice and veteran anglers!

Light Tackle Charter Options

At Fraser Island, the proximity of the juvenile black marlin fishing ground offers live aboard anglers comfortable overnight anchorages for up to four persons.

The juveniles can be caught on both sides of the island offering options in all weather conditions, depending on the time of year. Early in the year we are generally catching smaller fishing in the 5 to 15kg range outside of Breaksea Spit. Later in the year these fish can be upward or 20-30kg as they eat their way through the bait schools over winter and can show up inside the island off Rooney’s Point and Wathumba Creek.


The year-round warm water that hits at Fraser Island, brought down from North Queensland in the EAC brings the baby black marlin with it. When the fish show up here early in the spring (though the best fishing is generally from June), and the weather conditions are right, you are anchoring almost on the fishing grounds themselves!

The proximity of the fishing makes a great day of the water and you can be catching fish within minutes from anchors up or down when you are overnighting on the grounds.

These size fish are energetic jumpers and give anglers a great visual display. What’s better than the sand backdrop of Austria’s largest island?!

CAIRNS JUVIE black marlin

For the foreseeable future we will be foregoing our North Queensland light tackle marlin season to focus on the great fishing offered at Fraser Island. We will return to Cairns each year in late September as per usual for the giant black marlin season.

North Queensland also offers light tackle anglers some fantastic fishing particularly in the colder months from July to September in both Cairns and Townsville.

Great fun on the light tackle and exciting for both novice and veteran anglers!


Cape Bowling Green located 30 miles east of Townsville and provides a magnitude of different fishing action. The reefs and shoals come alive with huge bait schools in August and September and provide action a plenty for light tackle, as well as fly fishing enthusiasts.Both Luke and Kelly hail from these waters and grew up catching the little blacks. In fact, Luke’s ‘claim to fame’ in Townsville is catching the very first black marlin caught in a tournament there as a junior back in 1983!