2006 Season

Our 2006 season began in late September and ended in mid November - shorter than we would have liked due to family commitments - but nevertheless very successful. We fished 40 days and caught 32 Black Marlin, 9 of which were over 800lb and 3 of which were over 1,000lb. The largest was well over 1,100lb.

Best of all, we and our charters had a ball.

CP entertained us with tall tales from the distant past and showed us why he is still regarded as the best of the best wireman in the business.

Charles talks about the 2006 season here.

Young Elliot, in his first season, came of age as a game fishing deckie and, under CP's direction, wired several nice fish. His enthusiasm saw him filling the freezers with all manner of reef fish from his early morning and late night sessions.

Watch Elliot with his tame GT

Elliot talks about the 2006 season here.

For our female audience, Elliot can be contacted on +61-403-590-322.

Captain Jared proved once again he is right up there with the top GBR skippers, consistently putting us in the right place at the right time and maintaining a very high capture to hookup ratio.

And every dish was licked clean throughout, so I assume the food met the high standard we aspire to.

Bring on 2007...


With our season a short one due to family commitments, we headed south for our final quest. It looked like we might go unrewarded when we came up empty handed on the first two days. However, all good things come to those who wait and mid-afternoon on the third day we hooked up.

This was a truly beautiful fish. At around 900lb, it did everything a Black Marlin is supposed to do. So much so that CP remarked that it had probably been caught before and had learned the ropes.

It took line, jumped all over the ocean, went deep and fought hard for about 40 minutes.

Young Elliot displayed a new found skill as a photographer while simultaneously steering the chair.

This was my 19th marlin for the season and it looked like I had ended on a good one. However, having previously declared the season over on Sunday evening and heading for Cairns on Monday morning, we elected to have a quick fish on our way south. We caught what we called the Airport Marlin - the one on the way to the airport - and although he was a virtual baby at 150lb, he made it 20 for me for the season.

Father and son

Tim and Tab Bainum from the USA joined us for our next charter, three days out of Cooktown. This was Tim's second trip to the reef and he was keen to see son Tab catch his first Black Marlin.

We headed north on reports of a good bite and picked up a 200lb fish off No 9 Ribbon Reef almost immediately.

Watch the Video

Unfortunately, this trip saw our luck turn. Over the three days we saw over a dozen more, hooked up to several, yet were unable to catch any more. Sometimes the marlin get lucky.

Tail hooked

We got two fish around 200lb and then on Friday hooked up to another big one which we called at 800lb. As it turned out, the fish was hooked in the tail and as a result was able to put up a remarkable fight. She jumped spectacularly, stripped off several hundred meters of line and eventually headed for the bottom. Unfortunately, while the tail hook gave her freedom to fight it made life difficult for her when she eventually tired as she was being lifted up tail first

She arrived at the surface exhausted and required resuscitation.

We quickly got a rope around her bill and towed her slowly for 20 minutes until we could see she had recovered.

She swam down to the Fighting Chair Saloon, no doubt to relate her encounter with the crazy fishermen on Shaka.

The Big One

With the moon and tides still ideal and given the success of the past four days, we elected for a quick turnaround at Cooktown and a run back to No 5 (and a half) Ribbon Reef. We dropped the baits at 3:35pm.

There were scad breaking the surface nearby and Capt Jared brought Shaka close. At 3:55pm we hooked up. We knew from the first jump we had a really nice one and within minutes the drag was up to sunset.

Unusually, she headed for the reef and we spent a long 20 minutes fighting within meters of the coral. She actually jumped alongside the reef and at times we could see her shape against the white sandy bottom. She decided to seek better territory and headed in behind the reef through the opening between No 5 (and a half) and No 6 Ribbon Reef, stripping line at will. The balance of the fight took place well inside the reef.

This was the strongest fish we have ever caught on Shaka. The fight lasted 2hrs 45minutes, past sundown and into the dark. We had her to the boat only once in that time and CP (Charles Perry) touched the leader but couldn't get a wrap. I lost count of the number of times the double came up only to disappear again. The drag was at sunset for the entire fight and she was still able to jump after two and a half hours.

Finally, we got her up again. CP got a wrap, eased her up and Elliot Muller got the tag in. She swam away in excellent condition. I, on the other hand, required several beers to recover.

We called her at 1,100lb plus, our third grander in three days.

Charter Milestones

Tag In on Rick Moulton's 900lb Black Marlin. Charles Perry on the wire with young gun Elliot Muller on the tag pole.

Strick Mays, Rick Moulton and Ronald Davis from the USA joined us for our charter out of Cooktown, all in search of their first Black Marlin. The weather was perfect at 10 to 15kts predicted for the next four days and there were reports of big fish all over the reef.

We ran out to No 5 Ribbon Reef and around 4 o'clock Rick hooked up to a nice one. It was Rick's first Black Marlin and it gave him a hell of a fight over the hour it took to tag and release.

We called it at 900lb. Watch the Video

Next day the fishing on No. 5 was hot, hot, hot. We got four, including another nice one for Strick Mays we called 900lb. Strick's first Black Marlin that day marked the completion of his all-species billfish slam. Ron's fish was his first Black Marlin.

Days three and four saw us reach the ultimate milestones, granders for both Rick and Ron.

We picked up a smaller one early on day three. Rick's fish came late in the day and involved a two hour fight to bring her to the boat. The shot shows the hook wrapped around her bill, so she was able to put all her energy into the fight.

The scenario was the same on day four, a smaller one early in the day followed by the big one late in the day. Amazingly, Ron's fish was also wrapped around the bill and took an hour to tag and release.

Over the four days we saw 17, hooked 12 and caught 9 with four over 900lb. With winds in the 10 to 20kt range and smooth seas, it was just like the brochure!


With the tournament over, winds at 25 to 30kts and after nine days at sea, downtime was the order of the day. We voted for light tackle fishing and a safe anchorage for restful nights, swimming and snorkling.

The fishing was pretty successful and coral trout figured strongly on the menu again. It's a hard life but someone's got to do it!

20th Lizard Island Classic

The 20th Lizard Island Classic Black Marlin Tournament was contested by 47 boats from 15th to 21st October.

Shaka started strongly with two fish tagged on Day One, fishing off the bottom of No 10 Ribbons Reef. Billfish, fishing in the same area, released four fish to lead the tournament.

Unfortunately, our luck didn't hold and we saw nothing on Day Two.

Day Three saw us fishing the bottom of No 7, where we tagged one at 650lb. By this time, the lead had gone to Diamond Girl on five so if we were to remain competitive, new tactics were required.

Acting on information received from non-tournament boats fishing on Linden Bank and seeing around six fish each day we elected to make a dramatic 50nm run south, by-passing the rest of the fleet and gambling that the fish would still be there.

It looked like our gamble had been successful when we tagged one in the first session of Day Four and then hooked up at 5:15pm that same day.

Unfortunately it was not to be. We called the fish at 700lb and she fought magnificently. Despite a battle that lasted 75 minutes, most of which spent with the drag at sunset, we lost her.

This was to be our last chance for the tournament. Our luck had run out and we saw no fish on days five, six and seven.

The tournament was won by Tenacious with eight fish. Our four fish (6-6-4) earned us a creditable 8th place.

Overall, some 120 fish were tagged, including six 'granders'. Next year?

Watch the Video

Zac Gordon gets a nice one

Our charter before the Lizard Island Tournament was Bruce Tilley, Tim Gordon and their sons Dan (Tilley), Zac and Riley Gordon. For Zac and Riley, this was their first taste of fishing heavy tackle. Conditions were again rugged, with some 25/30 kt periods and a big swell.

With about 20 minutes of fishing time left on day one, Zac hooked up to this fish which we called at about 800lb and battled it for 40 minutes before it was tagged and released.

Check out the fight and some masterful wiring by the legend, Charles Perry, in the video.

Watch the Video

The big girl comes to visit

After two weeks of (relatively) small fish, we finally saw some real action. The baits had barely hit the water at 10:30am when the skip bait was monstered by a giant. Alas, one jump and she was free.

The day progressed with action aplenty. All up, we saw 10 and had 8 bites. It wasn't until 5:30pm that the big girl came to visit. She hit the skip bait, leaving a mighty hole in the water and stripped 300m of line before showing herself. We called her at 700 to 800lb.

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