• A blue marlin boatside prior to release.
    A blue marlin boatside prior to release.

I GUESS I have been seriously fishing for blue marlin in Australia since 1983. My first encounter was a 458lb specimen I got out of a 19ft Half cabin on 30lb line, and from that moment just the thought of that encounter makes me want to target these fish a lot more, as they are truly amazing.

Renowned for their ballistic performance once hooked, blue marlin have caused many anglers truckloads of grief, to say the least. For many years, we have all heard the stories of the big one that got away. I personally have been looking for one over 600lbs in the old school figures, and with the experience of 30 years in the Cairns giant marlin fishery, I was keen for a crack at a blue of this size.

That chance came on the 3rd of January this year. The Gold Coast blue marlin fishery was going off and already some nice ones had been caught or lost. Two of my regular clients, brothers Steve and Andrew Pennisi, were out with me for my first Gold Coast charter of 2012, and after an already good day of catching a blue around 250lb and losing another, we were close to a winding in, when a nice blue came up on the stinger lure. This fish ate the lure three times, and the angler even got to the chair, but the hooks kept pulling. We kept winding back the lure, and finally this nice blue spotted the right 'rigger lure and finally we were firmly attached.

The fish did all the blue marlin ballistic stuff, and then went very deep, unfortunately one of the negatives of blues is they can go deep and just die, this was the case with this fish, and I read it early.

With three knots of current and 300 metres of line out this can be a dilemma. The trick is to use the current as a lever against the fish, which I did with success as I have done before and within no time the blue was alongside. There was no chance of reviving this fish, so my biggest ever Blue, and my client's first blue marlin was put aboard. (Photos on www.australianmarlin.com - go to blog.)

Two hours later it tipped the scales at 836lbs. A nice fish even on 130lb line. The largest blue marlin to be weighed in Queensland and second largest by a male angler in Australia. The Gold Coast is a world class blue marlin fishery and proves that the elusive 1000lber would be out there. I will be chartering out of the Gold Coast until 30th January then on to Port Stephens chartering till the end of April.

Blue marlin jump

A 250lb blue marlin gets airborne.

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