After a quiet time for the past two weeks, and marking large spawning black marlin on the sounder, and knowing it was just a matter of time until they needed to eat, it has all happened at last.
We’d been joined in Cooktown by clients Jo and Steve Tatham from WA. Jo was out to break the 50lb Ladies World Record for black marlin, which stands at 874lb, so it was 50lb on the right, and the big guns on the left and centre for Steve.
Jo kicked off the day one with a reasonable sized marlin on 50lb line.
Day two and we had just finished setting up the trolled baits and I spotted a big girl eat a scad on the right. We were hooked up and I wasted no time getting the boat back in case there was a chance of an early shot. The boys were busy trying to clear the other tackle as I put Viking II into a dog leg. By the time the other tackle was all squared away we were close to having a shot at her. As the line angled up towards the surface I got to see this big fish a few metres below the surface. As the marlin started to shake her head, she blew out the bait and hook. It appears that the lighter drag of the 50lb tackle had not properly set the hook. That’s record fishing for you ...
Jo was happy with the encounter – it’s not every day you hook up to such a massive fish. But our day was not over, we only had to wait 45 minutes and we had a double hook up. Jo’s marlin blew the bait after a short battle, but Steve was still hooked up. This marlin gave us a great fight with some spectacular jumps. We released the fish, an estimated 850 pounder. Time for a drink and some more 30+ sunscreen and it was on again. Steve released a mid size marlin and then we had a bite on the 50lb with no hook up.
The next day we waited till bite time … and it came big time. A 400lb fish jumped on Steve’s bait then organized chaos took over as the 50lb line went off, followed shortly after by the centre rigger,
We had a triple header. Two were lost but we managed to get the first fish for Steve. All up, the Tathams went home very happy. And the Ladies World Record? Well, it’s still there for another day.
One of the marlin hooked on 50lb tackle spits the bait. It’s sometimes difficult to get a secure hook-set with the relatively light gear.