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THE Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic wrapped up yesterday after again living up to its reputation as the best international heavy tackle billfish event in the world. 

Twenty boats with all flags flying and rods bristling in the sun headed east from the Lizard Island sail past on day one of this prestigous event.

We were full of good vibes on board Viking II as we had been Champion Boat on five previous occasions.

On board our anglers were 14-year-old Connor Craven and his father Glen.

Day 1 was slow, with boats searching for the bite area. At the end of the day we ended up in second place with one tagged fish for the day.

Day 2 we again finished with one tagged fish.

Day 3 saw us tag and release a nice black marlin of 600lb plus.

black marlin 2

Day 4 started off great. We had just put the baits in the water and we were hooked up, then Murphy's Law took over and we had a little hiccup. A clutch on our port gearbox gave way, and had us fishing on one motor and heading south for Cooktown.

We ended Day 4 with three tags on one motor, and a big night in Cooktown repairing the gearbox. This put us out of the bite area for the next day's fishing, never the less we picked up one tag for Day 5.

By this stage Askari was leading with Little Audrey in second and we were in third, and we knew it would be hard to come back from there.

Day 6 we sored another tag, and our 14-year-old angler was still in the running for Champion Angler overall as we entered the final day's fishing.

Day 7 was quiet with only three marlin caught, which did not give us an opportunity to improve our position, or change the positions of champion boat or runner up boat from day 5.

Young Connor missed out on Champion Angler, but on board Viking II he definitely was our champion with eight marlin to back up the effort that saw him take the Champion Angler trophy at the NSW Interclub at Port Stephens earlier this year.

In total 124 black marlin were tagged & released for the event and three satellite tags deployed over the seven days, with some of the marlin encountered estimated to be in excess of 1100 lbs.

www.australianmarlin.com

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